Friday, October 31, 2008

Professional Pumpkin Carver

I nominate Jeff to be a professional pumpkin carver. We decorated pumpkins again with some friends in Jeff's dental school class and his turned out great! It was actually my pumpkin to carve and so I cleaned it out and started to carve away, only to stab my thumb with the first cut. I was finished for the night and so Jeff took over and did a fabulous job! Here is a picture of us right before the stabbing.Maddox had a blast. Jae and Alyssa hosted the event and they have a HUGE dog named Peyton, who Maddox loved. Maddox and Peyton

It's crooked, but you can see that Jeff did a goblin pumpkin. Not the best picture, but it turned out great!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza

Last week we had our "traditional" pumpkin carving night with Amber and Noel/Evan and G-Reg. We ate some yummy chili and Amber ate almost all the cornbread...again (jokes) and then the guys carved pumpkins while Amber and I just hung out. Note: Amber is not nursing in the background of this photo. She is just sticking the pacifier in his mouth.Last year we had to make a face like our pumpkin. This year Jeff did Bowser. Yes, he is obsessed with MarioKart and anything Wii. He did a really good job, especially for carving from memory. Noel's pumpkin also has some unique features. Note the unibrow and gigantic ear holes!
The masterpieces side-by-side.

And here is a picture of Greg, or G-reg. I say G-reg because Amber teaches first grade and in her class there is a little boy whose name is spelled T-R-O-Y, like Troy, but is pronounced T-Roy. She said he is African American and the sweetest boy ever. Anyway, isn't Greg a chunk? Isn't he a chunk? I should preface Greg's birth weight by noting that his brave mother is of a smaller build. He was 10 1/2 pounds when he was born!

Monday, October 20, 2008

October Randoms

At the end of each month, I like to write a few things about Maddox that he has learned this month and some of his favorites. One recent favorite is opening and closing doors. He loves to play with the kitchen cabinet doors and will sit and open and close them, not showing any interest at all as to what may be inside the cabinets. He has yet to discover those treasures. His favorite door to open and close is the door in his room, when he is trying to escape from nap time. He will do this for quite some time...until he usually shuts the door on smashes his finger in the door. Then he will let out a short whimper and look around for Jeff or me. Once he sees us and sees that we have acknowledged his "owie" he will go right back to playing. Silly boy! Cool spider jacket from Aunt Valissa! We have gotten so many compliments on it!
Another favorite is Daddy's markers, or any marker or pen. He crawls around the house with one in each hand. He throws one, then crawls after it. Then he throws the other and crawls after it.
Apparently Jeff used to sleep just like this growing up. We have found him in this position several times. Seeing a picture of his crib reminds me of his most recent addition to his diet: wood. I noticed the other day that there are quite a few chips taken out of the end rails of his crib. I figured it was just because we had moved twice in one week, but then realized there were chips taken out of every railing and they all looked the same. Two very close together, one on top of the other. Click. Maddox has been eating the crib! Good thing there are teething bars on the two side rails, but the two end rails are really in for it! We have a beaver on our hands!
As for any other quirks, Maddox still won't feed himself. He has his pincer grasp down great, but hasn't connected that he can used that to feed himself. So I sit there for nearly 30-45 minutes three times a day and spoon feed him. He is also done with baby food. He usually only wants "real" food, which means whatever Jeff and I are having or little pieces of food that he can chew or suck to death. He had his first french fry over the weekend and just ended up sucking the ketchup off each time and leaving the fry hanging out of his mouth. Also, whenever I give him something big to grasp in his fist and eat, like a slice of a peach, instead of eating it, he will squeeze it as hard as he can and smash it. He does this with everything-bananas, green beans, pears, peaches. He is still nursing, but really picking up on the whole sippy cup business. Only he doesn't like anything in it except water, not even juice!
We love our little boy and are loving this stage of his life. He says, "Dadadadada" and "Mamamamama." We don't know if he does on purpose, but we love it! He also thinks he is so cool now that he can stand by himself. He will pull himself up and then let go and just stand there balancing and giggling really loud to make sure you can hear him and see him. He LOVES to do this and is getting very good. Still not taking any steps, but he is making headway!
His favorite book is "Where is Baby's Bellybutton?" He really just likes the flaps. We read it several times a day and he opens and closes the flaps on cue all by himself. He is such a smart little boy and it is fun to see him make connections.

Maddox's greatest fear at this time in his life is the vacuum cleaner. If he sees it, he leaves the room or crawls to Jeff or me. If it turns on, he crawls as fast as he can to the opposite end of the house and cries. If you try to get him to touch it, he clings to you. The first time I discovered he was afraid of the vacuum, I was vacuuming in our bedroom and I came out and he had crawled all the way down the hall and was huddled up in the corner by the entryway door. So now I have to vacuum holding Maddox...I have to admit I vacuum less now. Oh, and yesterday I discovered he also cowers of the broom and mop!?!? Funny.

And that's all folks! Ten and a half months old! One more just for grins...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The House

This is our house. I would like to say "was" our house, but unfortunately even though we no longer reside there, we are still paying rent there. We have had a TON of people interested in the house, but no one that suits our landlord. They are pretty picky, which I can't blame them after this whole experience with us. We are not bad tenants and they are not bad landlords. In fact, we are really good tenants and they are really good landlords, but it just wasn't meant to be. Never have I been so thankful for my little apartment with noisy upstairs Section 8 neighbors and their barking dogs, which I can sleep right through now! I would take noisy neighbors over smoke any day. And Jeff is happy in our little apartment too, as well as Maddox, who was sick at the house and cried a lot while we were there.

But isn't it cute? It would have been perfect if not for the smoke.

The backyard with a storage shed and swingset.
The kitchen. The countertops are very red, but a nice red. And notice our wonderful dishwasher (that reeks of smoke whenever you open it) that spewed nasty dirty water all over the countertops and floors the first time I used it. Apparently the disposal was not hooked up correctly to the dishwasher or something like that.
The great room with the nasty dirty fan that had seven years of dust on it and was never cleaned before we moved in. I took care of that. It was gross. And a picture of the infamous laminate that apparently smells just like cigarette smoke. Yes, the laminate does have an odor, but that odor is nothing like smoke. Just stick your nose right up to that fireplace or in a kitchen cabinet and take a deep breath. Yuck!
One of the bathrooms. In this bathroom the sink leaked. In the master bath the shower and toilet leaked, so we showered and relieved ourselves in here. Oh yeah, and the toilet paper holder was broken. It is such a small thing, but all these small things really add up, especially when you are paying good money for it!
This was the study with the built in bookshelf, which I used to store all my food storage for the few days we were there. And also a picture of the closet door, which fell off along with the laundry room doors and linen closet door. This is our lovely master bedroom closet. Aren't the mirrors beautiful! They are actually very nice mirrors, only you can't really get into your closet or see your clothes because they are too wide for the closet opening. Very annoying. And sitting right next to it are the towel racks we requested because the master bath had none. We were suppoed to install them ourselves. Not anymore. Maddox crawling around on the laminate. One of the things that really annoyed me about this place was that the couches slid around on the floor. Another was the fact that we had ants galore. They were just the baby sugar ants, but they were everywhere. I finally lost it when I went to sit on the couch and it was covered in ants.

One day Roz and Matthew came to visit us. Matthew was pounding on the screen door, so Maddox followed suit. I think it is so cute that Maddox copies everything that Matthew does. Matthew drinks out of a sippy cute, so Maddox does. Matthew is the only reason that Maddox will give sippy cups a try now. Aren't they so cute playing together!?And that's pretty much all folks! That week we lived there seems like it never happened. I have never experienced the concept of blocking memories out, but I really think I have blocked a lot of our stay out of my memory. I love our apartment!

Friday, October 10, 2008

In a Bind

What a mess we are in right now...or I should say we are hopefully getting out of. We are praying it doesn't last long as we are poor college students! We moved into a house last week and were led to believe the cigarette smoke smell we smelled was the maintenance man. It wasn't. So now we are having to break our lease, which means we are forking out the big bucks, rather than stay in a smokey house. No fun. Our landlord refused to admit it smelled like smoke, even though every single person who came over said it smelled like smoke. I even called a professional who gets rid of the foul odors in homes and he smelled it and told me it would cost thousands of dollars to fix this house of the cigarette smell. Our landlord told us it was the new laminate flooring that was put in. The catch is this: we smelled the smell before the flooring was even put in and we told it was the maintanence man, who was there that day. Yes, we are gullible and naive. We have learned several lessons from this. Big ones and a hard ones and we are definitely humbled.

PLEASE pray that we will be able to rent out this house before the end of the month! We are currently paying double rent, as we moved back into our apartment, which I am ever so grateful for. AND, if you know anyone who is interested in a house, which is actually extremely cute and perfect and doesn't mind cigarette smoke smells, send them out our way! Or better yet send your prayers up to Heavenly Father to help us find a tenant soon!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Naptime Take 2

Sometimes Maddox won't settle down for a nap, so I put him in his crib and let him play with a stuffed animal and I leave for a bit. Lately he has started throwing fits whenever I try to put him down for a nap. He will arch his back and flail his arms and kick his legs and "cry." The end is the best, so listen for the change in his "cry."

I eventually walked into his room to check on him after the fake crying stopped and laughing started. This is what I found! What a cutie! How can you resist a smile like that!?!?

Did I Do That?

If you can't tell, this is a STANDING floor lamp that is now LAYING on the floor...for the third time today. It is his new favorite toy. Off to find to something bigger and better to push over...until I pick the lamp back up. Doesn't that face just say, "It wasn't me"?

Naptime for Maddox

Naptime for Maddox consists of me taking him into his room and nursing him in his chair in the dark and then him sleeping. But it doesn't always go that smoothly...Lately Maddox has figured out how to escape. He will stop nursing and lunge off the recliner onto the floor, as follows. Roll over...
Make a break for it... Open the door...
And escape!
He thinks he is pretty funny and I can't help but laugh too!

Laughing Baby

Maddox loves it when Jeff plays with him. I am definitely not this funny!