Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's finished!!!!

Eliot submitted his final dissertation to the university today. We've made it... 4 years of grueling work and saving our pennies, and it's FINISHED!! Hallelujah! I am sure James is proud of his daddy tonight. I sure am.

Congrats, Dr. Grasso. :-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

James around the house

We've been taking it easy the last few days, James and I... so there's been a lot of down time to play on the floor and learn new things!

James now will put an object (say, a ball) in a bucket or bowl. He knows words for things... for example, if he hears the word "Car," he looks out the window to find the car. Same thing with the word Bird, he tries to see the birds outside. Just this week he also figure out that if I say "come here!" and put out my arms, if he comes I'll pick him up. Which means I don't have to go get him all the time, rather he'll come to me! It's great!!

James also crawls lightening fast these days (on hands and knees and everything!), so I have to make sure he doesn't get into things, which has led to the living room being re-arranged (yet again). Well, hey, at least I got the carpets cleaned while we did it, right? But there have been a few mishaps as he discovers things he shouldn't have, and in the end we've been able to laugh since none of them were dangerous for him, just things we'd rather he not destroy (like the copy of Goodnight Moon from my childhood).

Oh, and James pulls up on everything, including the piano bench to reach the piano keys. SO cute!

A few pics from this week:

I said good-bye to my Kia which we sold this week. It was a bittersweet goodbye... that car has seen me through two graduations, 6 trips across the country, my wedding/honeymoon, and James's first trip home from the hospital. I'll never forget my sweet little Kia.

James loves watching Baby Signing Time (I call it Mommy's Break Time)

I also made some labels from my garden this week. A few of the spoons are from an antique store we visited this week with James.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Strings Anonymous

Hi, my name is James and I am addicted to strings. I like to play with them all day long, whether they are on mommy's sweatshirt, daddy's lounge pants, the chair pads, the high chair, the changing table, or the car seat. If you take my strings away, I WILL cry, just to warn you!

I love my strings.

My parents caught me playing with a string on video. You can see just how much I love them here:

I also love cats.

And my parents.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

James is 11 months old!!

Jame is 11 months old today... he is getting SOOOO big! He's crawling on all fours, babbling "dadadadada" and "ha-da," pulling himself up to stand (and reaching for piano keys!), doing "baby yoga" by propping himself up on his arms, head, and feet, waving (sometimes), giving high fives, and getting into everything! We love our little guy. <3

We gave him an early 1st birthday present of a Mickey Mouse doll, which he LOVED!

Making a mess eating cheese

"Helping" mom fold the laundry!

A video of James and I playing with the laundry...

And one of James finding the whistle that was on the coffee table (video split into two clips)...

Happy 11 months James!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TV Guilt

I don't really let James watch much TV... the only thing he watches really is a Baby Signing Time dvd that he loves that is about 22 minutes long. It is my rescue for a point in the day when I need a break... which is either in the morning when I'm tired or in the evening when I need to make dinner. And I feel enormously guilty about letting him watch any TV at all since I've read so much about how they shouldn't be watching any under the age of 2. So, while he watches, I talk to him about it, do the signs with him, and make sure I'm interacting with him.

But all the time I wonder if it is more like this...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What if Your blessings come through raindrops...

This song has spoken so deeply to me lately as we are facing one of the biggest trials we've ever had to face (no job, no health insurance past July...).

I've struggled again and again asking the Lord why He's let us get to this point, why we are still waiting for an answer and why there is so much uncertainty in our future. He's spoken to me through this song... no matter how stressed or scared I get, He is there, He hears me. And you know what? He's making us stronger every day through this trial. We are so used to associating His blessings with good things (a sunny day, a celebration) that we forget that sometimes His blessings come through something a bit different...

Romans 5:3-5 says "...we rejoice in suffering. We know that suffering produces patience, patience produces character, character produces hope. Hope will never deceive us; for, the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

I have to remember that time of so much uncertainty is growing us in ways we can't even imagine. The Lord has already transformed our marriage into something so strong by holding us together in a time of financial strain. I can see how this will be a blessing in disguise, or at least I can see the silver lining. I know He has great plans for our family, and I will hold onto that true hope for dear life every day.


James has been pointing at things a lot lately, and I finally caught him in action!

And here are a few favorite pics from this past week... there are more in the Eleventh Month album.

We went for a walk to the local park and saw some geese and ducks... James LOVED it and couldn't stop squealing!

Playing with the door...

James is pulling up on everything these days...

Two grosbeaks at the feeder!

Helping mama in the yard!

Harvesting leeks from the winter garden!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


James officially crawled on his hands and knees today for the first time! He was in just a diaper and t-shirt coming back from our walk, and when I put him on the floor of the kitchen, he just took off! I think the traction of having nothing covering his knees or feet helped.

I don't have a video of this that I can post... I used the video camera to record it, and it's harder to get clips off that to post. Sorry! But next time he does it I promise I will post a video!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

James and Mommy, the first 10 months!

I thought I would post pics of James and I through the months for Mother's day... enjoy!

One day old

One month old on the Oregon Coast

Two months old at Mt Rainier


Three months at Safeco Field

Four months old at the pumpkin patch!

Five months old, first snow

Six months

Seven months

Eight months, St Paddy's day

Nine months, Oregon coast aquarium (checking our wingspan!)

Ten months, Easter Sunday

Mothers's Day! (about 10.5 months old)

Mothers day/pulling up!

First of all, I wanted to say that James pulled up for the first time a few days ago! I forgot to blog about it, but I did capture it with some pics:

Today is my very first mothers day, and I had a great day! It started out cuddling with my son in the morning while Eliot and James gifted me with a U Oregon Moms shirt and a card. :-) Since we were at Nathan and Lindy's house this weekend (helping Nathan prepare the beds for his garden), we decided to forgo any special breakfast and instead packed up the Spirit of Adventure and headed over to Aunt Diane's house where we enjoyed a lovely lunch with her, my mom, and my grandparents (Oh, and James too!).

It was truly wonderful to see my whole family in one weekend... even my dad, who was helping Nathan with the garden too and brought me a geranium for Mother's day! Oh, and Nathan cleaned the headlights on our car so they don't look so dirty anymore... that was an unexpected gift as well! I also got a cute set of blue dahlia earrings and a yellow dahlia hair pin from Lindy (thanks Lindy!). All in all, not a bad Mother's day! It wasn't exactly relaxing (with the 3 hrs of driving), but it was fun. Here are some pics from today:

Standing up with Grandma

Playing in his room while I unpacked his things (he was waving to me!)

Opening and closing the door to find Daddy!

James and Mommy on Mother's Day

And some other pics of him playing from this past week that I didn't find time to post...

And, finally, a video of James discovering the stuffed animals in his room!