Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Passover to You.

Anytime is a good time to get together with our family and Monday evening for our Passover Seder was no exception. While our Seder was continually interrupted by babies crying, toddlers asking for food, and little ones running through the tables, I believe I can speak for everyone and say that the background noise was quite pleasant. I overheard my dad saying that "this is just how it was years ago" when we were little ones doing the same exact thing. Oh, how history repeats itself. My grandparents are in the same house as they were when we were growing up, the same house that my mom grew up in. Regarding this house, my mom has said to me, "If these walls could talk...." I have heard this simultaneously with "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" (regarding my mom and I), so I can imagine what stories those walls could tell us.

In high school, I wrote an English paper on how special my grandparent's house really is. I spoke of how my grandparents put the house for sale and we were all sadded by this act. How could they sell this house that was our second home? Our place for big family dinners, for all-day swimming and barbequing during lazy summer days, for deep conversations with my grandparents about nothing at all. Soon after, my great-grandmother (my Grandma Rose) passed away and my grandparents had Grandpa Joe (who couldn't live in a place without his "little Rosie") come live with them. The house went off the market.

Everything happens for a reason.

My grandparent's house has been a home to many, many people... children, grandchildren, mothers, fathers, friends.... and Monday evening was no different. We celebrated the Hebrews' escape from enslavement in Egypt but, more importantly, we were celebrating together. And I couldn't help once again thinking how fortunate we truly are.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rain, Rain...

I had this vision that our playtime in the rain today would result in these amazing pictures; that Jacob would be stomping barefoot in big puddles, giggling as the water splashed up on his little legs. You can imagine my surprise when things didn't exactly go as planned. He didn't like the cold water on his feet and didn't exactly think the rain dropping on his head was peachy. I've never seen the child demand to go inside quicker then he did at our five minute session outside.

Back inside, Jacob displayed a new trick he recently picked up. He lays on his belly and pushes himself backward using his arms; he literally slides across the entire kitchen floor. It's quite cute to watch a little twenty-four pound tot do this with such grace. It also makes me glad that I just steam cleaned our kitchen floor. That's right; I just opened our steam mop that we received as a wedding present. Philip was quite shocked that I initiated this cleaning session. To be honest, I wasn't driven to clean the floor by the fact that the floor really should be cleaned after however many weeks of acquiring dirt and dust and Jacob's food, but by the fact that I actually thought it would be fun to push around this little device. Regardless, the job got done and I was proud of my solid seven minutes of cleaning.

There's much more exciting things to do during my days then spend time worrying about cleaning the house (unless it's with fun cleaning objects and, if you know of anymore good ones, please send them my way).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Undy 5000

This morning we headed down to Forest Park to take part in the 2010 St. Louis Undy 5000. The race benefits the Colon Cancer Alliance. This event is very special to our family as our Uncle Steve fought (and won!) this horrible disease a few years ago. If you would like to donate to help the fight against colorectal cancer (the second leading cause of cancer death in the US), click here.


Yesterday was one of those perfect, how-great-life-is-with-our-one-little-baby day. We didn't leave the house once all day, yet we were very busy doing nothing at all.

We woke up and smelled the flowers that Grandma brought over for Jacob the night before....

Daddy and Jacob played with blocks and created the following game that had Jacob doing this great belly laugh over and over.

And they ran around the house, stopping every so often to smile for Mommy.

And soon Jacob was very, very tired and we took the opportunity to watch three episodes of the new series, Parenthood. We were hooked within the first ten minutes and crying within the first fifteen. I don't think I would have fully appreciated this show before Jacob. I always envisioned that I would have a connection with my children, but you don't really get it until they arrive. And not even fully then. It really happens when you realize that this little perfect person is yours, all yours, and they need you as much as you need them now.

Building towers and making them crash to the floor....

And when we needed a break from our home, we headed over to our second favorite home at Yaya and Pops' house. And I don't know all of the secrets that these two share, but I can tell you from observation that it seems like a pretty special thing.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Date Night.

What a day. We started our day at around 1:00 this morning (no exaggeration). Jacob didn't seem to be feeling well when we put him to sleep; we thought it could be teething or ears or maybe both. The little guy was up and wailing just a few hours after he finally settled down. Our attempts to calm him down and put him back to sleep failed miserably. Into our bed he came. Normally, this stops any problems. He snuggles in between us and falls fast asleep. Not last night. He was up and bouncing around, holding the headboard so he could jump on the bed, laying on my stomach and then laying on Phil's... he just could not get comfortable.

Before I continue... promise you won't judge me.... do it, make a promise right now.

We both rolled over to the outside, so that Jacob might think we are sleeping and try to go to sleep. Jacob, perhaps wanting my attention, jumped forward over my back and fell.... right off the bed. I know what some of you are thinking. This is why you don't let children sleep in the bed. What if I told you that there just happened to be two fluffy pillows at the bedside exactly where he landed. We got lucky. I was also done with Jacob in the bed (if you don't remember all of my bad experiences with Jacob and the bed, read back to month five or so). I successfully rocked him to sleep and slipped back to my bed.

Fast-forward ten minutes. Screaming again. Philip opts to take this one. I assume that he is going to rock him back to sleep. I honestly think I am dreaming when, through our monitor, I hear Jacob laughing and running around his room. This must be a joke. I enter Jacob's room to see Philip sitting in the rocking chair, all of Jacob's toys and blankets covering the floor and Jacob toddling around the room pulling things out.

Me: Are you kidding me?
Philip: He wanted to play.

I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Yes, Philip, we should allow the thirteen month old to choose whether he wants to play at 2:00 in the morning. Our night did not get much better from here. We counted down the hours until we could bring him to the doctor at nine, convinced that he had horrible ear infections. You can imagine my reaction when the doctor told us that he was perfect.

Me: Well, are you sure?
Doctor: His ears look perfect. Nose looks perfect. He is great. Maybe he had a little gas or something?
Me: He was screaming his head off last night. Are you sure nothing is wrong?
Doctor (looking at Jacob): Are your parents lying? You are just the happiest baby ever.

Hmmmpphh. That's what I think of that. I think there should be a new rule at the doctor's office. If your kid is not sick, you don't have to pay your co-pay. I'm not saying that I would have liked there to be something wrong, but at least I would feel like we were getting our $35 worth. I'm not a huge fan of dishing that out to hear that my son might have had a little gas.

Our day did get better... the little one caught up on sleep and Philip and I just recently returned home from date night. I was even surprised with some beautiful flowers. And while we did manage to squeeze in some much needed adult conversation, our minds never drifted too far away from our little one....

Sleepy, sleepy little boy after a rough night.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jacob Moments

Last night, Philip and I were doing what we do every Tuesday night after Jacob goes to sleep (watch American Idol and critique each performance as if we are the judges and actually know how to critique music) and mid-performance, Philip tells me to pause the show.

Me: What?
Philip: What was your favorite "Jacob moment" from today?
Me: My what?
Philip: You know, your favorite "Jacob moment"? What was the best thing he did today?

I am laughing to myself again as I write this... I had never really thought of what exactly is my favorite "Jacob moment" of each day. I'd be lying if I said all of them. I don't love the fact that he tosses all of his food on the ground when we are out to lunch at Cheesecake Factory; I don't think it's hilarious when he cries because I won't let him play outside any longer; and I'm not a huge fan of the fact that he was up and ready to go at five this morning. But, my goodness, there is so much to love about this child....

.....I love that if I am on my computer checking my email, he will walk up to me with a book in his hand and rest his head on my leg so that of course I will read to him.
....I love that he mimics every sound we make; if Daddy clears his throat, Jacob clears his throat; If Mommy coughs, Jacob will cough.
...I love when he actually dribbles a basketball (at only one), makes a shot, and then waves his right arm in the air as we cheer for him.
...I love the way he runs to greet us if we are just coming home, like we are the most important people in the world (and to him, I guess we are).
....I love that when you ask him, "Does the baby need to take a nap?" he lays his head down and pretends to go to sleep.
....I love that if you ask him to put his shoes on, he sits down wherever he is and lifts one leg in the air.
...I love that we play the piano and he thinks it's the funniest thing in the world when I use his fingers to play a song.

My favorite Jacob Moment? How could I pick just one?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

I was finishing up a session today when I received this text from Philip, "We are ready to go to the zoo!" (exclamation point and everything). Not having discussed this little plan, you can imagine how excited I was to take our first trip to the zoo with Jacob. Sure enough, Philip and Jacob were all packed up and ready to go when I arrived home (although Jacob did need a quick outfit change...brown sweatpants in 70 degree weather and an undershirt just didn't seem right). With an afternoon nap only a few hours away, we managed to see the penguins, bears, monkeys, hippos, and elephants. Jacob loved seeing all of the animals, pointing to everything and anything that was in his reach. And we were so happy that "Uncle Dan" (Jacob's Godfather) could come along for the big day! We tried to squeeze in an ice cream treat at the end of our outing, but to our surprise, the little guy wanted nothing to do with it. He was fast asleep by the time we pulled out of the area. I text my mom on the way home, telling her how much Jacob loved the zoo. Her response? "Yeah. That is every parent's dream." And she's right.

Warm weather. Trip to the zoo. As a family. Mom. Dad. Child. Together as one. It doesn't get any better than this....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Little Moments

Maybe it was the smell of grilled hot dogs in the air or maybe it was Jacob running around outside in his pj's after a bath, but we could feel summer coming... and we are enjoying every moment. I'm thankful to have a husband that enjoys these little moments as much as I do... and more, to have a husband that tolerates me trying to document all of these little moments. How could I ever want to forget this smile and excitement over something as simple as bubbles!

Not quite like Papa's hotdogs... but pretty darn tasty!

And because we can't ask our one-year-old to snap a photo yet, here's one of the two of us enjoying the moment.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

At Least I'm Trying....

I received my new edition of Parenting magazine yesterday. I remember the days in college when my new US weekly magazine would arrive. I would read it cover to cover and feel slightly saddened when I was done, for I would have to wait another week for another gossip filled edition to arrive. Oh, how the days have changed. I couldn't tell you who was dating who and have no idea who the up-and-coming stars are, but I can tell you how to attempt to get your child to sleep in until 8:00, where the best place to vacation with your one-year-old, and how to get rid of the pacifier. In recent months, I've really taken a liking to the "A Week of Dinners for the Whole Crew" article. Now, let's not get crazy. I modify this to attempt some small baby steps towards my Holly Homemaker status. "Two or Three Dinners a Week for the Three of You." One of the showcased meals in this edition? Panfried Falafels. Easy enough, I thought. "Super kid-friendly" and "super easy." Quick and manageable for me and so I thought to invite Lindsay and Jonny over for dinner tonight to enjoy my home-cooked deliciousness. Who was I kidding?

My "chickpea mixture" would not mold in the patties they were supposed to form. My kitchen became a complete disaster because the food processor was shooting pureed onions and parsley all over the place. The mixture was crumbly and dry and little baby burgers were not the end result. Instead, I composed this:

Needless to say, the falafels were quite tasty. Don't judge a book by its cover, right? Philip would have preferred something with meat in it, but he is always good to try new things. Live and learn. And then, get take-out :)

In other news, cold weather is back. We won't complain... just toss back on the winter hat and coat and enjoy the cool air. How can you complain when we have the most amazing little guy to spend our time with?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Linzaloo and Jonny

I had so much fun taking Lindsay and Jonny's Engagement Pictures today. For some more sneak peaks, head to

Oh, the Possibilities

So maybe Jacob is not quite ready to color on his own, but he certainly had a good time carrying around the little chalk bucket and watching his mommy draw his name. Our Warm Weather To-Do List has already started:

1. play around in the wet grass and get dirty (check)
2. color with chalk on our driveway just like I remember doing when we were little (check)
3. visit the zoo and see all of the animals
4. dance around in rain puddles (and take some shots without my camera getting wet)
5. go on a picnic

New days, new moments, new giggles and fun await us...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bumps and Bruises

We officially made it to spring break! Jacob could sense the excitement when I came home from work today. We played outside (the sun was back!), we played the piano (I attempted to teach him Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star), and he ran around the house in a diaper after an unsuccessful attempt to get some clothes on him. We almost made it for his first Ice Cream Truck stop, but by the time I could grab my camera and some money, he was long gone. He will have to be introduced to this sweet summer experience soon.

I'm not quite sure if it is the new shoes or the amount of time Jacob has been walking, but the child has no fear anymore. He takes off running whenever he wants and this makes everyone around him a little nervous. In Houston, we were loading our car up before our ride to the airport and Jacob got excited to see Daddy by the car so he just took off ... this ended with Jacob falling head first onto the concrete, me feeling like the worst mother in the world, and Philip looking at me with the first-you-let-him-fall-off-the-bed-and-now-his-head-is-bleeding-again look. Jacob recovered quite quickly of course, but now I panic every time he sprints on the hard ground. For now, we hope to keep the number of bumps and bruises during all of our new time outside to a minimum.

The amount of drool this child acquires over the course of an hour is impressive. I'd like to think that this is because he is teething, but frankly it might just be because he loves blowing bubbles.

I have had many people ask me if Jacob is ever upset or if he really is just "that happy" all of the time. Exhibit A, My Friends: We refuse to let Jacob play in the street and force him to play on our grass or the sidewalk (I know, mean parents). This is how mad Jacob gets when we guide him away from where he wants to be. We all have our moments.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Freedom (Almost)

We have almost made it spring break. Two more days. Spring break means several different things. It means time to relax, to sit around the house and do nothing, to finally get to the gym on a consistent basis, to do some spring cleaning (maybe), to enjoy the warm sun that will (hopefully) soon be here. It also means just eight weeks left of school when spring break is done. For our kids, this excites them. Eight weeks left until free summer days. For me, this thought scares me. I have resigned from my part-time position teaching high school. It is time for me to be able to spend all of my days with my little guy (and future little ones) and to also take time to do things I am passionate about; to photograph everything and anything, to work one-on-one with struggling students, to teach online, to actually cook dinner five nights a week, to get back to Bikram yoga. This freedom is a little scary, but I know it is the right decision. We will have structure when we need structure and we will play around, not caring about the time, when we need that too. I feel very fortunate that we are able to make this decision and I know good things await us.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ready for Some Pictures?

Back to reality today. The little man was desperately in need of some sleep time. And sleep he did, with two two-and-a-half hour naps today. We thought for sure he would not be ready for bed at his normal time, but 7:15 rolled around and he was out. Gotta love the child that sticks to his schedule even after a four day hiatus. As for me, I'm not quite sure how I feel about this cold weather. Our little introduction to blue skies, warm sun, the hint of flowers and green grass last week left me wanting more. Here are a couple of my favorites from the weekend. I think it is absolutely amazing watching two people say "I do" and it makes it even better when they are family. The next big event? Lindsay and Jonny's wedding in October! The countdown has begun!

My little stud.

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Adam Lourie!

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