Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Six Month Update

We just had Ethan's 6 month checkup and we're blessed to have found a pediatrician we really like. The doctor says he's growing perfectly and is right on track. He's 15 lbs and 14 ounces, measuring 27 inches long. He's wearing 6 month size clothing and I've got more clothing in this size than he'll ever be able to wear!

He is so much fun and each day is something new. We just introduced solid foods and he's getting used to new textures and flavors. It's a messy process, but we'll all get the hang of it soon. We're starting with cereal and moving to veggies comes the green mess!
He's sitting up on his own well, but he's a little like humpty dumpty if he falls to one side or the other. Now that he can roll onto his tummy, he usually finds his way from his back to his tummy in the night. He can't roll back onto his back purposely, but he does it from time to time in his sleep.

He continues to be a great sleeper and we're truly thankful. He goes to bed around 7:30 or 8pm and wakes up around 8 or 8:30 am. This allows James and I to have some time together in the evenings and I can still have my quiet time in the morning before Ethan wakes up.

He loves sucking his thumb and that's usually our first indicator that it's nap time. He has also recently located his feet and now that winter is coming to an end I can finally leave his socks off from time to time. My sister said she thinks she saw his bare feet for the first time yesterday. He's such a happy little guy and has a great giggle. He laughs all the time and is just a joy to be around.
"Big Boy" Chair from Grammy
Teething is not far off....lots of drooling and chewing on his fingers and toys. The pediatrician says he sees indicators of things starting to begin on the top gums. I hope and pray that he doesn't have too difficult of a time when they start popping through.

Our biggest challenge and greatest blessing since moving to Tennessee is that James is not yet working. We did not think it would take this long for things to fall into place, but we got some interesting feedback last week. James asked for candid feedback from a financial placement company he's registered with and she said that his biggest hurdle is the fact that we're "not from here". Apparently people make assumptions based on where we're from and he may be being passed over just due to that fact. This week we've received a couple encouraging calls, so we remain hopeful and know that God will continue to provide for us.

The reason I mention this in Ethan's update is that we've been so blessed to have James home with him since we moved here. Ethan is very fond of his daddy and watches his every move. They're great buddies. I think it's going to be a big change for both of them when Daddy goes back to work. A GOOD change, but an adjustment nonetheless.

"Our" First Home!

What a blessing! We're in escrow on "our" first home. I emphasize "our" because when I met James he had some rental homes but they were all purchased prior to us meeting. This is the first home that we're buying together, for our family. (Hopefully, it'll be the last one for a LONG time). As many of you know, we originally purchased a lot here in TN and planned to build a home. However, due to the market changes, we can purchase a home for MUCH less than we could build at this point (not to mention we can purchase this home for MUCH less than we could purchase a 1-room condo in CA). Plus, building is a huge undertaking that we're not sure we're ready for. We'll see what the future holds, but for now we're keeping the lot and may build later.
View From The Street
The house is set on just over a half acre and as you can see, it is situated toward the back of the lot. I like how it's situated because it allows you to really see the house when you drive up. People do not landscape here in TN as much as we're used to seeing. I think that's because the lots are so big and there's a lot of natural green around the houses. The current home owner enjoys landscaping and has done the front and back of the house. As you can see in the photo below, the drive way is lined with Bradford Pear Trees (non-fruit producing) from the street to the house, as well as the other side of property line as well. They get these gorgeous white blossoms in the Spring time.
View From Top Of The Driveway
We are very excited that our house is only 10 houses up from the river (which also happens to be 8 houses up from my parents). From my parents from porch, you can watch the river. Through the grapevine, we've heard that the developer is supposed to put river access in our subdivision for boats at some point. We'd love to get a boat in the future and take advantage of that. One thing at a time!
Fire Pit, Raised Garden Bed, And Glimpse of The Fence

We hope to be able to plant a vegetable garden this Spring and enjoy the "fruits" of our labor before too long. Many people also do not put up fences here. Again, the larger size of the lots here make it costly to fence, and I think people just prefer a more open feeling. Thankfully, the man we're buying the house from enjoys a bit of privacy and has placed a nice, high fence around the entire back portion of the lot. Yeah!!

James' Domain, The Garage!
(and his riding lawn mower that comes with the house)

The garage is very tall and we're hoping to build some sort of storage loft into the front of this front area. James is excited to have a garage where he can unpack and use all of his tools again. Our project list is growing! Just for the record, I plan to also learn to use the riding lawn mower. However, my brother-in-law is convinced that I'll do it the first time for "fun" and that James will take care of it from there. I'll update later and tell you if he's right :o)

View of The Back yard

The backyard is quite large and we're looking forward to getting a small pool for Ethan & my niece to use this summer. You can see a couple trees in the picture, but there are several planted across the back of the fence as well. The current owner just put in a few peach trees for us too. James says it's the perfect size backyard for a lab, but I don't think that doggies are in the immediate future.

The Screened In Porch

Since we're from California, we're used to spending a lot of time outside when it's warm. Unfortunately, TN brings lots of bugs in the summer. A screened-in porch is the best of both worlds and we foresee being outside a lot when the weather allows. It also allows us to enjoy the outdoors when it's raining. This is one of our favorite features and we are feeling very blessed since most of the houses in our price range do not have the screened porches.

My Little Haven...or Should I Say "Heaven"?

The master bathroom is a dream come true. Honestly, it's almost exactly what we had our architect design when we had our original plans drawn up. What a surprise! In addition to this wonderful jacuzzi tub, there's a shower, "water closet" toilet, separate his/hers vanities (no more whiskers on my sink!), and 2, yes TWO walk-in closets. Not to mention the huge bedroom it sits next to. The house is only 4 years old and has only had one owner. It's in great condition and move-in ready. Our only changes will be style preference changes.

My HUGE Laundry Room!

Here you see our inspector checking out the laundry room. I love the extra cabinets, closet to the right and am very excited about the deep freezer that comes with the house as well (front left corner). I like to cook ahead and freeze things and be able to stock up when I see good deals at the grocery store.
View From The Bottom of The Driveway
A few more fun facts on the house. It's a total of about 2100 sq ft, has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and an office/guest room). We also have a very nice dining room and kitchen. The kitchen is a bit small, but we hope to do a bit of remodeling in the future that would open the space up a bit. Again, one thing at a time. Many have commented on our front porch. We love the look of the house and the way the porch makes it so inviting. The two lots across from our house are empty and the view of the fireflies coming out of the trees in the summer will be breathtaking! I'll try to capture that in pictures this summer somehow. We'll update as we get closer, but we're scheduled to close escrow in late April.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Tricks

Look who's got new tricks -- He can roll from his back to his belly, but unfortunatly hasn't mastered getting back yet.

He's also got a new sound, it's a low roar that we think sounds like a little lion.

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Little Playtime Fun

Here's a video of Ethan enjoying his exersaucer toy and making lots of chatter. He talks so much when he's awake, and even as he's falling asleep sometimes. We can't fault him for being talkative, he comes by that quite naturally. Excuse Mommy's voice in the background, I was trying to get his attention. Enjoy!