We thought the "S" in "self" was just brunt out, but that it was a funny coincidence for the season. However, we also noticed that once Christmas was over, the sign was fixed! Hmmm, maybe it wasn't a mistake...
Sure enough, as we made our way back home from Thanksgiving, we were on the look out, and saw that the "Tacoma Elf Storage" was back! We were so excited, we actually cheered! I hope they keep it up every year so John can learn to appreciate it!
We had quite an eventful Thanksgiving week! We decided to leave pretty early on Wednesday to head for Bellingham. There was still snow on the ground from Monday, but it seemed pretty safe. We didn't want to drive in the evening for fear of the road getting icy. We were blessed to have left early because once we got to Lynnwood Andrew noticed that our car was in the red zone on our temperature gauge. We found a mechanic that could look at our car, but not until Friday. So we toyed with the idea of leaving our car and renting a car for a couple of days. As it turned out, once we got to the mechanics, Andrew asked if they were sure they couldn't squeeze us in that day. The man said he would see what he could do. We waited for about an hour, not sure if they were even working on it. Sure enough, they were able to fix it and we were on our merry way again...
Until we drove another 50 miles or so. Andrew noticed that the car was getting hot again. We made it safely to Bellingham and decided to take the car in again on Friday.
Thanksgiving day was SO wonderful! We woke up to a flurry of snow falling from the sky with about 2 inches of fresh snow on the ground. I love the feeling of being stuck at home when I have no where to go!
I provided the mashed potatoes, as I have for 3 years in a row, and they were very yummy! (I'm a sucker for good mashed potatoes). Mom St.Hilaire cooked a feast! Jenna brought the green beans. It was a very delightful dinner, with exceptional company!
There was a crazy rain and wind storm on Thursday night. When we woke up, there was hardly a trace of snow on the ground! On Friday we took the car in again. They told us it wasn't going to be finished until Monday. We were supposed to leave on Saturday morning because I had a baby shower to go to back home. I was very sad to have to miss the shower, but it was nice to have a couple of extra days with Andrew's family! I was also able to catch up with a few friends.
Dinner on Friday night (second round of Thanksgiving dinner!)
Grandma let John play in her kitchen drawers! =)
While we were there we watched the movie Karol: A Man Who Became Pope. It was so inspirational and I highly recommend it. I was worried that the actor playing Karol would not be good enough to play the role, but I was quite impressed by him. Watching this movie made me think about what really matters in life: our relationship with God! It was appropriate to watch for Thanksgiving, because it reminded me of how thankful I am to be part of such a wonderful Church!
We picked up the car on Monday and headed home... only to see that the engine was still getting hot. =( We're not sure what to do now.
We woke up this morning to a thin blanket of snow on the ground! John didn't care too much, but he liked looking out the window at it. Before his nap, I took him out to play in the snow for a bit. He wasn't sure what to make of it and he didn't seem to want to touch it either. It's still snowing out there, but we hope it melts away by Wednesday so we can go enjoy our Thanksgiving in Bellingham with Mom and Dad St.Hilaire.
John turned 18 months old on Monday. That's right - he is a year-and-a-half-old! Whew, seems like yesterday I was in awe about him turning nine months old - and being outside in the world as long as he was growing inside me. Now he is TWICE that old!
I am so proud to be John's Mamma. He has his moments, but overall he is such a good kid! Here is a snapshot of John at 18 months:
He says cracker - "ka-ka" (same noise for bird!)
I can ask him if he went poop and he will shake his head "no" or "yes" - and he is usually right. Potty training - here we come! ;)
He gives kisses and they are so precious. Sometimes I will be playing with him and he will randomly lean in for a kiss. I love it when he does that!
He is a great sleeper and he likes to sleep with his Jesus doll that Grandma and Grandpa St.Hilaire gave him for Christmas last year. When we put him in his crib he will often grab Jesus under his arm and snuggle.
When I ask him to say "please" he smiles and nods his head, but never says it.
He is really getting attached to his Da-da. During the day he will often call out for him and when he gets up in the morning he says "da-da?"
Every Saturday we have homemade pizza and eat popcorn with a movie. Because of these special things, John loves Saturday nights! He enjoys helping me make the pizza. He pushes a chair across the floor and climbs up all by himself. He tries to "help" me mix the dough, but he isn't so helpful with that part. However, he is really helpful when it comes to assembling the pizza - he is sure good at dumping the cheese on!
It has been a long time since I've done quick takes... but I think it will be a nice way to catch up with the current events around here.
1. Visitors: A few weeks ago, we enjoyed hosting our sister, Christina, her mother, Liz, and Mom and Dad St.Hilaire. This was my first time meeting Liz and I have not seen Christina since our wedding. Their visit came as a surprise, but we were quite delighted! I had a lot of fun cooking and baking for them. One morning I made scones and decided to dig out my tea set from our stored boxes in the basement. I have never actually used the tea set, and this was the perfect occasion! I've always thought it would be nice to have a sister, and I am so glad I have gained five through our marriage! =) They brought a movie for us to watch called Sophie Scholl. It was very inspiring and I highly recommend it! Here are some pictures from their visit:
We were able to video chat with Christina's family! Family photo!
Andrew's brother, Terry, with our niece and nephews
2. Jury duty: This week was very busy for me! I was called in for jury duty on Monday for the Federal Court in Tacoma and was selected to be on the jury for a criminal case. I was hoping not to be picked and told the judge that it would be an inconvenience - but so did everyone else who was there. I had a gut feeling that I was going to be picked - especially when I realized that I was the only one representing my demographic (young-stay-at-home-mom). It was a very awesome and daunting responsibility to serve on the jury. We deliberated about all the evidence for around eight hours - over the course of two days. During our deliberation I realized that we were the most powerful people in that courtroom. The lawyers present the case, the judge oversees the trial and gives the sentence - but the jury alone has the power to decide if a person is guilty or not guilty. We found the defendant guilty on 3 of the 5 charges; however, just as the famous juror in the movie 12 Angry Men, I was able to convince 10 of my fellow jurors that we could not prove guilt for one of the charges. If I had not spoken up, he would have been charged with 4 of the 5! The whole process was very fascinating and I'm glad I had the experience.
3. Rash Remedy: John has had pretty bad diaper rashes recently. But we finally found the remedy! I told my friend about the rash and explained that it was really wearing down his skin and the diaper cream didn't seem to do anything. In fact, the cream hardly stuck to the area because the skin was so raw (ouch!). She suggested that I use Athlete's foot cream because it is an anti-fungal cream and it sounded like he was having a bacteria problem. She told me to look for a cream that had the active ingredient called "clotrimazole". I found some and we tried it - sure enough, within a few days his skin was healed! Who knew athlete's foot cream would cure diaper rash too!!
4. Mothers' Group: Last year I was helping with our Mothers' Group at Star. I was in charge of leading the prayer part of our meetings. In mid-September, I found out that the leader is moving in December and she asked me to take over her role as well. It has been quite a challenge and I won't go into all the details, but I know it will work out. My goal is to divide up all the planning and teaching so that I don't get overwhelmed.
5. Update on Andrew: He has been working a lot this year (6 days a week)! Recently, for Star of the Sea, he designed a billboard to promote the Catholics Come Home campaign which will be during Advent this year. The billboard can be seen on a very busy road here in Bremerton. On the billboard there is a website listed that Andrew also designed: bremertoncatholic.com . I am always so amazed by his talent! He has also been working hard for Swingsetmall.com! John and I are proud of his daddy, but we are looking forward to having him home on Saturdays again!
6. Christmas: I know it is a little early - but I am very excited for Christmas! I think having a little one brings back all the fun of a childhood Christmas.
7.Getting his groove on! Little Johnny love to dance! He has a certain move that he does a lot and it is SO cute! I've been trying to capture this move, but whenever I pull out the camera he usually stops doing it. Here is the best video so far. We like to listen to kids music on the TV and here he is dancing to the Wiggles theme song. Enjoy!
Here in this household, we are pretty excited for All Saints Day. And by "we" I mean me!! John is a little too young to know what to be excited about... but I know when the day comes, he will have lots of fun! We are planning on going to a party at our church and participating in "trunk-or-treating" in the church parking lot. Last year he dressed up as Fr. Lappe. This year, I decided to make him a Franciscan-styled garment and he will go as St. Anthony. Here are pictures of the outfit in the works. It is basically finished, but the arms are waaaay too tight! So I will have to do some adjusting with leftover scraps of fabric. The problem is I just based the pattern off of John's clothes and forgot to add the seem allowance for the sleeves - oops! I also want to get him a little baby doll, because St. Anthony is often pictured holding Baby Jesus.
On the weekend of September 24th and 25th, we went up to Bellingham for the first time since last Christmas! It's been that long because Andrew has been working six days a week this year. So Andrew's parents have been gracious enough to come visit us here each month. But it has been hard for us not to go up there - we have really missed it! The last time we were there, John wasn't even crawling! Let me tell you, he was all over their house this time! Dad St.Hilaire dusted off their ol' rocking horse that he built for Andrew's older siblings in the early 70s. John LOVED it! I'd love to see a picture of Andrew on that horse, to compare with the pictures we got of John.
The reason for our visit was our sister, Marie, was in town to visit with family and run in the Bellingham Bay Marathon!! She has only been training for the last three months, though she has been running short distances for a few years. And by "short distances" I sure don't mean my definition - which would mean about ten feet! Our other sister, Jenny, came up from California to be here for the grand event. We hadn't seen our sisters since our wedding. So this was their first time meeting little Johnny! We were really excited for him to meet his Aunts.
Here are some pictures in a very random order:
I learned how to make Paella!
On a family walk!
Just after the marathon. We are SO proud!
Family dinner! So nice seeing everyone!
Mom and Dad had a trophy made for Marie. It turned out great! =)
A few days ago, John turned 16 months old! Since his birthday in May, time has really flown! People often ask me how old he is and I really have to think about it. I'm looking forward to when I can stop counting the months and just go by years - that will be easier on my brain!
I really enjoy my days with John and I love watching his personality bloom. He has a minor shoe obsession and will bring me my shoes periodically during the day and insist that I put them on. I always put on the shoe he gives me and sometimes I find myself walking around the house with just one shoe on. He is also learning about how he can control situations and people. For example, he will often motion for me to come with him and if I don't, he will come over and physically turn me and push me in the direction he wants me to go. It is pretty cute at this point...
I try to take him out often to do fun things. We go to the library and parks, and play with friends. I know he enjoys getting out of the house because yesterday he motioned for me to come with him and led me to my purse. I gave it to him thinking he wanted it, but then he gave it back to me and handed me my flip flops. Then he walked to our front door and tried to open it! Fortunately, he hasn't successfully opened a door yet, but I'm glad he knows what I need to leave the house. Maybe he will start reminding me when I forget something!
Here are some of the latest goofy pictures of little Johnny:
Wearing Clare Herring's glasses and riding her bike!
On the first weekend of September, John spent the weekend with my parents and we took a road trip to the Gorge Amphitheater to see the Dave Matthews Band with our friends - Ed & Corina, and John & Lauren. We took two cars, a girl car and a boy car. It was really fun to have some girl time!
I had never been to the Gorge, and it was very beautiful. We were a little disappointed by how windy and cold it was. The concert was lively and entertaining, and I have a greater appreciation for the variety of instruments they use. Too bad they didn't let us take cameras into the the amphitheater!!
After the concert was over, we piled in the cars and drove to Corina's mom's house in Wenachee, which was an hour away. We set up our tents and camped in her yard. When we woke up in the morning everything was quiet, so we weren't sure if the others were awake. As it turned out, everyone else had been awake for over an hour and they had already eaten breakfast! They figured we were soaking up our sleep since we don't normally get to sleep in!
It was a nice break from our day-to-day lives, but I sure was excited and happy to see John when we got home!
Here are some of the new words John has been saying:
Belly button = "be-bu"
Shoes = "shoo-sh"
Hot = "aht-t" - whenever I do anything with the oven, stove top, or microwave he comes over and, at a safe distance, he will wave both his hands and repeat this word over and over. He definitely gets the concept.
Broom = "sep" (I think he is saying "sweep")
He has become very vocal lately, and although I don't understand most of what he says, I know he is understanding a lot of what I say to him. When asked, he will point to these body parts: eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, head, hand, finger, toes, and bellybutton. When he points to his bellybutton, he insists on seeing mine too... silly guy! He also understands a lot of the little directions I say: "Give it to Mama", "Come here, John", "Let's go change your diaper"... and so on. It sure is fun watching him learn new things every day!
Last week we went blueberry and raspberry picking with some friends. John caught on quick and enjoyed eating the blueberries. He didn't quite get the concept of putting them in our bucket and saving them for later...
Lauren, Elena, Emily, James, Laura, and Charlie -- we had a blast!!
We drove together - can't believe the three kiddos fit in the back!