Jed's First Haircut

10.28.2010
Jed's first haircut.  He has no idea.

My baby was born with a head full of long dark hair. I had a lot of fun spiking it up or combing it into a Mohawk those first weeks. Then Jed’s hair fell out… except for a tuft in the very front and in the back around the collar. He looked like an old man with a comb-over. But that’s okay because babies are supposed to be a little funny looking sometimes. He was still way cute anyway. At last, new hair began growing in. Regardless, the long tuft in front still took all the attention. It was time for a haircut!

Jed’s first haircut just happened to take place on his six month birthday. I was too afraid to cut it myself, but Bron was eager to get it done. A little water, a comb, and a few snips later, Jed’s new do was finished! I think he looks much better. I was afraid my baby would suddenly look like a little boy with a haircut. Fortunately, he still looks like a baby and is even more charming.

Then I cut Bron’s hair that night. He looks much better now too.

Wow. I live with a pair of studs.

Sorry, ladies. They’re mine. 

My handsome boys

6 Months

10.25.2010
A Typical Jed Look

Happy Half Birthday to my baby! Jed is six months old today. Six months is quite a milestone. Where did the time go? Jed has grown so much! Once a tiny plop that purred and slept all day, he’s now sturdy, alert, and ready to play. It seems that the older Jed gets the more fun he becomes! It makes my job as his mother so worthwhile.

What Jed is Doing These Days:
  • Jed is chronically happy; he’ll smile and flirt with any girl that gives him attention. One of my favorite parts of the day is going into his room and peeking over the crib railing in the morning. I get a huge smile, a squeal, and some kicks.
  • Jed likes to eat his toes whenever the opportunity presents itself.
  • He can roll over onto his tummy, but supports himself with a very wide arm brace and can't roll back over yet.  If he’s screaming in his crib, it’s because he’s stuck.  I sometimes wonder when he'll finally figure it out.   
  • Jed seems to take a solid two hour nap every other day. All other days he takes two or three cat naps. The good news is that on those days he’s very tired and goes to bed earlier.
  • Jed can scoot on his tummy …backwards and around in a circle. Poor kid. That can be frustrating.
  • Jed is fascinated by trees and leaves. It’s great entertainment for both Jed and me.
  • Jed is tough. I try my best to keep him bundled up, but he doesn’t fuss when his fingers or feet are cold. He loves to be outside!
  • He’s a little wobbly, but Jed can sit!
  • Jed is trying to work on his fine motor skills, but a fistful of anything still works best. Beware, if he grabs it, it’s going straight to his mouth!
  • After nursing sometime in the afternoon, Jed likes to lay there and have a conversation with me. It is so cute and so much fun!
  • We started Jed on rice cereal just before bedtime at 4 months old. This past month we started adding some vegetables into his diet. So far, Jed has proven to be a bit of a picky eater. If he doesn’t want to eat something, he chokes on it. He doesn’t spit it out; he takes a spoonful and chokes! It’s given Jed and me a few real scares.
  • Jed likes to hang upside-down. He likes to dance with me too. When the music comes on he gets to do some crazy stunts.
  • Jed won’t take a pacifier. He prefers something fleshy like his fingers or mine.
  • He likes to position himself directly under his mobile when he sleeps.
  • Jed has been sleeping wonderfully at night for months now. I just top him off before I go to bed and usually don’t hear from him until around 7:00AM. Sometimes, however, he requires a snack around 5:00AM. But I feel well rested and that’s all I really care about!
             
Playing in the leaves
A new booster seat and bib.  Jed gags on carrots.  Green beans make his tummy upset.  But sweet potatoes are a hit!  Here, he's eating peas.  He liked them the first day, but not the second.  ?!!?  Maybe he just needs a little variety in his diet like his momma.  I don't care for leftovers either, Bud.

Yummy Toes!

As for me, I think I’ve finally adapted to motherhood. (Notice I did not say “master”.) After all these months, I don’t feel like an unorganized and chaotic mess anymore. I have become proficient at doing many things one-handed and don’t mind having a baby attached to my hip. I’ve also learned to quit analyzing Jed’s inconsistent habits. We now follow a very loose routine and do what we do when we do it! It’s much better this way. Honestly, though, the hardest thing about motherhood so far has been the adjustment to someone else’s demanding timetable; I can no longer do what I want to do when I want to do it. I know that sacrifice of one’s self and time is all part of the territory of motherhood; I’m just saying that it’s not easy sometimes. However, I must admit, that I’ve never been happier in my life. I have everything I’ve ever dreamed about right here with me. And the best part is, I get to have all this (and more) for forever. Sure there are things that I want that we can’t afford, but despite our meager circumstances, I am truly and comfortably content. I love being Bron’s wife and Jed’s mother; there is nothing more important to me. I love this life.

Reflection

10.23.2010
Contemplation. 
I wonder what Jed is thinking.  Is it,
"I wonder what I'll be when I grow up?" or "This drool is really killing my look!"

6

10.22.2010
Just in time for Halloween.  I love this time of year.

Family Pictures

10.16.2010
The Autumn foliage is at its peak!  It takes my breath away.  Bron and I wanted to get some  family pictures done thinking the colors would make a great background.  Our friend, Anna, graciously took a break from work to be our photographer.  I think we both had a lot fun playing with the camera settings and poses and both learned a lot about light.  These are the results.  I think they turned out fantasically!  Thank you, Anna!

#1
My absolute favorite!

#2

#3

#4
Same thing, different crop

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9
A little something less formal

#10

#11

#12
Another favorite.  Jed adores his daddy.

#13 & #14
I kinda like the dreamy look!

I love my little family so much!  My boys are my life.  It's comforting to know that they can be mine forever and always.  I can't think of anything that would make me more happy.

P.S.  If you have any photography suggestions, I'm all ears!

I Got a Job!

10.13.2010

It’s official: I am a working woman! Not that caring for a small child around the clock isn’t work—it is. It’s the best job on the planet. Being a mother has redefined who I am and brought me more joy than I ever thought possible, but, unfortunately, being a full-time mommy doesn’t pay the bills, or pay for the groceries, or the gas. Yes, I have a big burly man who slaves away all day to protect and provide for us, but he’s a student, and “student” is synonymous with “dirt poor”.

That is why I am taking on a very part time position as a calf feeder on the farm. A little extra money will go a long way around here. I’m actually fairly excited about it! I’ll mix up milk replacer for forty calves or so, distribute grain, refill water pails, watch for and treat disease, and even drive a skid steer to do a feed push-up for all the lady cows in the barn. I’ll only be working about three hours 3-4 evenings a week.

I really can’t think of any negative points to the entire deal. I mean, I still get to stay at home and be Jed’s mom all day long. Bron will have some one-on-one time with the little guy, feed him dinner, and give him a bath. We won’t need to buy a second vehicle because I’ll only be a half mile away and we won’t need to pay for a babysitter; Jed can come hang out with me and the calves if Bron isn’t available. It’s an opportunity we can’t pass up! Definitely a blessing.

….. At last, it’s time to buy my very own pair of insulated coveralls. I’m a cowgirl now!

What I learned on Sunday...

10.11.2010
1. That God loves the crazies too. I should quit being so sarcastic in church.

2. I live a charmed life. I am well educated, world traveled, and have what I’ve always wanted: a happy marriage, a family of my very own, and big dreams ahead to accomplish. Much of my happiness can be attributed to my amazing husband, Bron. I have to brag, I married well. One of my favorite qualities about Bron is how honest he is. With Bron, what you see is what you get; he doesn’t put on a show for anybody. He is honest with himself. He isn’t a hypocrite, even though he might say he feels like one sometimes. Bron tries so hard. Every day. He honestly tries to do the best he can in every facet of his life: in school, at work, at church, and at home as both a husband and a father. I appreciate that. It’s more than enough. And I feel so lucky!  Bron is a genuinely good guy. I just hope I can be the kind of wife that Bron deserves.

Almost Sitting

10.08.2010
Almost Sitting!
These pictures made me laugh out loud and then give Jed a squeeze for being so darn cute!

Family and Quebec

10.01.2010
The incredible Cathedral Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre

We had family come to visit! Bron’s brother, Tyrel, flew all the way out to the East Coast with his wife, DeAnn, and their baby boy, Brogan. Brogan is just six weeks younger than Jed. We were all excited to get the two boys together. We hope they’ll be great buddies someday. Tyrel’s family arrived at our house late Saturday evening. On Sunday morning we all went to church where DeAnn graciously offered to help with a special musical number: Aramie sang, I played a violin obbligato, and DeAnn played the piano. It was amazing! We practiced briefly and had it all put together in less than ten minutes. It was so much fun for me. Just to toot our own horn, I think it was the most talented musical number the branch has seen in a very, very long time.

Cousins Jed and Brogan
We had a chunk parade Sunday afternoon.  I didn't know babies could be so different!  Jed is a solid block and Brogan has a cute round tummy!


Monday morning we packed up the car and headed for Quebec City. We hadn’t been in the car ten minutes when we approached the U.S./Canada border and both babies were wailing in the back seat. Yes, that’s right, four adults and two screaming babies crammed into one Impala with hours of driving ahead. Brogan has a deep cry that sounds like a “roar”. He’s an animal. Jed’s voice is higher and a little whiny, but that kid sure knows how to throw a fit. Needless to say, our interrogation at the border was brief, but we were admitted into Canada nonetheless. So we pulled over, did a little Chinese fire drill, rearranged, and got the boys calmed down. Well, mostly. Whew!

A few hours later it was time for lunch and Tyrel was hungry! I think he’s always hungry. So we pulled into an A&W for Tyrel’s first French-Canadian experience. As Bron and I expected, no one spoke very much English, but we were able to order our food smoothly anyhow. Tyrel’s bill, however, omitted his root beer. Being the extremely honest person that he is, Tyrel insisted that he had to pay for his soda and approached the counter to try to communicate the mix-up. A few moments of confusion later, the cashier finally said in broken English, “It is gift of the day.” We all had a good laugh about that.

DeAnn with her baby outside Sainte-Anne


Bron and Jed at Montmorency Falls


We made it to Quebec City in the early afternoon. Many of the trees there had already morphed into their brilliant Fall colors of red, orange, yellow, and purple. It was beautiful! Our first stop was at the Sainte-Anne Cathedral and then Montmorency Falls. Bron and Tyrel purposely got soaked. Then it was on to Old Town and the Fortified City, the Citadel, and my favorite flower garden on the Plains of Abraham. I love Quebec City. It has a uniquely relaxed European architecture and feel. A visit to Quebec City is an experience.

Just outside the fortified city

 We didn't have room for strollers in the car, so we packed the babies around like this.  They were a novelty!  And Jed was the happiest baby.  I think he liked all the attention he was getting from his daddy.  Precious.
Outside the entrance to the Citadel.  The soldiers were off duty so I had to fill in.

Brogan giving his mom a sweet smile

As evening approached, it was time to eat again. We chose an overpriced Italian restaurant with a hushed ambiance in the heart of Old Town. Somebody must have been doing something right that day because both babies were calm, quiet, and happy the entire time! It was a delicious meal! DeAnn and I chose the “apple crispy” (as the waitress described it) for dessert while the men ordered the chocolate cake. Should’ve ordered the cake; it was more like a creamy smooth chocolate mousse. Decadent. It was a great evening out on the town.

As Bron and I walked back to the car hand in hand, we both agreed that we will look back on these trips and this time in our lives and think, “That was a lot of fun. Those were some really good days.” We really are beginning our life’s adventure together and having the time of our lives right now.

Old Town Quebec City

We spent the night at a motel. At breakfast the next morning, a couple commented on how much Jed looks like his daddy. Perfect strangers aren’t biased. It’s official: Jed is a mini Bron. We packed ourselves back into the car and drove south to Montreal. We ate lunch at the underground mall and then headed out to see the sights. Mark Twain once said, "this is the first time I was ever in a city where you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window". Indeed, there seems to be a Catholic church on almost every corner. That’s what I love about Montreal; churches mingle with high rise buildings. It’s an awesome sight. After a long day of cathedral gawking, browsing through Old Town, and walking crowded city blocks, we were all exhausted and ready to head home …but not before both babies screamed like banshees at the border again. DeAnn and I just laughed. It was pretty comical.

A few peaks at churches in Montreal

Proof that Jed was at Notre Dame.  Those fingers are really yummy!

The cobblestone streets and Autumn leaves in Montreal

This is for my brother, Joe.  If I had $30 extra dollars, I'd buy this for him.  It is sooo you, Joe! haha

Wednesday was our last day together. We crammed ourselves into the car one last time and drove to Vermont. We made a pit stop at the University of Vermont where Bron is going to school and—of course—took a tour of the Ben and Jerry’s Creamery and ate huge servings of mouth-watering ice cream. We dropped our three guests off at the airport late in the afternoon. It was sad to see them go. It felt so good to have family around! I liked having some female companionship, and even though Bron thinks Tyrel is obnoxious, he loves him. They’re brothers and they have a special bond. Thanks for coming to visit! We had a fabulous break from the hum-drum of our everyday lives. We miss family so much.