Wednesday, July 30, 2008


More often than not I lay in bed at night trying to fall asleep and all I can think about is writing a book (and now sometimes a blog entry). To explain, I have always wanted to write a book about my family. Yes, in many ways we are interesting and dramatic enough to excite readers, but I mostly want to write to help other families get through their not so fun times. So I lay there, and write complete chapters in my head. I have thought about getting up and actually writing/typing something many times but for whatever reason I don't(probably because I am exhausted)...and so here we are.

Women I Come From (hidden behind those smiles is a lot of LOVE and a little bit of dysfunction!)

For whatever reason I feel compelled to blog about my writing block. I think its because I laid in bed last night dreaming up a beautifully written (and wity) blog about my writing block so now I feel as though I need to follow through!
I read all of these wonderful blogs about babies and feel as though I actually know the mother's because of their passion, honesty, and love that comes through in their writing. But most of us (and I include me now because I blog about my baby) don't talk about ourselves. Our rather maybe ourselves before the babies?? I have been thinking a lot about myself before Jacob lately. Realizing how much I have changed in 10 months.

Me, literally 10 months ago

I was not the 4.0 super involved college student. In fact,my friends thought I would be the least succesful of the bunch (nice huh?). Turns out, after a few crappy jobs right out of college, I hit it big and found the job of my dreams (at the time). I worked for a National new home builder as a sales consultant. I LOVED to sell homes. And turns out, when you love something, most of the time you excel. And I did. Then the Marketing and Design Center manager position came available within my company, I applied and got it! And I LOVED this position (at least at first). So I went from being the "least likely to succeed" to becoming a Manager by age 25 (felt pretty good, and again I loved what I did). I think the best way to describe my appreciation for my former job life is that it felt amazing to be a part of something that really helped people (and I love homes!) and that my peers respected my thoughts and opinoins (for the most part, no one has a perfect job life...right?).

My former life

There are definitely days where I miss that life. Believe me when I say that it was the best decision I ever made not to go back there (long story but mostly consists of bad housing market, and Mr. JD being so amazing I just couldn't go back) but still... I have my days. Mostly I miss the independence and the feeling of being accomplished. Its funny too because when any mom or non mom asks me if I had always planned to stay at home I laugh. Because I sincerely didn't plan on this. I planned to be super mom and to be completely fine with dropping my little one off at a daycare facility everyday. Oh how that first baby cry you here can completely change your life.

How could this not change your life? :)

And honestly its not like I don't feel accomplished stay at home with JD. He is my little hero in every way. I couldn't have asked for a happier child who loves to explore and get into everything! And even though I don't like to give myself any credit, some of his advancement probably has to do with me. And for you mother's out there that are working and wish to be at home, please don't think that I take this for granted. I enjoy every moment and am thankful that I got the choice. But some days I wish to be you too (the grass is always greener, right?)

This picture really sums up our little man (our happy mover!)

Its just been a funny couple of years, pregnancy to motherhood. I can't say that I would change anything about these years because they have been great, just different. I know there is a lot more "different" to come and am excited about it. I guess the point of this was for me to not just sit in bed at night and think about writing something, but actually doing it! And also maybe an inspiration to all of you moms out there to focus on yourself for a blog or two. Remember behind every amazing baby is an even more amazing mom!
You will probably get these random thoughts from me from time to time (just as a heads up) Who knows...I may even share some of my ridiculous family stories with you from time to time. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Can't Get Enough...

...Of the pool that is! We had another fun weekend enjoying this hot hot hot Indiana weather. Lots of pool time, some fun outdoor adult time, and some great grilled food prepared by P-Daddy!

On Friday night P-Daddy and I went out for a bit while one of my greatest friends, Godmom babysat for JD! Thanks again Godmom...we love you! We had friends in town and there was a get together for their arrival. It was a baby friendly event since 4 of the 7 married couples have children but it was just too late for JD. So, adult time it was! BUT we did get to see the newest arrival and she is ADORABLE! Baby Kaelyn, daughter of Nikki and Ryan was born a bit early and was 5lbs 13oz...she now weighs 9lbs and some odd ounces and looks like she weighs 5lbs (to me). I think this is the trick our brains play on us to have more children (no friends I am not prego AND no we are not trying...I'm just sayin jeez!). JD weighed 6lbs 13oz when he was born and although I do feel like I remember him that small, seeing Kaelyn made me realize that I really don't. It makes you want a peanut again! They just grow up so fast (sniff, sniff!)

P-Daddy and Peanut JD (still sniff sniffing)

We spent Saturday at the pool with Max, E and JD playing. Max is our friends the Walker's (who were in town for the weekend) babe and he is a year and 3 mo. old. E was born exactly one week before JD. We don't get to hang out with either of JD's friends much so this was a fun time!

Jacob and Eli in the pool

Today my Papa President and VP came into town and we had a blast at the pool and grilled out for dinner. It was a wonderful end to a great weekend! VP and I were what P-Daddy likes to call "pool rats" growing up and my Papa President loves to tell stories and reminisce about the "good old days." Papa President was not afraid to throw us in the deep end and tell us to swim. VP and I joke now that we should be traumatized by the pool because of the antics Papa President would pull. But instead we are grateful for our swimming skills! :)

VP and JD

We also visited a new church today. We have been searching for the right church for us and haven't quite found it. The church we went to today was nice but the service was a bit too contemporary for our taste. We did randomly run into an old neighbor of ours who happens to be one of their head pastors (which we totally forgot). It was fun to catch up with him and here about the old neighborhood.

Papa President and JD (Papa is no doubt telling him all about how to swim)

In JD news...he is officially becoming a walker. Right now is a half and half man. He crawls half the time and walks the other half. Its amazing to watch. He started waving at Papa President and VP and saying "hi" today which is odd because I have been trying to teach him that for (literally) months and have got nothing in return and VP walks in the room today and he waves and says "hi." Good job him! We shall see if this was just a fluke or if he really does have it down! :)

He also loves playing with anything and everything "kitchen." We have completely baby proofed at this point because our Great Room and Kitchen are one big area so thats where we hang out most of the time. But I promise you his has radar and knows if I have unlatched one of the cabinets for just a moment. He is there faster than a speed of light and ripping everything out as fast as he can. I let him, because I am a sucker for his cuteness. Its just one of those funny things about being a mom that I never realized I would love (and yes that includes the cleaning up part after he is bored with the kitchen gadgets).

Mr. JD man also HATES shoes. And I need some help on this front from any and all mother's that have gone through this or have the magical wonder shoe to share with me! He literally curles his toes so bad I most of the time can't even get them on and when I do actually succeed he rips at least one of them off before I can even get it tied! All the while in any of these situations he is balling crying like I am torturing him. Its pretty awful. But I know I need to break him in of this shoe business because of the walking adventures. Help?!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back Home Again

WEEERRR'EEE BAAAACK! Our first family vacation was a success but I will say its always nice to be back home. We had lots of firsts on this vacation that I thought would be fun to share...

First trip for JD to Chicago to see Amy and Paul

First time in a sand box

First 19 hour road trip (all together)

First time in Wisconsin and first time in a lake (he hated the lake-couldn't even get a picture)

First vacation for Mom and Dad since we were pregnant

First time meeting cousin Paige (and stealing our first cracker)

First time in a Little Tykes Car (Grandpa Menard is promising one of these for the first birthday!)

It was definitely a different experience than any other vacation we have ever taken as a couple but a great one! The car trip went wonderful (to our surprise). The last 2 hours of our trip up there were a little rough because it poured (and I mean POURED) on us. The roads were curvy and starting to flood a was a bit scary. But as soon as we made it there safely all was great and the skies opened up to let the sun shine through to start our vacation!

It was a bit hard to juggle planned activities and JD's napping/bedtime schedule. But we worked it out. The first night we stretched JD's night time limit and paid for it as he screamed bloody murder in the middle of the night (and wouldn't/couldn't be consoled). So we were strict about bed time the rest of the vacation and all was fine.

The first night, 9pm. Cranky baby.

It was absolutely awesome that we got to stay with Amy and Paul on the way there and back. We love you guys and can't wait to see you again soon! Thank you again for your amazing hospitality (and great food!).

As far as the random vacation purchases went....hands down the winner was the pre-made Similac Bottles! It made life SOOOO completely easy. The "Bibsters" and the Beach Bag come in a close second though! :)

My absolute favorite picture!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Preparing for our FIRST family Vacation

I have always gone out and purchased new items prior to going on vacation. I believe this came from my mom allowing us to go and get travel sized items or something fun for the plane ride before going on our yearly family vacation. I love buying completely pointless (well not ALL of them have turned out to be pointless but you get my drift right?) things that seem like necessities for each specific trip. Luckily I have P-Daddy who completely gets me and is supportive of the randomness that is me. Love you Daddy!

For this trip I REALLY think I need a large beach bag. Oh I also forgot to mention that when I get my heart set on something for a vacation, I won't stop until I get it no matter what the cost (and normally I am a "sale" shopper). So I found it, FINALLY and randomly at Bed, Bath and Beyond (after literally going to 7 stores and many websites). I also need to mention that a lot of times the items that I think I need for vacation don't come to me until about a week or so before I leave. So this gives me no time to find whatever random item it is for each trip. I think that this Beach Bag will be a God send on this particular vacation because we can use it as a diaper/formula/beach towel/sunscreen/misc bag for an entire day of fun in Wisconsin. We will be leaving our condo everyday to go to Paul's family's cabin and I don't want to have to bring a million different bags each day (yes I am totally defending my beach bag idea). I will let you know how it works out! :)

"THE" Beach Bag

I recently read Christina's blog on how they were traveling with their son Chase who is basically JD's age. In reading all about the diapers, wipes, baby food, pharmacueticals, etc. I realized that I was now stepping into a whole new journey into buying things that I don't really need before a vacation. Now I get to buy for us AND JD. So this has led to a plethora of items that I have purchased to make things "easier" on us for our first family vacation. By the way, Christina and Company braved the Dominican Republic and they survived (and had fun) so I am hoping to survive Wisconsin. :)

I found that Pampers makes "bibsters" which are disposable bibs (amazing, had to get them), purchased an entire case of Similac "ready to feed" (and then of course had to purchase new nipples that will fit on the bottles), mosquito netting for a stroller (a must have right?), baby food (I normally make mine so this is a huge step out of the box for me), a portable DVD player (off of ebay-and it works!), Finding NEMO the movie for JD (and P-Daddy) to watch, a sand pale and shovel for JD to play with at the beach (love the Target "SEE-SPOT-SAVE" section). I am sure there is or will be more but that is the highlight. See what I mean, I get obnoxious with this vacation business. I will also let you know if these items are worth it! You just never know!

Another funny thing about packing for JD is that I literally had to pack almost every item of clothing he owns. Not because I over packed, but because he just doesn't own a lot of "outfits." The mothers reading this that have sons probably understand what I am talking about. For every 10 outfits manufacturers make for baby girls, they make ONE outfit for baby boys. It is a bit frustrating to walk into a MACY's (or any large store you would expect a good hearty baby boy section) and have to search for one cute boy outfit as the baby section is drowning in adorable baby girl outfits (yes sometimes I get bitter about this subject). But onto the funny part of this...JD has been wearing all of the items that are either too big or too small as I didn't want to have to do laundry up until the moment we left. I know I won't always be able to get away with this so I figure why not take advantage while I can!?! :)

Yes folks, that is a Reindeer you see. Happy Holidays! :)

So why an entire blog about packing for our first family vacation? ...because its been a hoot so far! I can't wait to squeeze everything in the back of our SUV and hit the road! We get to spend the night not once, but twice with Amy and Paul (to break up the 9 hour drive) and we get to see family we haven't seen since our wedding. I am sure there will be lots to tell after this next week. We are really looking forward to a fun filled road trip and week away! Wish us luck! :)

PS-for those of you who knew me prior to being a mom...I am fully aware that I have become a bit neurotic. :) The first step is recognition. :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

First Steps!?

We cannot believe it but our little man has taken his first steps! He officially took them on Wednesday this week but we weren't sure whether or not to count it because he only took one step and then fell down. But we are moving up to two or three steps at a time now!! We can't believe our eyes!

Because I have too much time on my hands I have created a video to mark this occasion! YEY for steps!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Have we officially become the Griswold's? (aka-the Christmas vacation family)

The 4th was spent relaxing and enjoying some pool time! We love it when P-Daddy is home with us for a long weekend! GranBeck purchased the three of us lovely matching patriotic t-shirts so of course we had to wear them (and take a picture, see below). I personally was willing to wear them all day. We went to Lowe's early in the day to look at front doors. I wanted to wear them and just laugh at the people who thought that we were serious about our matching outfits. P-Daddy was not on board with this idea because I think he thought that I seriously was turning our family into the modern day version of The Griswold's! I was not, I seriously just wanted to see fellow shoppers reaction as we walked our way through Lowe's. We ended up just wearing them around the house and taking a "family photo" to share. :)

The rest of our weekend was spent with a round of golf for Paul, pool time and a day with Uncle Badgeman and R. It was a great weekend! We were sad for it to end. Next vacation in Three Lakes, Wisconsin in a week in a half. Grandma Principal's family is having a psuedo family reunion and we are making the 9 hour drive up to Three Lakes to enjoy some family bonding time! I will let you know how the 9 hour drive and a 10 month old goes!

R, Uncle Badgeman, and JD

On another note...I wanted to wish my wonderful, beautiful, amazing friend Gdub a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You are the greatest! Can't wait to celebrate with you!

P-Daddy, Me, Pdub and Gdub

G-this sweet picture is from the Timberview Grand Opening! HA!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

JD's June

I normally upload my memory card worth of JD pictures once a month onto Kodak Gallery and send a month in the life of JD out to family and friends. I realize that with a blog I will need to be better about uploading different fun events throughout the month to keep all who read updated. But since I started our family blogging adventure in the middle of the month I waited and now have a lot of pictures to share!

JD has always loved the water, but until this past month in his life it has always been bath water. I grew up going to the pool every day in the summer and was on the swim team in high school and P-Daddy's family had a pool and he also was on the swim team in high school so showing our kids the water and then eventually teaching them to swim is something we talked about even before we were pregnant! The great news is that JD LOVES the pool. Whether it be the community pool where he can be held by mom or dad or float around in his oh so cool floatie, or at the Riviera Club with Gdub and Jdub (their baby pool is FABULOUS!) or in the Ash family baby pool, he loves it! This of course makes us happy and we can't wait for many family memories at the pool together! Here are some of our favorite pool moments from June...

Jdub and JD at the Rivi

Addy Ash, JD, Lilly Ash

Jacob and Godmom splashing in the pool together

Jacob and Uncle Badgeman

Uncle Chitown and JD enjoying some Cheerios together

We also celebrated our first official Father's Day! This is Jacob with Daddy and then JD with Papa President.

We had a fun playdate at Butler where JD, Addy and Lilly Ash were alumni models for a bit.

JD also stopped by his father's old stomping grounds of Sigma Chi.

We had some great times in June, playing. laughing and experiencing new things! Here are just a few fun ones to end with! Happy Summer everyone!

"Best Friends" JD and Jdub