Saturday, May 31, 2008

StairMaster

Joseph has started to become one.
I really need to get back on one.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Houston, we have a problem!

This is what happened 2 seconds after we put Joseph in the portable crib at the hotel in Houston! We hung the blanket on the side so he wouldn't be able to see us, but he outsmarted us pretty quickly.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Deep in the heart of Texas

Here's part 2 of our trip to Houston. Just like the state of Texas, this post is B-I-G! We got to spend time with so much of our extended family, and there's a lot to share. I was a tiny bit worried that Joseph would be a bit too shy around so many people, but he must have realized he was in his element, and came right out of his shell.

He got to meet all the little cousins - Riley, Macy, Brooks, Harper, and Ashton, as well as hanging out with Leyton again, who just showered him with attention.
Harper and Brooks were kind enough to squeeze him in the middle of their wagon ride.


Macy and Riley got into a very brief spat over who got to pull Joseph on his own ride.


A recurring theme - squish as many kids as will fit into the smallest space possible, and a good time is sure to be had!


Of course there were the big cousins too, like Mindy, Heidi, and Hollie. Everyone needed a turn to get a hug from Baby Joe Joe.




That Chitty clan really knows how to entertain! I lost track of how many people were staying in the house at one time - it was over 15 at one point with all the kids, but there was still plenty of room. Gary and Glenn boiled "some" crawfish for us all (that would be OVER 80 pounds), and there was one tiny little ziplock bag full leftover at the end.




And who needs playgrounds and amusement parks when you have a backyard like Gary and Susie?
Trampoline:


Moon-bounce and volleyball court in the background:


Massive swing set:


And a pool!


(Maybe next time they'll have pony rides....)

All we can say is THANK YOU for everything - for housing us and feeding us and putting up with our stuff all over the place, for those of you who travelled from all over the place to see us, and for being the most wonderfully loving and supportive family we could have hoped for! It was pure joy to see all of you!

Love to all of you from all of us!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ash, Ash, Baby

We just got back yesterday from an AWESOME trip to Houston. We love to see our family, but this trip in particular was inspired by the most recent addition to our clan, baby Ashton. Strong work, Glenn and Suthern - another adorable nephew for us to love and spoil! Meeting him and seeing y'all was worth the 2 hour delay on the flight out!


Spending time with Leyton was also a plus. He's just so much FUN to play with! Watching him interact with "Baby Joe Joe" was priceless! And by the way, Leyton is wearing Joseph's bathing suit in the following picture. Do the math: Joseph is 10 months, Leyton is 2 1/2.....


Ashton and Suthern:


Joe Joe and Poppy:
Mimi and Poppy drove all the way from Houma to see all of us together!


Joseph and Gran:
(the guilt is really settling in now that we're home - Gran had ALL SEVEN of her GREAT-grandchildren in one place at one time, and we never managed to get a picture of her with all of them together. but hey, you try to get 7 babies ranging in age from 6 weeks to 3 years in the same place at the same time in a good mood for a photo op, and tell me how it goes.)


A great picture of 4 generations of our family:


And finally, a glimpse into our future???? Brent looks HOT with a double stroller! No promises. We'll see how it goes. For now we're happy pushing Joseph along with baby Ashton!


Next up: the rest of our Houston trip with the Chitty clan (also known as the best hosts EVER!).
Apologies to Suthern, Ashton, and anyone else who now has the song "Ice, Ice, Baby" stuck in their heads. Or am I the only person who ever liked that song?

Joseph at 10 months

Over the past month, Joseph has perfected the art of getting to standing, no matter what position he started from, and now he's working on cruising a little bit. Any bets on when he'll be walking? Soon!!


Shyness is getting to be a thing of the past, and he'll now smile, wave, clap, and laugh for almost everyone, especially if you play peek-a-boo or fake a sneeze. He loves to bounce and bop his head to music, and play patty-cake too.


A bunch of teeth have worked their way through, and #6 isn't too far behind. Luckily they haven't disturbed his sleep too much. Nothing much disrupts his appetite, especially when it comes to self feeding all kinds of new stuff - cheese, ham, turkey, green beans, avocado, banana, apple, peas, and on and on.


No new stats to share, but Joseph is generally wearing 18 month clothes, even some 18-24's if they run a little small. The 2 things we always hear from strangers on the street are "What a beautiful baby" (especially the eyes!), and "Wow, that's one big boy!"

Sunday, May 11, 2008

So now what?!?!

The other day I heard Joseph over the monitor after he woke up from his nap. So I went in to get him, and this is what I found:




The mattress is already in the lowest position! Nine months olds are not supposed to outgrow their cribs!!!
So we removed the bumpers and aquarium and everything else he could launch himself out on, and we're getting a "crib tent" from a friend to trap him in. What else can we do???

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hi!

New trick!

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Brent and I say "Hi" too!

Final, Finally

Guess what happened yesterday?
We became parents!!!!

Are you thinking "weren't they already parents for the past 9 months?"
Or are you thinking "again?"

Well, actually it's neither. Although we sure felt like parents and acted like parents for all of Joseph's life, we weren't legally his Daddy and Papa until the adoption process was finalized in court - and that happened yesterday. Every last "i" has been dotted and hoop has been jumped through, and we got to have a very sweet ceremony (which I cried through) where the Judge decreed it said and done with.



Judge Davis even gave Joseph a book and wrote him a note to remember this event by.

I'm not a person who normally lives by the stars, but yesterday morning my horoscope said "Preparing for an event will take longer than the event itself - much, much longer." Truer words were never spoken!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

JT's New Playground

It feels like we're always working on some project around here - it just comes with buying a house built in the 30's. But we're done with kitchens and bathrooms and painting for now (finally!), and this last project was a fun one - tearing up the backyard to make a usable space for our little guy to play.

Originally there was a rickety old screened porch off the back of the house, and a significantly sloping "lawn," which was really patches of grass that could find their way around the massive tree roots and ivy.




Admittedly, we started the project before we knew Joseph was coming. We just couldn't stand that porch anymore, so last Spring we had it torn down, and replaced with a deck and pergola.


This Spring, with all signs pointing toward Joseph starting to walk soon enough, we knew we had to keep this project moving, so we called in the pros. They raised the yard with timbers and hauled in loads of dirt,


busted up all the ugly concrete paths,


and started to build some retaining walls to level the ground out best they could.


Then they mulched and mulched, laid tons of sod, and planted a few of our favorite trees - cherry blossom, dogwood, and Japanese maple.




And there you have it! Brent still has lofty goals of planting flowers, shrubs, and more trees, but where to find the time?!?!
It was an amazing transformation that only took about 2 weeks, and now JT has a great place to play all summer long!