May 31, 2009

Practicing Sitting Up and other Random Adorableness (Yes...that's a word...kind of)

Alright I get it. Nobody wants my cat. If you change your mind, let me know. Until I shall oblige you with some adorable Ella photos from the past month-ish.

Here she is practicing sitting up (5 1/2 months). She's still quite wobbly and leans forward an extreme amount but that's why we practice in the squishy chair!

Loves to grab her feet! (5 1/2 months)
Loves her jumper! (5 months) Looks like her daddy 9,000% in this picture!
Learning piano chords from Tara! (5 months)

May 29, 2009

Free Cat

I'm serious. I've resorted to putting my cat on my blog. I know free cats are a dime a dozen but hear me out!

Sadly we cannot take Miss Gabby with us to the new apartment. We really want her to go to a good home. So if you want her let me know...if you know someone that might...pass a link to this along. If she doesn't find a home we'll give her to a no-kill shelter...but she'd really like some new people!She's spayed and up to date on all shots as of Thursday so those won't be due again for a long time! She likes being patted and brushed, will sit with you and snuggle in bed too, is good with other cats, dogs and infants as well! And she's really funny and dazed when hopped up on cat nip! :)Awww...look how cute....

May 26, 2009

Ella's First Food!

I wanted to wait until I was finished with work to start Ella on food. But all the signs were showing that she was ready now (almost 6 months old, learning to sit up, nursing more often, has TWO teeth, showing extreme interest in everything we eat etc. etc.) so we took the plunge!

We're just doing organic brown rice cereal mixed with breast milk for the first week, but I've whipped up some homemade batches of baby food avocado, peas, sweet potato and banana to add slowly as we go. Now she actually eats most of the cereal whereas at first it was more of a taste, spit introduction. Here's a look at our first go at it...through her eyes:


What the heck is mama doing? I've never seen that box before. Why am I in this funny looking purple thing?Oooo, whats that? Gimme that. I want that. It looks like something new I can stick in my mouth. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, gimme!
Ummm, maybe I spoke too fast. I changed my mind. I'm not so sure about this...

Daddy, what is mama doin' to me?
Wait a minute here. You might be on to something. This isn't so bad...
Oh, actually, I think I might like this...
Yup, yup, keep in comin' mama, lets have some more over here.
WHAT!? I get to hold the spoon too!?
Well, why didn't you say so in the first place...I'm sold!

May 19, 2009

Tara Learns to Fly Fish

This experience happened on the Grand Lake Stream fishing getaway which I detailed below. But it definitely warranted it's OWN post! Gotta love this girl.

Tara and Sam have been hiking UP and DOWN the river much of the day....no fish. They finally find Jason and I. Tara's about ready to call it quits. Jason gives her a quick lesson and one of his special flies. She picks it up quickly.By about the 4th cast she hooks one! As she fights it we see her frowning. "Why are you frowning!? You've got a fish on," Sam exclaims. "I know," Tara wails, "BUT I FEEEEL BAD FOR IT!"Jason nets it. Tara continues to contort her face...deeply feeling the fishy's agony and even more scared now that she thinks Jason will hurt it taking the hook out.I explain that it won't hurt, that the hook is small, and tell her how to hold it and release it properly so the fish will be okay. All is well with the world. She lights up, cracks a classic Tara grin for the camera and says, "That was fun! I wanna do THAT again!"A high five is in order.

Grand Lake Stream

(I would like to preface this post with a small inside joke....Eat your heart out Jarred Lawson!)

We just got back from a fly-fishing trip at Grand Lake Stream with a group of people from church. SOOO fun! Following is a bit of a photo montage of the trip. (Stay tuned for the following post, "Tara Learns to Fish...as that experience warranted it's very own post! :)

We arrived Sunday night and just ate dinner with everyone...the food was ample and amazing! Thanks again you wonderful women! We stayed with Charlie&Cathy, Sam&Tara and my mom. We entertained ourselves around our cabin by dressing Ella up in silliness (poor child), listening to Charlie's mad harmonica skills, and playing cards.
Monday morning Jason woke up at 4:30am and went fishing with Charlie and Sam. Surprise, surprise he was the only one that caught fish! He caught 6, all keepers, released them all.Monday afternoon he took me fishing (yeah that's right...girls fish too!). I have a lot of head knowledge from living with the master, but actual experience...not so much. Don't get out too often. But when I go with J he tells me what to do and gives me his special hand tied flies and makes me look good...see....I caught 3, he caught one and Tara caught one. All keepers, released them all.Monday night Jason went fishing with Scott and Pete, J only caught a 10" brookie, Pete caught the one pictured below and according to Jason, "Scott put on a clinic down theyah!" But apparently he didn't get any pictures of those.And Tuesday morning Jason and Charlie woke up at 4:30am and had a grand old time. Charlie caught 4 and Jason caught 3. All keepers. Charlie took one home and they released the rest.

And here's a picture of the new "fishing chest pack" that Jason says he much prefers over his other one :)

May 16, 2009

Love a Good Bargain!

Sweet exersaucer: $20, Nice screw into the wall baby gate: $5, Snuggli carrier: $3, Fun crinkly rubber book: 25 cents, two bags FULL of clothes: Cheap, I can't remember the total.

Waiting in a line that wrapped around my former high school parking lot, fighting through crowds of many crazed moms, grandmothers and hormonal pregnant women, getting run into by countless strollers, and having my mom end up buying most of the stuff even in the face of my protests...PRICELESS!

May 13, 2009

Dropped the Ball on That One!

Hey Jason, here's the ball...I'm throwing it to you...ohp you dropped it...yeah you really dropped it...mmmmm yeah, that one might as well have fallen into the great abyss!

I write this not to disrespect my hubby (he gave me permission to share), but to show that he is, in fact, fallible. You see, I often write about the sweet things he does and how amazing he is. Heaven forbid you get the impression that life is all rainbows and butterflies. So here's a little flash of reality that's just too good not to share!

Mother's Day 2009...my first...I wake up, bustle around to get myself and the babe ready for church. Jason goes about his normal routine. Then he leaves...for an all day fishing trip. I go to church... by myself, still giving him the benefit of the doubt that he was just preoccupied with the trip and will totally do something later. I get home. Adore my child. Cook 7 casseroles to freeze. Wash, dry and fold three loads of laundry. Jason gets home. I wait. He unwinds. I wait. He asks what's for dinner. I'm waiting...... No "Happy mother's day". No flowers. Not even a card....nothin'! I finally bring the matter to his attention. Jason's reaction...priceless:

Silence...look of terror on face....begins hitting forehead saying, "Crap! Crap! Crap!"

Even his other macho man friend Kevin recognized the gravity of the situation when he told him and said, "Dude...you forgot mother's day? Her first mother's day? Not good man. Not good!"

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Now let me say this... Jason and I are not materialistic people. We don't really do presents except for birthdays and Christmas and even then it is only one per person. We don't value stuff. It doesn't mean a lot to us because the old adage is definitely true...Money Can't Buy Love! We value quality time spent with people, kind words, deep conversations etc. So I wasn't expecting anything extravagant. But I'm not gonna lie. I thought he'd make me breakfast or we'd sit over a candle lit dinner at home...or maybe he'd make me a card...or maybe he'd say "Happy Mother's day" !

To Jason's credit. He had remembered Mother's day was coming up a few weeks ago...so he says! He SAYS he bought me a card then and had planned to make me breakfast in bed but just totally spaced when the actual day rolled around.

Best/funniest part about the whole thing. After he realized what day it was he went to find the card he had bought me....tore the house apart...couldn't find it....realized he left it in the lap top case....of his school issued computer...which he turned in on Friday!

Don't feel sorry for me. We laugh about it now. And the poor guy feels so bad! I think I've gotten breakfast in bed every morning since then...an adorable handwritten card...home-baked cookies and flowers! I keep telling him to stop. He even offered to go out and buy me the DSLR camera I'm saving for. Knowing we can't afford it and it would be a cc purchase if made, I said absolutely not!...man why am I so reasonable sometimes!?

And on mother's day I did get a carnation at church....a beautiful card from my mother with a lovey note that made my cry (good tears)....and a lovely gift from my friend Shannon! It's all good!

May 10, 2009

The Rest of the Story...

I said a while back I'd post the whole story about Jason's new job and this new transition in life. Well, here goes. It is amazing to reflect on God's hand in this whole process. I'll try not to be too long winded...but who are we kidding...this is me here people!

When we first transitioned out of CCC in late 2007 Jason looked for Engineering jobs. He did not get job offers from any that he would like doing and/or would pay enough. So he went back to school for his masters. Instead of finishing his Masters straight through, he went into teaching, taking a masters class here and there, because our babe was on the way.

Two or three months ago, after another "family blow up" shall we say (Those of you who know us know what I am speaking of and know that these episodes are far too common, and truly heartbreaking for Jason.) Jason was at his wits end. He announced to me that he wanted to get as far away as possible. I thought he was just blowing off steam but he actually put in applications all over the U.S. We're talking, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Idaho, Montana. I mean, the man wanted to get FAR away!

Although I told him I would support him wherever he wanted to go and would go with him if he really thought it was the best thing...(and I really would have)....After much discussion he decided not to move us cross country. Whew!

In this whole process of looking for jobs "as far away from here as I can get" Jason found numerous engineering jobs that sounded exciting to him. With curiosity peaked, he decided to look, again, for engineering jobs in Maine. He applied for several that looked good, but he'd been out of the field for too long. Although he really didn't like the Shipyard when he worked there last he decided to call and see if other departments were hiring than the one he'd previously worked in. They were!

Hurdle #1: Get an Interview: One in particular sounded good. He was told that he was being recommended for the interview but 10 or so other people were being recommended as well and a group of supervisors would have to agree on the candidate. He got the interview. Over hurdle #1.

When he went for the interview the person who was supposed to interview him got called away an hour before. The stand in interviewer turned out to be a Christian. Not only did Jason nail the actual work/job part of the interview with his mad skills, but they got to talking about personal stuff afterward and shared their testimonies, found out that they know a ton of the same people and determined they have a lot in common. I won't list all the details but it was uncanny and definitely a God thing!

Hurdle #2 Get the Job: He also had an interview for another department. We were praying for Department 260 because the Christian guy would be his supervisor. He could work 4 10's. It's a more family friendly environment. It's a more hands on job that he would like more. There is no forced overtime. The pay raises come quicker. And occasionally he might get sent to work at other shipyards....like San Diego or Pearl Harbor! A few weeks later he got the job offer for the one he wanted! Over Hurdle #2.

Hurdle #3 Break the News: He now had to tell the people at his work which he was very nervous about. Everyone ended up being very supportive and understanding. Telling him that they knew he was doing the right thing for his family. Over Hurdle #3.

Hurdle #4 Sell the Dirt Patch: Now we had to sell our house (a.k.a. trailer on a dirt patch) in one rockin' housing market! Jason knocks on our neighbors door and asks if he wants to buy our place. He says yes. He gets financing. We close whenever we want to. Crushed Hurdle #4.

Hurlde #5 Fill One Tall Apartment Order: Now we need to find a place to rent in Southern Maine. Oh, did I also mention it needs to have 2 bedrooms, storage, a W/D hookup, a yard, be in a nice neighborhood, allow pets, be a decent drive to the Shipyard, not be a dump AND be 800/mo or under...and we don't want to start paying rent until June? And after one LONG day of hunting, the very last one we looked at had everything on our list and MORE! Hurdle #5 obliterated!

Hurdle #6 Afford the Move and Keep Health Insurance: We needed to time the getting done of our jobs and the start up of his new job so that we can afford to move and so that we keep health insurance for the babe. (Ahh the carefree days of only having to worry about yourself are over!) It just so happens that both of our paychecks will carry through to exactly when Jason's new paychecks start coming in. And my health insurance will cover us until exactly when Jason's new health insurance kicks in.

Coincidence? Absolutely not! I would be remiss if I did not say that fervent prayers for guidance and provision were offered up every Day! You see, God can take even the most discouraging of circumstances, and some initially rash decisions and turn them into something wonderful! God is Good. All the time. All the time. God is GOOD!

May 5, 2009

Squeels and Doggie Slobber

Ella's practicing sitting up a lot now. She's still quite tipsy, side to side and front to back! She likes to make high pitched squeals to express herself. She likes to grab her feet when she's sitting up and try to grab her feet when she's laying down. She's inquisitive about everything, looking wide eyed and grabbing at any new object in front of her. Of course everything goes straight for her mouth. She ABSOLUTELY LOVES the dog and cats. Whenever they are around she's mesmerized by them. She loves to get her hands on them, sometimes patting nicely, sometimes grabbing clumps of hair! Here's some cute footage of our almost 5 month old!
video video

Such Good Manners Already!

Aside from discovering her toes and trying to get a hold of them, drooling like a mad dog and practicing her high pitched squeals, this is our child's favorite thing to do right now:



Yup, sticking out her tongue. She does it ALL the time. Oh yes, when our pastor came over and said hi to her Sunday night she immediately stuck her tongue out at him. Sure she always does it with a smile, and sure it's super cute now, but if this is some not so subtle foreshadowing, we're in for a long haul when she's a sassy teenager!

May 2, 2009

Middle of the Night Feedings

I'll admit, when she first starts to fuss and whimper at 3am (I truly can't complain too much because that's her only nighttime feeding), my initial reaction is to roll back over and pray to Jesus that she'll just go back to sleep.

But then I'm in her room, getting her out of her crib, snuggling that adorable little body with the sleepy eyes that are still fully shut but the gaping mouth that's just searching for food. And she melts my heart all over again.

Recently, every time I catch myself thinking, "Are you full yet? Can I go back to sleep," the still small voice of the Lord enters in and says to me, "Sarah, savor these moments. Do not wish them away. She will only be small enough to cradle in one arm for so long. She will only depend on you solely for her sustenance for so long. You will only have these middle of the night times where it's just you and her, rocking softly in the dim light of her nursery for so long. Drink in this precious sight."

Thank-you Lord for Middle of the Night Feedings!