Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Jack's First Driving Lesson

We were sat outside a shop today waiting for the owner to arrive, so we got Jack out of his car seat & brought him up to the front with us. He LOVED messing around in the car, especially jingling the keys and chewing the steering wheel ...






Cheeky Chops is 7 Months old!

Hungry Horace will be 7 months old this Saturday!

This week we've had to take the mobile off his crib as he pulls himself up on his feet now and grabs it. We've also given up on kitchen sink baths as he splashes too much - so he's now in the big bath. He's still "commando" crawling everywhere and I think his next big thing will be standing up and cruising around the furniture.

He still has no teeth in sight - which gives him this great gummy smile!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Kitchen Progress

We got down to the 3rd layer of linoleum. We think there's one more layer of plywood under this, then the original floor. Phew.

We are going to keep the black appliances as they are good quality & relatively new. However, we did hate the dishwasher as it was a light cream colour but Matt & Gina came over this morning and told us the panels can be turned around. We took the front panel off and there were 3 other choices - black, white and 1960's mustard! Thanks guys - you saved us the money for a new dishwasher. We never knew!

You have to use your imagination to visualize how the kitchen will look. The masking tape represents the extended cabinet space on the left, and the island that we want in the foreground. We've been pricing up counter-top materials like quartz, granite, corian, solid, laminate, tile, oh the list is exhausting. We don't want laminate - we want good quality stuff that's cheap but I don't think that exists! Tonight we are going to measure up for both cabinets and counter-tops and get a rough price.

Okay, to the important stuff - this is how we find Jack now in the morning - kneeling up, chewing on his crib! Then he looks up, sees you and gives you the most fantastic grin that makes your heart melt! It's his first day with Michelle tomorrow - how exciting!


Lastly, we watched "Little Miss Sunshine" last night & loved it. The dance routine was the funniest (and most cringy) thing I've seen in ages. This week we get to watch "Borat" finally and I'm going to watch "Dreamgirls" with Gina on a girly night out!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Last Day at Bright Horizons

I didn't think I would get too emotional as we've only been there for about 4 months but it was sad to say goodbye to Miss Amina and Miss Katy this morning. Amina is going to babysit for him now and again so we'll still get to see her at least. In fact, she's going to look after him one night next week so we can finally go & see Borat!

I'm glad that I didn't have to pick him up this afternoon. Craig said Miss Ally, Janna and Tracy all got upset. We'll miss them all. They made Jack this lovely t-shirt with handprints of all the other babies and little messages from his teachers. They had also written messages on his daily paperwork. It's quite an emotional time - a new era!

We'll be taking some baby stuff over the Michelle's house tomorrow and on Monday our new routine begins!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Katy, a Milestone & the Fire Brigade!

Brian, Emily & Katy came over tonight to check out the kitchen (they just did theirs) and to go for dinner. Katy was crawling like Mrs Speedy! She pulls herself up all the time and is a little cheery soul. How cute is this picture of them holding hands! - not staged either, honest!


It's Jack's last day at Bright Horizons child care tomorrow. Bit sad really as they have been good to him. We got them a box of chocolates & a thank you card. He hit a small milestone today and pulled himself to stand up! They said he tried for ages, then he did it, and fell right back down. Here he's wearing a Winnie the Pooh outfit that his Auntie Sandra got him for Christmas.


Well, we started to tear the kitchen floor up. We know we have 5 layers SO FAR (3 linoleum, 2 plywood). We were trying not to rent a skip/dumpster so we were putting it in the bin and Craig went outside to burn it in the firepit but a nice neighbour called the Fire Brigade. Craig said he heard it coming and thought "Oh noooo, I hope that's not for me". It was. Oh dear. We apologized profusely, then gave up and watched American Idol instead!


We have decided NOT to tear down the wall between the kitchen and living room. After much investigation we're sure it's a load-bearing wall. More kitchen progress photos to come....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Message from Jack

Hello folks,

I am now working at an American diner as you can see. My dad's idea of a joke.

I am SO mobile now. Today I was moving so fast I got rug burns! How funny is that!

Mum & dad finally got me a door bouncer after weeks of hinting. You can see me in it on YouTube if you click HERE

Later Peeps,
Jack xxx

Monday, January 22, 2007

Jack at 6 1/2 Months Old - on YouTube!

Jack is crawling EVERYWHERE, trying to grab hold of Cody & Frank's tails and determined to get to the dog bowl/fireplace/stairs/all other highly dangerous places.

He laughs a lot if you blow rasberries on his belly and has started blabbering away, though not making any sense (bit like his mum). You can see him doing his stuff by clicking HERE.

Craig's mum & dad sent him a present today. They have named a star after him! How cool is that.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Kitchen Get's Started!

I got back from San Antonio in Texas, which is usually warm but had ice storms while I was there. Columbus HAS been unseasonably warm but today we got about 4 inches of snow, then icy rain which has now frozen into an ice rink. I'm nervous about driving tomorrow but I always am the first time. By March I'll be confident!

Here's Jack in his snow suit. His great auntie Edna's friend, Thelma, bought it for him. She passed away this year which is very sad. He was toasty-warm in it. He's too young for the sled but we had a load of kids at the back of our house today sledding down the slope.


OKAY - we are going to renovate the kitchen. We have no set plan, save for a few ideas. This is the front end. As you can see, we have 1960's cabinets that are currently covered in grease. We have finally decided that we are going to rip them out, not save them. The fridge will be moved to the basement and will stay there and we'll buy a new one.


This is the back end of the kitchen. The whole size of the room is 10 x 20 feet. The current floor is awful so we'll either do fake wood or laminate. We can't afford and we have no desire to put ceramic tile down like we did at our old house. What a pain in the bum that was!


This wall is GOING!!!!! We are going to have an open plan kitchen that looks out into the living room. We're going to cut it out half-way down but the full length of the wall. We'll post pictures as we get more done.

This may take a while as we don't really have the money. We went to Lowes & Home Depot today and just for the fridge it's $1,000. Plus, we think we'll have at least $2,000 in cabinets, $1,000 in counter tops, $500 floor, $500 stools for breakfast bar, new sink, faucet, backsplash etc. etc. We're probably going to end up spending at least 6-8 grand, so it might take a year or so to get finished. We are going to set up a temporary kitchen in the basement. I'm not complaining though. I'm excited to get started!

Trip to San Antonio

I just got back from a conference in San Antonio. I left Wednesday and came back Saturday. Craig was on his own with Jack and he did great but I think he's glad I'm back. He slept in till 11.30am this morning, which he NEVER does!
Here's the view from my hotel window. The Alamo is the little fortress in the middle, surrounded by trees.
My old boss from England, Martyn, was there and it was great to see him. We sat in the hotel bar one night and put the world to rights. Next year it's in Phoenix and I think Craig and Jack will come with me.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Jack's Quest for the Dog Bowl

Just this last week Jack is getting really mobile & wanting to grab everything and go everywhere. Today I was playing with him on the carpet and look what he did!

Sat in his boppy he decided to go for a crawl. He's still not crawling properly but does more like a commando thing with his arms to scoot across the floor.


One minute later he's playing with his flying saucer


He spies Cody in the kitchen eating his food and decides to go and get some


I put down the camera and get him, just as his hand grabs the bowl. Phew! All this took about 3 minutes. He's going to be into everything, the little monkey.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Jibber-Jabber

We just got back from dinner with Brian, Emily & Katy - it's always great to see what Katy's up to because she's about 7 weeks older than Jack - but 2 lbs lighter! She's crawling all over the place, giggling and can now sit up on her own - all things Jack's on the verge of. She also has 4 teeth but our little boy is still all gums. Here she is taking a look at her friend. She's gone very social!


Look at this Craig got for Christmas from my mum - he wore it last night while cooking chilli, which was lovely by the way. He'll be holding the fort next week for a couple of days as I'm going to San Antonio, Texas, on a conference. He's not bothered about coping on his own with Jack, which is great but I do still worry that he'll feed Jack raw meat and leave him in a supermarket trolley.

Jack's now sleeping on his belly, even though I put him down on his back. I sneak in sometimes (like just now) to check he's breathing. The changes come about so quick that you can't get used to any one thing. You're always scared of the next step - silly really because when the next step arrives it's okay and not scary at all (or much).


Big news today is that Beckham IS coming to the USA - to the LA Galaxy where my friend, Brian, works as Assistant Head Groundsman. He got $250 million over 5 years (Beckham, not Brian). That has to make him the highest paid athlete in the US, right? We'll have to go watch a Crew game here when they play LA Galaxy. I wonder if Posh Spice will come with him?

We talked a little bit about the BCS game tonight at dinner but we are all too upset to say too much. Shell-shocked is a good description I think. Maybe we'll feel better in oh, ten years?

Last but not least, Anthony Gonzalez said today that he's leaving the Buckeyes to enter the NFL draft. We'll miss him.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Little Fella Not Well

I get a lot of comments about the fact that Jack is smiling in every picture. There's two things to that - he DOES smile a lot, but I also take lots of pictures and save the best for the blog (the joy of digital pictures!).

Anyway, For the last couple of days I've tried to get our lad smiling but he's just miserable. He's got a bad cold again, a very snotty nose and it's hard for him to drink his bottle as he's so congested. So here he is, not smiling, looking like a boy with a stinking cold!

He had his 6 month injections on Monday so the Doc checked him out and he's okay. Here's his 6 month statistics:
Weight = 18 lbs & 10 oz, which is in the 75 percentile
Height = 28 1/4 inches, which is in the 95 percentile

Doc said he's about a month ahead of the curve in his sitting up, mobility, and holding objects. You'd have thought he'd told us that Jack was the next president we were so proud. Our lad's a child genius!!!

It's Only a Game

One of the people at work just said that to me and I wanted to say "no, it's not, you idiot, it's EVERYTHING!" Course, I'm a big chicken so I actually said nothing.

Our beloved Buckeyes got thumped by Florida 41-14 in the BCS National Championship Game Monday. Their faces portray my sentiments exactly. Craig & I stopped watching the game in the 4th quarter. I have NEVER done that before but I just couldn't take anymore - it was like watching a car wreck or something.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to matter that we ended the season 12-1, beat Michigan and Troy Smith got the Heisman. Maybe Monday's game is still too raw. I still love you Buckeyes but ohhhhh, it's painful right now.

Then I see England Cricket got whitewashed by the Aussies in the Ashes and Everton FC lost at the weekend, so are out of the FA Cup. Arghh, what's happening to all my favourite teams???

Next up, my favourite boxer, Ricky Hatton, comes to Las Vegas January 20th to fight for the IBF light welterweight title. Come on Ricky! You're my last hope for something to cheer about this winter.

Today they are saying that David Beckham's probably not going to stay at Real. I hope he comes to the USA! Course it will probably be the LA Galaxy but at least we'd get to see him at a Crew game.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Nice Sunday After All

So, we thought we were in for a boring Sunday because it's been raining all day but it turned out okay. It was my turn for a lie-in (we take it in turns at the weekend), so I didn't get up till 10am then Craig made me an English breakfast. I rang my mum to wish her happy birthday then we got on the web-cam for a bit so we could see her and she could see Jack. I do miss her!

Later we hung out & played with Jack for a while then went shopping. First stop was Once Upon a Child (place where you can take second-hand clothes and get cash to buy more) in Worthington but it was closing! I love that shop - what will I do?? Looks like I'll have to just donate clothes to Goodwill. We did try the one at Sawmill though and I bought Jack a plastic phone that lights up and a hammer he can bash about.


We gave Jack a bath this afternoon. I put too much bubble-bath in but he loved it. He was splashing and trying to eat his rubber duck! I love this picture - he's got such a great smile.


Tonight we went to see Mike & Agnieszka and their little boy, Alex (he's 16 months old). She made spring rolls & some lovely veggie things that I can't remember the name of. It's amazing to see Alex so active now. They are teaching him both English & Polish, which is great.


Agnieszka let Jack play with Alex's toys. It was so funny - Alex brought Jack his coat as if to say "take your coat and go home buddy, the toys are mine".


All was quiet in the kitchen so we went to investigate. A burgler had broken in and emptied the cupboards! It couldn't possibly have been the little boy peeking over the chair....

Saturday, January 06, 2007

2 Peas in a Pod

Okay, so I am constantly told that Jack looks like Craig and not me. Last week at the Waffle House the waitress said he looked like me (I was chuffed), then re-counted and said "no, you know, he really does look like his dad". Bummer.

Anyway, I think I see me in this photo of Jack but maybe these two really are just 2 peas in a pod?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Deb!

We went out for lunch today to Eastern Bay Chinese Restaurant for my mate, Debbie's birthday. I ended up eating far too much as usual but those crab rangoon things are too scrummy!


Here's some people I work with L-R: Aneta - PhD student from Poland, Charlie (Deb's hubby), John (my boss), Deb (birthday girl), Steve, Ed (from Ireland), Ryan, & Emily. Ed bought Deb a "senior moment" hat that had silly stuff on it, like Ginko Thinko pills!


Not much planned for weekend, cept de-Christmassing the house. Will swing by and see G & Matt tomorow, then having afternoon tea with Mike & Agnieszka Sunday. Oh, the wild lives we lead....

Day-care called me today to say that Jack is saying "dada" and scuttling all over the floor, so looks like we'll have to child-proof the house too!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Countdown to BCS - oh, so nervous!!!!!

Okay, so it's the National Championship game next Monday night between the number 1 Buckeyes and number 2 Florida Gators.

I think all talk of Michigan being robbed of a championship was put to rest last night when they got spanked by USC. I know we should have cheered for them, being Big 10, but we just couldn't do it.

It would be the end of a perfect year. Ranked number 1 the entire season, beating Michigan, Troy Smith winning the Heisman....

Ohhh, I hope they win ~ Go Bucks!

Weekly Message from Jack

Happy New Year Peeps!

We had a great Christmas and New Year and mum was upset dropping me off at child care today but I gave her a big smile to cheer her up.

Tonight I crawled about 4 feet across the rug so I could get that squeeky duck. I'm not quite speedy gonzales yet but in no time at all I'll be crawling into cupboards and chasing Frank.

I am 6 months old tomorrow. Seems like only yesterday I was just a big couch potato sleeping all the time, now I'm a right rum jockey as Auntie Sue would say! I'm having so much fun though.

I also progressed to number 2 food today - for you novices that means my peas aren't as runny - so it's been a big day by all accounts.

TTFN
Love Jack xxx

He's the Reason We Can't Have Nice Things

I say this line a lot to Craig - When the cats barf on the bed "We can never have nice things" When Ben poos on the basement car...