Friday, August 29, 2008

Massanutten, For Nothin'

Last week we had a bit of a family adventure together in the Shenandoah Valley. Short story: We lucked out big time in getting a free week-long stay in a really nice condo at a resort in the mountains.

Long story: A few weeks ago, a friend from our ward was visiting her father, who is a mission president in Canada. She met a member up there who had reserved this condo outside of DC (ok, 3 hours outside of DC) for a week, and then couldn't use it. She wanted to know if anyone in our ward could use it. I said "me, me, me", and we got it! Woo hoo!

Anyway, the resort is about 2 1/2 hours from us, and it is a neat place. The condo was huge--2 bedrooms, full kitchen, 2 baths. (And the biggest jet tub I've EVER seen--it seats 4! Really, it was like a small swimming pool in the bathroom. Tessie LOVED it!). Boy, is that the way to vacation! (It's so nice to have a separate, quiet place to baby down to sleep!)

Massanutten is a ski resort during the winter--and we really were out in the Virginia countryside. We frequented many a farmer's market in Mennonite territory (fresh tomatoes and corn--yum!); scoped out the Green Valley Book Fair (think 50,000 books in the middle of a corn field); searched out used bookstores (with some disappointment); hunted (and found!) treasures in antique stores; read a lot; watched some good movies; ate good food; and got to know the town of Harrisonburg, VA intimately.

Ry & Tess cross one more VA campus off their tour list: James Madison University.
We never did get to see Eastern Mennonite University.

Mainly we got to spend lots of time together--Tess hasn't seen this much of her dad since she was born! Ry and I took turns sleeping in and taking naps. Wendy and Keith came up for a couple days, too, so it was a full family affair!

Ry & Keith at the elusive JMU Arboretum. Nope, no trolls under the bridge.

The time-share people were persistent in their efforts to get us stuck on one of their two-hour long tours, but we managed to evade them. About half-way through the week I saw this local news report on vacation scams, and I started to wonder if I'd end up with some $1500 charge on my credit card. But no, it truly seems to be a case of good will! Any ideas of how I can thank the people who let us use the condo?

I wasn't particularly picture-happy this trip. But Tess did make some progress on her army low-crawl this week, which Ry managed to capture on film.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Scrub-A-Dub-Dub, Tess in the Tub

A bit of fun from this morning's happenings:
a few shots of before, during and after Tessie's bath.

Reen requested a picture of Tess in a hat.
This is the best I can do--unlike Meredith,
I do not have an unlimited supply of hats for my baby!
The only way I could get her to keep this one
on for a few minutes was to let her watch Sesame Street.


And After:
She was really wound up after that bath!
I think she was pretty much exhausted.
She conked out quickly for her nap.

Friday, August 15, 2008

We've Got an 8-Monther!

Yesterday Tessie turned 8 months old! I can't believe we have such a big baby girl. She has changed so much and she's getting to be so grown up!

We measured her yesterday and she's now 17 lbs. 6 oz. and a full 29 inches long! She's getting so tall! Since 29 inches is the limit for her infant carseat, she's graduated to a big girl carseat.

This is going to take some adjustment on my part, since Tess can't sit up very well yet and I've grown dependent on using her baby carseat as a carrier to take her places. She can sit up in the grocery cart basket seat, but only with a considerable lean to one side! So, that's going to take some practice!

Tess' peach fuzz hair is also starting to come in more. She now has enough fuzz to hold a clip on top of her head--at least for a little while. The clip is no match for the back arch, however.

She has a sparkly personality and a funny sense of humor. There are all sorts of things she thinks are just hilarious: Dad, Elmo, fake coughing, playing "puppy" and "kitty" with Mom, back arching, running in the air, screeching, doing anything upside down, and blowing raspberries.
What a little nut!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Favorite Quote of the Day

"There's nothing as great as lying on the floor
with Tess at the end of the day."


Friday, August 8, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

I know I'm at serious risk of jinxing myself, but I am just so excited because for THREE consecutive nights, Tessie has slept all the way through the night!

This must have been one wild nap.
Her bed was not this crazy when I put her down!

We're talking from 8/9 at night clear until 6/7 in the morning! No getting up at midnight. No getting up at 2 or 3 or 4 am. No rising at the crack of dawn.

A full night's sleep feels so good--I feel almost human again!

I've modified Tess' schedule a little, and she's doing better with her naps. Today she slept so long I had to go in and wake her up! As you can tell, she wasn't too pleased.

Here's hoping her sleeping streak continues! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Freecycle Baby...Oh Yeah!

Babies sure do require a lot of stuff. At first it's fun because the stuff is all so cute. And there's the initial first-time parent fear that if you don't have all the stuff, you may be missing that one item essential to your baby's growth and development or that one magic gadget that will miraculously lull your baby into a full night's sleep.

However, once the novelty wears off, you're left with just a bunch of stuff. So, here I am with a bunch of stuff, some which I never even used (slings, backpacks, breast feeding supplies) and now I'm ready for the next stage of stuff. Tessie is ready for some kind of exersaucer toy. She loves rolling around on the ground, but she spends way too much time on her back (her favored position, as anyone who has seen the infamous "back arch" knows) and that has left her with a pretty flat noggin. Wendy has an exersaucer she said we can use, but I think it will be nice to have one at her house.

In an effort to keep Tess more upright, I've been on the hunt for the next stage of baby things. While checking out Babies R Us last weekend, Ry whispered to me, "When you see all of these couples expecting their first baby, don't feel a sense of superiority? They just don't know what they're doing!"

It's hilarious how they set up the aisles in that store. Ry calls it the "How much do you love your baby?" principle. The "baby entertainers" aisle starts out with the Cadillac of exersaucers, which retails for $120 and looks to me like it should be able to double either as a car wash or a NASA simulation station to prepare your baby for space exploration:

As you move down the aisle, the exersaucers become increasingly low key until you reach the most pathetic of models, which they will grudgingly take your $35 for:

The mid-grade model we liked best was $80--and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Spend $80 on a glorified piece of giant Tupperware? Something just seemed faintly immoral about that--even if it will help to round out my baby's flat head.

So I decided to try an online community group I heard about--Freecycle. Basic premise: people give away stuff they don't need anymore for free. To join, you have to give at least one thing away first.

I gave away 4 cans of sample formula I received at the hospital, but never used because it's not Tessie's brand. I also gave away a box of breast pads I never used and my bassinet (which I brought practically new secondhand, but never got much use out of). Tons of people wanted these things I was never going to use--I got about 10 responses for each item, and I got rid of my "stuff!"

Long story long, I picked up Tessie's new (to us) exersaucer today. She may not be able to fly to the moon in it, but it's not pathetic; I helped someone clear out their house; and, hey, it was free! And when she outgrows it, I won't have to find a place to store the enormous Tupperware--I'll probably just freecycle it!

Tessie likes it, and I just realized how easy it's going to be to take a shower now! A few moments of alone time--priceless!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Tess looked so sweet at church yesterday in a new dress and black patent shoes from Aunt Laura! She reminded me of a juicy slice of watermelon, and I'll admit to taking a few nibbles!

To Tessie's delight, she discovered that patent leather shoes make the neatest squeaking noise when you rub your feet together during Sacrament Meeting.

It's tough to get a picture of Tess holding still these days.
I don't remember watermelon being so wiggly!

Thanks for the cute duds, Laura! I can't believe they already fit her!