Tis the Season at Meemaw & Grandpa’s House


Coraline, Jameson and I spent the 4 days before Christmas at Meemaw and Grandpa’s house. Brian wasn’t able to go with us, mostly because we have chosen that for most of Sasha’s late doggy years now we prefer her to be at home and cared for by us as much as possible. Since he had visited with us over Thanksgiving, we decided that he would stay home for this trip. Sasha was taking antibiotics (all better now) so that worked out best anyway.

I feel like most of our trip was about puzzles! After Shiloh chewed on part of the traditional Christmas puzzle Aunt Holly was putting together, we decided to go out and get another puzzle. Which led to Jameson watching us do a LOT of puzzling, so he needed to do some too.



We did manage to put together this 1000 piece puzzle before I left, but it was quite a bit of work up to the very end!


We also celebrated Meemaw’s birthday while we were there, and Jameson brought paintings for Meemaw, and also for Grandpa, since his birthday is January 3rd. While he got pretty fussy about his hands getting dirty while baking cookies, he sure didn’t mind getting them covered making his art!


We made sugar cookies one day, and Jameson picked the teddy bear to make. They turned out a little extra large, but tasted great.


Decorating was mostly just dumping sprinkles, which was pretty funny.



We made more cookies the following day, and had a bit more fun with these because they involve the mixer! Jameson just loved helping with the mixer, and even requested I take his photo helping, multiple times!




We decided at the end to add some m&m’s, but when Meemaw asked him to sprinkle them on, he dumped them all out right on top (reminiscent of our sprinkles on the sugar cookies the day prior). Ha! We spread them out and you would’ve never known, but it was pretty funny. We called them Meemaw’s Monster Cookies.


Despite this happy face, he was not pleased that his hands were covered in cookie dough. They were way too messy for him! But he was hamming it up for the camera big time with this activity which was fun!


On Meemaw’s actual birthday, we went to the woodland lights. We were a bit under dressed, because it was supposed to be warmer, but that night the temperature did drop so we were all chilly.




Jameson enjoyed riding down the slide with Aunt Holly, though they had a minor crash with another rider at the bottom. Oops! Jameson also enjoyed this little ride, despite his usual solemn face look.





It was fun as usual, and terribly muddy. I’m not sure if that was better or worse than the snow we had the year prior! Jameson did get to feed the reindeer a grape this year which was pretty cool.

Grandpa as usual played with his little hover planes and Jameson helped a couple times. It drives Shiloh nuts, so this was a fun capture of the dog leaping to get it.



Coraline and Jameson again shared a room at Meemaw and Grandpa’s, and they did really well. There was only one night where Coraline was woken while I was putting Jameson in bed and had trouble falling back asleep. We gave her another bottle after about a half hour, and started bedtime over for her, and she finally fell asleep. The kids both had a snotty nose cold, so we brought the humidifier. I was really surprised at how well they did!

Brian drove us down half way, and Meemaw picked us up for the second half after we stopped for lunch together, which made traveling with two kids so much easier. It is particularly difficult alone, because Coraline is still not great in the car, and of course because she can’t walk either during potty breaks! She has gotten tremendously better between this Christmas trip and the Thanksgiving trip, but it is still hard to soothe her when she does get fussy while driving since she doesn’t take a pacifier. I was thankful that I didn’t need to deal with that by myself!


She showed us how close she is to crawling several times, but no dice! She’s more proficient at butt scooting instead.


Her favorite parts of the gifts were ribbons and wrapping paper, of course.



She got this great stuffed pig from Meemaw and Grandpa, as well as some necessities and a cute frog book. And the outfit she is wearing too!


Jameson got some new food accessories and knife for “cutting” watermelon. He also got a pickle ornament and cash register! Coraline actually ate one of the little dimes and we all didn’t catch it until it was in her mouth and she was rolling it around in there! Thankfully she didn’t try and swallow it before I fished it out with my finger, but it was a reminder at how mobile she’s getting even if she hasn’t perfected the maneuvers yet!




It was such a fun time! I was sad to leave, but we did on Christmas Eve so we could be home for Santa to arrive.


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9 Months Out


This is an odd little milestone to note, but there is something thrilling when you realize your child has now been in this big, wide world longer than they were in your belly!


Coraline started playing peekaboo this month with blankets. She doesn’t really wait for you to shout peekaboo out at her before she already has the blanket up in her fact again, but it’s so fun to watch her. She also loves laughing when everyone else laughs, particularly with Jameson.

She really just seems like the happiest baby to me. She only gets upset when she is ill, tired, or very hungry. Or sometimes when people leave the room; she has definitely noticed that this month!



Coraline has some adorable little quirks, like twirling her little feet around in circles at the ankle when she is sitting. And she does love to sit; she is later than Jameson to be on hands and knees since she is just so content to sit and play with her toys. Jameson was on the move earlier!

But this month she has started adding some movement to the reaching she does when she bends all the way forward almost parallel to the ground. She now scoots herself on her butt slowly, and when she is on her belly, she does scoot herself backwards with her arms. She very rarely still gets on her knees; instead, she puts one foot behind her while the other stays in sitting position, but she is starting to move in her own way!

We did find her in her crib twice last weekend sitting up! So she managed to get herself from belly to sitting up position.

This month she actually seems less inclined to do any standing rather than more; I think that’s because she spends the majority of her time sitting or on her belly. We will need to start propping her up against some furniture on her feet some more for practice.


As I mentioned, she is noticing when people leave the room. To go along with that, we have experienced a little shyness with her the past couple weeks. When she has met someone she doesn’t see as often, like Grandpa, even though they live close, she tucks her head into my neck. It’s also pretty adorable. It’s hard to get her to smile for those new-to-her people as well!



Another big milestone for us this month was the finale of nursing. We had slowly been decreasing our nursing time since she stopped wanting to nurse (or even take a bottle) at night before bed and were just down to the morning time when, one day, she refused. It’s hard to believe this baby, who only wanted to nurse and gave us such trouble early on has finally stopped nursing. I am relishing the freedom, and just like with Jameson, I am happy that she chose herself so that there was no particular day that I had to decide to quit instead.

We have been doing more baby and solid foods, and she loves to eat! With Jameson, we struggled with baby food since he only wanted to feed himself real food; with Coraline, we have not had any issues at all. We also bought a new high chair that is much easier to clean! It’s all plastic and so easy to wipe down. Coraline has discovered how to drop food from the leg holes though and likes to do that when she’s finished eating.


Our final big event this month was health related! On Friday the 13th, exactly 9 months old, Coraline finally got tubes put in her ears. We actually had another rupture to the other ear just last week a couple days prior to her procedure, which was our 4th or 5th time (I may have lost track!) We continued to have ear drums rupture one after another every 10-15 days, though the last one we had a gap of 20-25 days between. The continued ruptures were due to pressure build up, either of just fluid or from infection, and put her hearing at risk.

Coraline did really well. We arrived at 6:30 in the morning and she was done by 9ish and on our way home. She was a little crazy crying when she woke up in recovery but after just about inhaling 7 ounces of formula, she was sucking her thumb and ready to sleep for much of the day. Now, we only have to give her drops in her ears for her infections which is great.

We did have a terrible experience when in came to actually scheduling the surgery, where they didn’t call us with our time the day before as expected, and due to a series of misinformation given by our scheduler, we didn’t call to inquire until they were closed for the day! So after calling 3 different numbers and speaking to 3 or 4 people, an on call doctor finally called our doctor, who wasn’t “sure” but “thought” she was the first appointment. Thankfully, she was. Or we wouldn’t have been happy to wait with a hungry baby!

We have a follow up appointment in a month to test hearing and check on the tubes, but so far, so good!

Ready to get ears all fixed up

I love her baby-ness with the little dimples on her finger joints and elbows and the couple rolls on her thighs. I love her darker hair and the eyes that seem to be remaining blue. We love that little two-teeth smile that we’ve enjoyed for longer than we thought we would (though we think she might be starting to teethe again!).

She’s 16 lb, 15 oz of pure joy!

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Trimming the Tree


I grew up with fake trees, which I really do love. They’re easy and sturdy, and I used to make the branches into rooms for our ornament elves and play with the toys and the elves in the tree. You can’t do that with real ones. But I’ve grown to really enjoy getting a real tree each year since Brian and I have been together.

We have once or twice gotten our tree from a tree farm. Once we got a big fat tree with pine cones in it from there. But even easier to get it from the hardware store, already cut, and not too big. This year though Brian passed a sign for a little cut your own tree farm not too far from us for only $25. That is a steal!



This is the only picture I have of Coraline on our little trip out to get the tree. It was freezing and wet, and I didn’t want to put her down. She had a terrible runny nose!


After about 10 minutes walking around, we settled on this bushy (but not too much), tall, soft needled tree. Jameson was running around like a little monkey in the snow while dad cut down the tree. He was a little concerned when it fell down but then we got to take the tree home, so all was well.




We didn’t decorate it immediately, but we do have advent ornaments we hang up, so Jameson was excited to do that. It is a soft needled tree, so it’s not prickly, but it is harder to get ornaments to stay on properly on stiff branches or back farther on the more flimsy ones. But he’s happy to point where the ornaments should go.

A couple days later, we had the tree all done! Coraline isn’t a crawler yet, so as long as she’s moderately far away from the tree, it is safe from the baby (and the baby is safe from it!). Coraline is ready for her first Christmas!



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Awesome Eight


We have continued to enjoyed the fall weather this month with Coraline (I just love babies in hoods!), but it’s also been harder to spend that time outside since it is getting dark so early. Most of our outdoor time must be on the weekends, and I was excited when we were able to introduce Coraline to the wagon and pull her around while Jameson followed behind on his tricycle.

Mostly though this month’s outdoor time has been spent dressed in costume for Halloween. Coraline was an adorable and tolerant octopus.


Tongues out! Having a good time in her first wagon ride

The cold weather though in turn means more illness at school and has also meant more ear infections for Coraline. She has had 3 in a row, with about a 2-3 day gap between rounds of antibiotics. We still can’t tell when she has one, until her ear drum (the same each time) bursts – 3 times now. We met with an ENT to check in between (about a day after starting drops again) and he saw the ear drum healing, so at least it hasn’t been open for long each time.

It’s been about a month of antibiotics, which has been hard on her digestive system. We are hoping that the latest round of more aggressive antibiotics mean the end of the ear infections for a little while so we do not need to talk about tubes.



Though her digestive system has been a little irregular and off, Coraline doesn’t let that stop her from eating food. Coraline is eating mostly any baby food now that doesn’t have protein in it. She doesn’t seem to have any preferences. Anything you put in her mouth, she’ll eat as long as she’s hungry. She loves breakfast and dinner now with solid foods. She loves puffs and yogurt drops, and mum mums were a fun introduction to bites.

We also introduced her to formula which went fine, and will be going full force on that this next month. We still have two teeth!



Bath time is my favorite right now. She sits upright in the tub on her own and loves to splash the water with her hands. No fear, all fun. Even when overtired, bath time always makes a happy baby.


This month she also noticed when people were entering and leaving the room. She will cry when we leave the room, and follows Sasha’s entrances and exits with her whole body. She also makes a hilarious full bend over to reach toys and other things. I caught her on her hands and knees one morning in her crib, but no signs of crawling after that.

Eight months old is pretty awesome. And the giggles are the best! She likes me to shout “boo” at her, and to play peekaboo with the cloth resting on her face.


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Trick or Treat!

Our official city trick or treat was delayed due to weather (for the second year in a row!) so we had it on a Sunday instead of the scheduled Halloween.

Since I had already gone with Jameson trick or treating with friends, I decided to hang back and hand out candy. Brian went with grandma and the neighbors, and I got a nice little break to read! Too bad it was ice cold; thankfully Brian left me a heater running in the garage.


Jameson had to stop for candy at our house twice; before he left and when they got back too. When he returned, he shouted “trick or treat!” I think he got the hang of it this time.


Coraline was cozy in her costume, but after about a half hour, she returned with neighbor baby Peyton because it was so cold outside!



And they were off! First they went to our brand new neighbors whose house was just built and finished just that week. Brian tells me that he had lots of fun.



A great finish to our fun Halloween this year! But unfortunately it means no more pictures of kiddos in costume!

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All Dressed Up

We’ve been able to make the most of our costumes again this year, between Halloween activities and our official city trick or treat getting delayed! First, we went trick or treating at a friend’s house on Saturday.

Because Brian had to work, I left Coraline (they easy one, for real. I never thought I’d say that about a baby, but Jameson’s a bit more work than her right now!) and I took Jameson by himself to our friend’s house. We were there not too long ago for their daughter’s birthday.

Jameson was pretty shy, but warmed up over the few hours we were there. First we did crafts with foam stickers and pumpkins.

Picture 001

Then we ate and went out for trick or treating! Jameson didn’t want to say “trick or treat” bu the did get out a “thank you” a couple times. Milo was a hit in his Lightning McQueen costume. Jameson wanted to keep going for a while; he loved getting candy! I loved enjoying Jameson, by himself. We haven’t been able to do that much recently; it was a nice mother-son evening. He even stayed awake the whole car ride back.

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Then we went to Boo at the Zoo! This year we went to the Cleveland Zoo (last year, it was the smaller Akron Zoo). I think we like the Akron one better, since it’s smaller and more suited for little kids, but they didn’t really care.

At first, Jameson and Jonathan did not want to be in the wagon. Not even a little bit. Jameson had fallen asleep in the car and was still waking up.


Coraline though as usual was just taking it all in.



Jameson slowly woke up and started having fun. He captured a few photos before it got too dark. Lisa and Jason with their daughter Vivienne joined us too! Kids were hard to capture all together this year.




They had some treat bags for the kids, and we even got to see a bear eating a pumpkin.



The kids had a good time! Jameson also got to dress up at school for their Halloween party, and then again for our neighborhood event. All this before our regular neighborhood trick or treat!


Coraline wasn’t able to have a costume at school, but everyone did dress up for Halloween to get a cute photo!


Our neighborhood puts on an event with crafts and activities for kids. We went with the neighbors and grandma.


Jameson enjoyed the crafts and games like ring toss and a bean bag toss. I think he really like the decorating a cookie best (filed away under good ideas for the future).



With our $10 fee which helps support the event, we also got flashlights for the kids which were a hit.


We also ran into Nathan, Jameson’s best friend from school. This photo was a little grainy, but I love the delight on their faces.


Coraline eventually fell asleep on grandma, so sweet.


Last year, we took pictures with our local Kiss look-alike, but this year he wasn’t dressed up. His yard was still pretty awesome though, so we still got a fun Halloween shot of the kids.


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Pumpkins & Hay

We’ve really been enjoying our fall so far, and the weekend after we returned from vacation, we took the kids to a little farm. There, we had a hayride and some photo opportunities.






This is the first year that Jameson has every seen a corn pit, and he was a little concerned about the feeling between his toes. He didn’t want to leave though; he just wanted to watch the big kids.



Animals are always a hit, and he got a kick out of the chickens that were just roaming around the yard. The farm also raises cattle and we saw some calves on our hayride.



Jameson enjoys going up on the tractors now, even the big ones, without fear.


The following weekend we went to get our pumpkins at a real pumpkin patch! Every year, I say I want to go to a real one and pick them from the vine. Last year we came close, but the vines had already been pulled up. This year we found the real thing!


We went with JP, Lisa and Jonathan. Lisa is pregnant and due in November. We are so excited to meet Coraline’s new friend (and find out if it’s a he or she!!)


We took a hayride back out to the corn maze (which we didn’t do this year: it’s acres large!), and then to the pumpkin patch.


Jameson dove right in picking out pumpkins. He was pretty flexible though with dad’s selection.



We even got some photos of Coraline on the ground. She ended up with some muddy hands, reaching for that pumpkin (which is, in fact, one of the actual ones we took home). How about that adorable pumpkin hat!





After we made our final selection, I tried to have Jameson take a photo. He was very interested in sitting on top of the pumpkins, which cracked me up.




All in all, a very successful trip. We even went out to dinner with our friends and successfully occupied children! We went to Hartville Kitchen, which makes a good homecooked meal. With pie, of course. On our way home, we stopped at Crafted Artisan Meadery (honey wine). The kids and I stayed in the car while Brian went in to check it out. We might become fans! We took home two bottles which we haven’t cracked open just yet.

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from my two sea creatures, my shark and little octopus. Sadly, our trick or treat is getting delayed (again, for the second year in a row), so we will have our trick or treat on Sunday.

We have, however, had a few opportunities already to wear the costumes already. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!








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Coraline at 7 Months


At 7 months, we think Coraline is about the happiest baby ever. In the mornings, she will talk and talk and smile and loves playing with Jameson (Jameson is sometimes slow about getting ready because he loves playing with her so much; he’s very into “taking noses” from Coraline and putting them back right now). She’s very vocal, I think because she doesn’t have a pacifier, it seems like she is always saying something. Several family members have said the she’s been saying “da da da” in the babbling baby ramblings she does!


She is also very grabby still. This month she really learned how to eat puffs. She’s not making any pincer grasps yet but she has discovered how to get puffs in her mouth pretty effectively despite that. It was really helpful on her very first vacation to have the puffs to occupy her at meals.



After we returned from vacation, we started giving her food in earnest. We started with sweet potatoes and carrots and squash (sweet orange vegetable favorites of course). Over the past couple weeks, she has had enjoyed peas, green beans, corn (with sweet potatoes), and apples. She doesn’t seem to have any preferences now, though if she isn’t hungry she will let you know.

Gimme those pears

In addition, I had my very first night away from her, and she finally, finally took a full bottle from dad. It marks the beginning of the end of breastfeeding, I know, because my supply is dwindling anyway but it is a relief to know we should be able to feed her bottles without difficulty. We didn’t try the sippy again this month, though we plan on practicing more bottles from myself and dad as well as exploring the sippy more this month.


Coraline got her second tooth this month during vacation. So far, her teething isn’t too bad. There is a lot of drool, and close to the tooth breaking through we have a couple to a few wakeful nights. She gets a little edgy, but not unreasonable. I do hope that how she will teethe through all of them because it doesn’t seem too bad. We seem to have caught a break though, since she’s had a little less drool since breaking through the second tooth.

Sleeping is wonderful. She goes to bed around 7 (and lets you know when its time!). She sleeps through the night regularly. Coraline occasionally calls out crying for just second before falling back asleep; she is still very loud, so this wakes me, but she puts herself right back to sleep most times without trouble. When she does wake up for extended periods, she gets changed and then we sit in the rocking chair with her facing outward watching the mobile until she falls back asleep. She holds on to a little burp cloth while she sucks her thumb and wedges herself in corners of the crib.

Ready for our last day of Disney! Got my thumb and everything's good

Unfortunately, she is like her brother in that she it is difficult to tell when she has an ear infection! This month she got her first (a double), and we didn’t know it until she cried all morning one day in pain because her ear drum was bursting. After it was done, despite the ear infection that was still there, she was happy as a clam. Ear drums burst to relieve pressure, and most heal themselves. Hers did without a problem, and she got very good at taking her medicine.

When she went to the doctor for her ears, she weighed in at 15lb 4oz, a full pound from what she was at 6 months. Since the doctors told us last month that she needed to get some more calories in, we believe we’ve been successful and she’s been putting on weight and looking so healthy and her usual chubbier self. Coraline is just starting to get into up to 9 month clothes in length, but we still mostly wear 6 months clothes and size 2 diapers.


It’s been such a great month, I wish I could hold her tight here and stop her from growing for a minute, pausing in 7 months for a bit.


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Vacation’s End, Day 4

Our last day was supposed to be relaxed, but started a little stressful since the monorails were down. We waited a half hour for the boat which we thankfully didn’t have to fold u  our stroller and take kids out of when it was time to ride.

About an hour after our original plan to arrive, we got to Magic Kingdom. We all had some Starbucks to recover, and then we headed into Adventureland to meet Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.



Then, Brian and grandparents took Jameson up to visit the Swiss Family tree house (there were a lot of stairs, so Coraline, Tyler and I hung out waiting).


Then we rode the magic carpet ride, which is just like the Dumbo ride and Dino ride from Animal Kingdom but still fun!

Jameson continued to insist on riding the “helecoaster” ride which was the rollercoaster from the day prior, but Brian and I had to ride Splash Mountain first. Have I mentioned Brian had never been to Disney before? We definitely couldn’t leave without riding that classic ride. After we rode it and Jameson watched with Uncle Tyler, Jameson bravely told us he wanted to ride it with us, and that our hair was all wet! I was so excited that we got to ride in front.




Uncle Tyler and Meemaw and Grandpa went to visit his apartment then while we went into fast pass the Barnstormer and ride the carousel one last time and have lunch at Pinocchio Haus, known for their flat breads.


We rode Barnstormer twice, one each with Jameson, before heading back to the room aka “house” as Jameson called it and swam in all three water areas: the Splash pad, beach pool, and all day swim and fountain pool. Coraline just loved it, smiling and occasionally laughing while splashing the water and kicking feet. Jameson even braved an underwater dip, just once. He was so cold! The day was overcast in the 80s but not sweltering like the day before, so we didn’t spend much time in the pull.


Loves water

Water slide

The rest of the gang arrived for some last minute shopping before dinner at Crystal Palace back in Magic Kingdom, and we got to meet Piglet, Eeyore, and Pooh and Tigger again.








A great finale! We even got a photo in front of the castle, despite a very squirmy tired Jameson. The sky was just beautiful. If you catch the photo with the guy in the cape in it, that is because Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween was going on. We didn’t participate (too young for our tired kiddos) but it looked fun!




Brian and I went to the Epcot food and wine festival for a couple hours after bedtime which was wonderful despite the brief rain shower. Meemaw and Grandpa watched some sleeping children and Uncle Tyler dropped us around back at one of the hotels, which was great so we could bypass waiting for monorails. It was so fun to be able to spend some time together alone! Within 15 minutes, we each had a little drink sampler in hand, and we walked away after our 2 hours there thinking that we definitely would need to return.

Date night

It was such a great vacation, and I think that we could’ve spent more time there and not been too overwhelmed actually. Everyone did wonderful.

The return flight home wasn’t too bad. Jameson got a little Disney airplane as a surprise after we boarded which he liked, and watched movies on the iPad again. This time he sat in the center, because we were in the very back of the plane and there was no window anyway. Coraline fell asleep for about half the trip which was great, but I was feeling a little claustrophobic this time. We were relieved to return home, and even though we would’ve had fun with more days in Disney, we were happy to have all day Sunday to recover (and do laundry).

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