"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dec. 23, 2009 Videos

We finally have a video camera again!! Our old one stopped working months ago after only having it for a little over a year and a half. Finally I can catch things on film again :)






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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Up??"

Jaden is doing something so cute right now that I have to share. He's done this for a while now off and on... but now it is becoming a daily thing. And many times a day really. And he seems to be getting better at it.

Whenever he wants to be picked up for any reason... he looks up at me (or Cody), turns on his "cuteness" look, holds both arms up and says, "Up???" "Up???" And he says it in the sweetest voice -- it would make God cry :)

No matter what I'm doing or where we are or what's going on... when I hear that sweet little request, "Up???", I immediately drop what I'm doing and pick him up. I don't want him to grow up. I want him to stay small enough so that I can always pick him up :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had a fantastic four day break during the Thanksgiving holiday. Cody and I both got Thursday and Friday off, and it was so nice to spend all of that time together with Jaden. On Thanksgiving day we hung out around the house in the morning, and we were actually lucky enough to get Jaden to go down for an early nap around 11:15. With all of the events going on the entire afternoon I was worried he'd never nap at all. After we woke up him from his nap, we headed to my cousin Jodi's house in Cedar Falls for Thanksgiving with my side of the family. The food is always tremendous there! Between Jaden and my cousin's kids, there were seven kids there ages first grade down to 7 months :) It's always a roudy time at my family events! Jaden was so preoccupied by everything and everyone that he didn't even want to take the time to eat his Thanksgiving meal!






This is Jaden on Thanksgiving morning. He looks like such a big boy! :)


After spending a few hours at Jodi's house, we headed to Alison for Thanksgiving at Cody's grandparents. It was us, Cody's parents, his sister Cassi and her daughter Ella, Cody's grandparents, and Cody's aunt and uncle and two cousins. Jaden had a good time there, too but again was too preoccupied to really eat anything. Although he definitely made some time for some strawberry and banana pie! ;) I was so full from our first meal of the day that I didn't really eat much at the second stop -- which was probably a good thing :)


On Friday after Thanksgiving, we woke up pretty early. This has always been the day that my family has put up our Christmas tree and decorations so I definitely wanted to stick with tradition this year. I was SO excited to decorate my own house for the first time. Cody had been saying for weeks that he didn't really feel like having to put up outside lights (bah humbug) -- but by Friday he'd agreed so we set out around 8:30 in the morning to pick up some essentials. We stopped by Toys R Us first to see if we could find any good deals on Christmas presents for Jaden. After picking up a couple of things there, we went to Target and got all of our lights for our tree as well as our outdoor lights. I also picked out a shelf piece for our living room so that I would have more places to put out decor. Once we got home Cody headed outside to put the lights on the front of the house, and Jaden and I played outside for a little while also. When Jaden went down for his nap, Cody went and got our new tree from my parents' house. My parents got a new one last year, but the one they had been using was in storage this whole time -- and is an awesome tree. I absolutely love it, and we are so lucky that we get to call it our own now. After a few mis-haps (couldn't find the tree stand and had picked up non-matching lights from Target) -- we had everything we needed to start decorating. We also completely rearranged our living room to fit the tree in the best possible spot for it, and now we think we're going to keep our furniture like this all the time. We finished decorating right at about 5:00 and then headed to downtown CF with my parents to eat some supper at Toad's. Our downtown area was hosting its first ever "Holiday Hoopla" -- and they had a GREAT turn out, and this is definitely a tradition I hope to keep every year -- especially as the kids get a little older. They had a live nativity scene with real animals and a real baby playing Jesus. Santa's Workshop on one corner that is awesomely decorated. They had live entertainment outside with instrument players and a big stage set up for live singers singing Christmas music. They had a lighting of a special Christmas tree, Santa made his grand entrance off the top of a building and then they had fireworks. They also had characters walking the streets as snowmen and elves and reindeer handing out goodies to kids. We didn't stay for the fireworks because Jaden was too young yet to be patient and wait for them - and it was cold. But it was such an awesome event with thousands of people and a really cozy small-town Christmas feel. We got Jaden home and enjoyed sitting cozily by our fabulous tree.
Here is a picture of our tree and four stockings and the new shelf I got from Target that day. You can't really get a good idea of how neat and real looking the tree is... but we love it :)





Some more of our decorations. I hope to add to our Precious Moments Nativity over time. Cody's mom got me the beginning pieces of the set for my birthday (which is a week before Christmas) my senior year of college shortly after Cody and I started dating. I'd love to have the whole set one day. I can't wait to go out after Christmas this year and see what kind of decorations I can find on sale so that I can add more and more Christmas decor to our house every year. This seriously is my favorite time of the year!!


On Saturday we spent a LOT of time outside. After Cody had hung up the lights on the front of the house, we had a few boxes left. He woke up Saturday morning and had gotten really into the spirit of things ;) So he decided to hang lights up on the back part of our roof as well as all the way around our back deck and up the stair rails. Since we live on a corner lot with a street that goes behind our house, this part of our house gets seen just as much as the front of our house. I'm so grateful to him -- he worked so hard that weekend on making everything look nice and he got just as into it as I did. Our first Christmas in our first home has already been a special one :) Jaden enjoyed the weather outside that day -- it was beautiful out, and he didn't even need to wear his hat. He did a great job of running around, throwing his balls all over the place. At one point when I was sweeping up the driveway and Cody was on the ladder, Jaden took it upon himself to climb the steps of our deck, open the back door and go inside all by himself. I asked Cody, "What's he doing?" Cody told me to give him a minute and sure enough, a minute later Jaden walked back outside by himself carrying one of his footballs. Such a grown up moment for him to decide to do this all on his own without even saying anything! After his nap on Saturday we took Jaden to the park, and he played on all of the slides. The big long slide - the twisty slide - all of them. He had a ball. Cody would wait for him at the top of the play equipment and Jaden would race up there giggling and smiling and shrieking the whole way. I would wait for him at the bottom of the slides to catch him. We've decided we're going to use that park a lot this coming spring and summer to have cookouts, etc.


We ended our weekend Sunday by having a pretty laid-back day. Jaden did get a little crabby that day. I think he was worn out from such a busy weekend and was missing his friends at daycare a little bit :) Cody's parents came over that night and helped measure the walls of the baby's room because Cody's dad is going to put up a chair rail in there for us. We also tested out our two paint colors in the nursery and I loved them both! Next step is to paint the whole room so we can get the chair rail up. Jaden's bed has been ordered and we should have it by January 7th. He also has a new dresser coming. In January we will move the crib and the baby's dresser into the third bedroom and start decorating for the baby! Finally our third bedroom will be all ready to go after not using it since moving in last spring!

I think that's a long enough update! Merry Christmas from the Ubben family -- we hope you are all enjoying your Christmas season :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Molars and Words

I can't believe my first little one has almost reached a major milestone -- the end of teething. Jaden's first two two-year molars came in at the top of his mouth this week. It was a little rough for a few days, but I should have seen the warnings last week. The end of last week he had a horrible runny nose, but he he wasn't stuffed up and wasn't acting like he had a cold at all. He was a little more irritable over the weekend - which I attributed to his growing attitude as he gains more desire for independence. (Which I still feel that has something to do with it!) He also had a really sore bottom about the same time the runny nose started. Then on Monday night, he broke out into a horrible hour-long crying session. This has never happened. Eventually we were able to get him to take Tylneol, and he calmed down about 15-20 minutes later. Before we sent him to bed that night, he allowed me to stick my finger in his mouth and sure enough -- I felt the tip of his first molar poking through. That explained everything - the runny nose, the awful tantrum, the sore bottom... he'd also been pulling at his ears a lot. His ears were bothered because of his teeth. Well, a day later he was getting even moodier, and on Tuesday night he was crying so hard that I was able to see all the way to the back of his mouth - and saw the second tooth starting to poke out. He even pointed to his ear that night when he was looking at me and informed me that he was in pain. After having a rough day at daycare on Wednesday, he seemed much happier last night and this morning. I think we've gotten through the worst of his first two molars (knock on wood) -- now we get to wait for the bottom two to arrive. Once those are done though - he will have all of his teeth!!! No more teething for that little guy... seems incredibly hard to believe we've reached that point :) I hope the next milestone is potty training ;)

We also had another first this week - two full sentences! His vocabulary is quite extensive now -- I can't even list all of the words he can say regularly or tries to say regularly. (Some words he struggles with greatly even though he tries them. "Please" sounds more like "teeese.") :) But - one morning this week, we were getting his shoes and coat on and the Mickey Mouse cartoon started on the Disney channel. As soon as Mickey appeared on the screen Jaden said, "There he is!" Cody and I both looked at each other like -- "did we just hear that???" Cody realized Jaden was copying me, as I always say "there he is" when Mickey comes on because I know Jaden loves Mickey. Then last night my mom and I were playing with him in the basement, and Jaden was surrounded by all of his balls. He had one in his hand, and I asked him, "What's that Jaden?" He replied, "It's a ball." Another full sentence ;) He's a long ways from being able to hold a conversation... but he grows up more and more every day. The funny thing is Cody was admiring my ever-growing tummy the other night and said, "Wow -- I can't believe I have a second little child on the way. I still can't get over the fact that we have Jaden!" And it's so true - he and I both still have moments where we look at him in awe -- having trouble believing that he's all ours :)

I do have to mention some of his newest words that we laugh about all the time:
Bug (he at some point became incredibly fearful of bugs and notices them instantly if they are around)
Buc (Cody was teaching him how to say "go Bucs" -- he doesn't say it plural yet, but every time he sees the Tampa Bay logo he points and says, "Buc!"
Ella (he's able to say his little cousin's name so well)
TC (the Panther mascot's name - very proud of that one!) ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bedtime Routine

I have to write about this so that I never forget this particular bedtime routine with Jaden. I'm sure it won't last much longer because we are going to be switching him to a bed in under two months, and I'm sure the routine will change. But right now putting Jaden to bed is one of my favorite moments of every day.

Jaden always gets a bath between 7:15 and 7:30 every night. After bath, we put in one of his movies while we put his PJs on. He spends this time watching his movie, eating a snack if he wants one, and playing with Mommy and Daddy. At 8:00 we tell him it's time to brush his teeth. He takes Cody's hand and walks up the stairs to the bathroom. We get his little stool out in front of the sink, and Cody brushes Jaden's teeth. After Cody's finished, he lets Jaden do it on his own for a little while. It's so amazing how willing Jaden is to go to bed every night -- as soon as we say it's time to brush his teeth, he drops whatever he's doing and heads straight to the bathroom. After he's done brushing, he automatically gets off the stool and leads me and Cody to his bedroom. He then waits for Cody to get in the room, throws his arms up in the air for Cody to pick him up. This is my favorite part - he leans down and lets me kiss him once on each cheek. Then he looks at Cody and kisses him on the lips, and then he leans down to me one more time and gives me a kiss on the lips. Cody then puts him in his crib, tucks him in, and I hand him his cup of water. He drinks a few sips while we say our bedtime prayer, then hands me the cup back, and we say good night.

It's a little piece of Heaven at the end of the day :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

21 Months old and catching footballs!

I can not believe that Jaden turned 21 months old yesterday. And it is amazing how much he grows and learns every single day. He says a new word almost every day. This morning at 7:00 it was still pitch black outside, and he opened the curtains to our living room window, peaked his head around them looked outside and said "dark!" It was so cute as that was the first time has said that word. One of his other recent words has been "raffe" for "giraffe." He is getting to the point now where he really loves focusing on his toddler movies and Disney shows and seems to actually learn from watching them rather than just being entertained. The other night, he saw a little boy pouring himself a glass of milk in the movie and Jaden pointed at the TV and shouted, "MILK!" His little voice is the most wonderful thing in the world!

Last night Cody and Jaden were playing with Jaden's UNI football (one of many) in our living room. Jaden loves sitting at the top of the stairs (it's only about five steps up) and having Cody sit at the bottom. Jaden usually likes to throw the football down to Cody and then waits for Cody to throw it back. In the past, Jaden has just let the football fall to the ground and then he chases it down the hallway and brings it back to throw to Cody. However, last night out of the blue he started to CATCH the football consistently!! We were so excited for him and proud of him, and Jdaen caught on to that excitement. Every time he caught it, he would immediately shreak and clap his hands before throwing the ball back to Cody.

We have been teaching him all about the Panthers and UNI (of course)!! -- so he hears me say "Gooo Panthers!" a lot. Well he isn't able to see those words yet, but a few weeks ago he tried to imitate them by saying, "Daaaaa da da!!!" So now whenever he sees a football or the UNI logo on ANYTHING, he says "Daaaa da da!!!" Start em young, raise em right -- right?? I'm so proud he's already a Panther fan!

Jaden also is getting a lot better at feeding himself with a fork and a spoon. It's still a task that needs to be supervised just in case there are any major spills, but he's getting to the point now where he almost doesn't even want to use his fingers to eat any more - which is very exciting as it makes meal times easier for Mommy and Daddy. That means we actually get to eat our food right away rather than having to feed him first!

On Sunday night we carved our pumpkin. (Well, Cody carved and I watched!). It turned out really good. We of course had to make it a UNI pumpkin! I thought for sure that Jaden would have fun with it so we set everything up on our kitchen floor, I took all of Jaden's clothes off except for his diaper, and prepared for him to make himself a mess. That didn't happen -- he barely touched all the goop, and right away wanted me to wash his hands off! He then walked away from it and never came back to it :)


I will be 22 weeks pregnant tomorrow... yay!! Cody thinks this pregnancy is going faster than when I was pregnant with Jaden. (He's not the one who's pregnant!) I say the jury is still out on that - we still have potentially 18 weeks to go so ask me again when it's over :) Not that I mind being pregnant because except for the first few weeks I really have no problems with it at all. I love the excitement of counting down each week, the excitement of my belly getting bigger (until a few weeks from now when it's huge)! -- and how much stronger the baby's kicks feel almost every day. I am excited to be having another little boy -- and love the name we have picked out, which we will be keeping a secret until he arrives! Just this morning I ordered the nursery bedding and can't wait to get it here so I can pick out paint and get that room painted the way I want it! I am not worried about the next couple of months because I know the holidays will make time fly. However, I'm a little worried as to how I'm going to make it through January and February. When I was pregnant with Jaden, it was really hard on me when Cody was out during snow storms having to work on snow removal. I always missed him, had trouble sleeping and worried about him. (I'm a worry wart -- "is he falling asleep behind the wheel? Is his phone on him and will he hear it if I go into labor? etc etc.") Now add those worries to being home alone with a two year old in the dead of winter, a driveway to have to get shoveled out if we need to go anywhere, and being in the final stages of pregnancy. Cody also has a bad habit of either forgetting his phone at home or forgetting to charge it... those two habits will have to be corrected before this pregnancy reaches its end! However I am really excited (and slightly nervous) for how this labor/delivery will be different than the first. The first one I had to be induced and we knew that months ahead of time. We knew exactly what day Jaden was going to be born, and I never had to go into labor naturally. This time around they are handling things differently, and we are planning on a completely natural labor. I won't know what day he will arrive, and I will have to spend time at home with contractions before heading to the hospital -- should be kind of exciting! (And painful??!) :)

Here is my belly at 20 1/2 weeks :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Fall!



Remember this picture from last October? Hard to believe a year has gone by. Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm back!

Sorry it's been a while --- my new goal is update this at least once a week. Especially with our family growing -- this is kind of like my diary so I don't forget anything going on with our little one's lives.

Jaden turned 20 months old yesterday. I can't believe that in just four months, we will be the proud parents of a two-year old. He is such a funny little guy, and every day he does something new to make us laugh or smile. As our family knows, Jaden is OBSESSED with ceiling fans. We have three of them in our house - one in the kitchen, one in the living room and one in his room. He thinks that every time we are home all of those fans need to be turned on, and he will point at them until we turn them on for him. Well throughout the summer, we followed his "orders" since it was usually warm enough out to do so. But with it cooling down lately, I'm trying to get him used to the idea that they don't need to be on all the time. So lately when he points at them, I shake my head and say "no -- too cold -- brrrrrrr." Well this morning after he woke up, he of course pointed to the ceiling fan. I said "no -- brrr." And he followed that up by shaking his head no with a very serious look on his face and forcing himself into a shiver. I wish I had it on video -- it was hilarious. He was so serious!!

He still doesn't say full sentences, but he tries new words all the time. Sometimes we only hear the word once and then he doesn't repeat it again for a while. However, his first official word is definitely "hot." He says it all the time - when something's in the microwave, on the stove, when he sees steam coming out of something, when we put his warm food in front of him... in the bathtub. And he says it very clearly and in such a high pitched voice - it's the cutest thing I've ever heard. Other words include -- Elmo, Grandpa, Tucker (the dog at daycare), cold, no (he uses that quite frequently now), milk, water, aacky (yucky), peacock (there's a pretty one in one of his books), up, down, -- and a few others as well. He also is a champion animal noise maker. Woof-woof, meoww, moo, cheep cheep (his bird noise), cack cack (his duck noise) -- and on occassion he has been known to snort like a pig. The other night I was singing "Jesus loves me" to him and I swear I heard him try to say Jesus. (Sounded more like Esus -- but close)!

He getting better at being able to brush his teeth. He had a little step stool in the living room that we put in front of our big window so he could see outside. He also used it as a little snack table. But lately he hasn't been using it at all because he's tall enough to see out the window without it, and he insists on eating his snacks sitting on the couch like a "big boy." So I moved the step stool into the bathroom so that he could stand on it over the sink to brush his teeth. The first night we did it that way, he was so proud of himself. Still haven't really tried potty training. We tried it a couple of times about a month or two ago, but he hated sitting on it and ended up throwing the potty seat down the stairs a couple of times. I didn't want to push it -- but I'm hoping to try again soon.

Jaden's also showing signs of becoming a soccer player (much to mine and Cody's dislike). He loves kicking balls, and he is getting really good at it! He comes after them with full speed and kicks them as hard as he can. Oh well -- even though I hate the sport, I know I will love cheering him on in anything he does!

Now on to our 2nd little bundle of joy. I am now 17 1/2 weeks into the pregnancy. Almost half way there... yay! I started feeling the baby move at 15 weeks but it's been very faint movements and only every few days or so. Yesterday there was finally about a 20 minute stretch of time where the baby must have been doing his/her afternoon workout because I could feel the little one punching me or kicking me constantly. I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon, and then an ultrasound scheduled for next week. So hopefully we will know what we are having very soon!

We have some big house projects coming up that we need to get done by March. Since we have such small closets, my clothes take up our entire closet in the bedroom. Cody's been using the closet in the spare room but that will soon be unavailable -- and the majority of his clothes have to get washed a lot because of work so they end up on the laundry room floor. His dad has shelves from his hardware store that he is going to be giving us so we can transform the laundry room a bit. Cody will be able to put all of his clothes in the laundry room and he will hopefully keep it somewhat organized with the new shelving! We are going to be transforming Jaden's room out of his nursery phase and into his little boy room. I hope to get him into his bed right after Christmas so we have time to get him used to a bed before we have to get up in the middle of the night with the new baby. I already have the room decor/bedding picked out but haven't purchased it yet in case I change my mind at the last minute. It will be a sports theme -- of course! Once we find out if we're having a boy/girl, I'm going to immediately begin painting the spare bedroom. It's so ugly right now and it's driving me crazy since we haven't touched it since we moved in. I also don't want to save doing that room until the last minute -- I want to be able to gradually add to it as we get closer. We're also needing to find a new changing table/dresser combo to save space in that room (it's a small room and if we have a changing table and a dresser that's separate pieces we won't have room for a rocker) -- and also so that Jaden can keep the small dresser in his room. Our other project is getting the garage organized and to move a lot of stuff into our storage room in the basement. All summer Cody's been keeping his truck outside and I've been the only one parking in the garage just because so much stuff has been kept in there since the move. But once the snow comes, Cody's going to want his truck in the garage! I also need to go through all of our "baby" boxes. I can't remember where our baby bathtub is or where certain pieces for the car seat are, etc. etc. Even if we have a girl, there are things we had for Jaden that we'll be able to use for a girl -- I just need to find it all and remind myself what we have already and what we need! There's other little things I want to get done, too -- I finally figured out what I want to hang above our couch -- I just need to get around to actually doing it :) I finally figured out what I want to use to fill the cute little cubbies above our kitchen cabinets -- I just need to get around to doing it :) Of course the room that has received the smallest amount of attention is our bedroom. I'm hoping to find a nice new bedding set to ask for for Christmas -- once I get that, I will start focusing on transforming our bedroom into a room that I can be comfortable spending a lot of time in once the baby is here and I'm getting up for middle of the night feedings all the time! Right now I don't even like reading in that room before bed because even just sitting in our bed reminds me of all the things I want to do to that room!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Uh oh... he's a toddler!

Okay so we're all used to the pretty much "perfect" little Jaden. Well... he's still perfect. Perfectly cute, perfectly cuddly, perfectly fun, perfectly giggly, perfectly chatty, perfectly sounding little voice...

Perfectly BOY, perfectly equipped with ATTITUDE, perfectly a TODDLER!!

It has happened. Jaden grew up... again. He's almost 16 months old - but I wasn't quite ready for this for a few months yet. I think the "terrible two's" really means the two years between age one and age three. Now I really should be careful how I describe this because I have seen much much worse coming from toddlers ------- but ------ Jaden's attitude has arrived.

The laid back, easy-going little boy has vanished, and in his place we have the... well, not so laid back easy-going little boy. He still laughs and smiles, still talks up a storm with his sweet little voice, still cuddles when he wants to and gives hugs and kisses. Still melts everybody's heart the minute they see him. But now he also whines whines and whines when he doesn't get his way. You know - the "eh eh eh eh" sound that just can begin to remind a person of nails on a chalkboard after they've heard it enough. And we've had actual TEARS coming out of his eyes a couple times during the last week. Now Jaden has not cried TEARS (unless it came from injuring himself) since he was a tiny little baby. He cried tears on Sunday because I took his snack away because we had to get in the car. Yesterday, I walked into daycare to pick him up and for the first time EVER, I walked in the door and heard MY SON... crying??! Usually the only kids I walk in and hear crying are the other people's children. Why was he crying?? Because baby Carter's daddy was there to take Carter home, and Jaden had lost his playmate. Seriously. Getting dressed in the morning ---??? Awful. He kicks kicks and kicks me until all of his clothes are on. And every once in a while, he arches his back because he gets so angry. And we did a terrible thing this week. Ever since he turned one, we have been slowly weaning him from his "before bed" bottle. For weeks now he's only gotten two ounces before we've put him down for the night. So I thought this week was time to take it away comletely... two ounces really is not a lot, and it's not like he's HUNGRY for it -- he just likes it. I thought it would be a piece of cake. OOOPS -- bad assumption. The last couple of nights he's whined in his crib for 45 minutes before finally putting himself to sleep. For months now, it has been so easy to put him in his crib at night and just walk away. Sure, sometimes he talked for a while but never cried. Now -- we're reversing back to his little baby days when we had to bounce him around to get him to fall asleep before putting him down.

I know the reason for all of this. I know it's completely normal. I know that toddlers do this because they are old enough now to get incredibly frustrated when they don't know how to verbally communicate what it is they want or need. I know he is testing things out. I know he wants to form words and tell us things that he just can't do yet. I understand. I also know that I have been incredibly spoiled by such an EASY little baby for over a year now so it is going to be a little bit more difficult to adjust to the change. I also realize that the only times I get to see him are in the early morning and then at night -- when he's tired, over stimulated and beginning to get cranky after a busy day of playing outside. I know that weekends will be better when I can enjoy him all day long -- see him right after his naps when he's fully rested and happy. I also know that this too shall pass. And I am also bracing myself for it to get even worse. Because really... it's not that bad. We have started doing "time outs." When his whininess gets to the rediculous point -- just a few times now -- I have placed him in his crib for a minute. (Which by the way -- is really hard to do -- because during that moment when I put him in the crib he turns back into that sweet little innocent baby that could do no wrong -- his eyes know exactly how to play on Mommy's emotions).

On a good note - we close on our house a week from today. And no... I'm not done packing. Not by a long shot. Guess what my Memorial Day weekend will consist of???

Sunday, April 26, 2009


This picture comletely sums up our weekend!!

Turkey hunting, NFL draft, new-house celebrating, shopping... too much for these boys! I went back to our bedroom to put some clothes away, and this is what I found when I came back out five minutes later! ;)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Home Owners!

So thanks to God and our family and our wonderful realtor ;)... We have purchased a house. I cannot believe it. I really didn't think we'd find a way to do it for a long time. Sherry, our realtor, informed me of a listing Monday morning that I almost didn't even take the time to look at. It's listed in Waterloo even though it is right one the edge of Cedar Falls. It's in a good neighborhood but the high school district it's in isn't the greatest. However, realizing that we'd be moving on to a bigger house by the time Jaden is in high school anyway, and seeing as how the actual neighborhood is just up the street from a good Cedar Falls school, we thought we might as well at least just look at it. Well, we were at the house for about 15 minutes and decided to put an offer down. It's on Rainbow Dr. in Waterloo, and I'm so excited to make it our home. (A little scared, as well). It is a three bedroom, split level. The main floor has the eat-in kitchen and the living room. The back door is leads from the kitchen onto a good sized deck. From the living room going up a few steps is the bedroom area. There are three bedrooms and a bath. Then going from the kitchen down a few steps is the lower level family room that is all finished off. It will be a great play room for Jaden. There is a door then that leads to the furnace room and down another few steps to the unfinished storage room. There is also a small laundry room closed off from the family room in the lower level. The lower level also has a back door leading to the back patio. So there are two back doors - a patio and a deck -- and there are outdoor speakers attached to the two stall garage. It will be a great place for cookouts! There is a small creek in the back that Cody will be working to make pretty, and we will probably put up a white fence with a gate to help keep Jaden away from the creek :) But Cody can't wait to go looking for frogs with him.

We have to thank Cody's parents for helping us with the down payment. And we have to thank my parents for storing so many of our things while we have been waiting to have our own storage room in our own home! We get possession on May 28 and there is lots to get done before then. But I am so excited to have something that is finally ours! We are very lucky that we got the house. Two other families looked at it after us while we were writing up our offer, and one other couple offered the same time we did. Luckily, we won out thanks to our hard working realtor! We are figuring out ways to budget our money better, and Cody might try to pick up a second part-time job and try to put in some hours on the weekend nights every once in a while. But we will find a way to make it work. I have always had that outlook -- if you want something badly enough, you find a way to make it work! It might be a little scary and we might be tight with our funds for a little while... but we believe this was the right thing to do. We needed a home for our family.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Daddy brought Jaden out from the bath into the living room and laid him down all wrapped up in his towel. Lotion went on, and Jaden had his plug in his mouth, all comforted and ready to watch his movies. (It's amazing how a bath automatically makes him wind down and turn into a peaceful little boy at night). Daddy put his pj bottoms on and then sat Jaden up and put him on his leg to try and get his shirt on him. Once Jaden was situated on Daddy's leg, he looked up at Daddy, then started patting him on the back with his tiny little boy hand. Jaden then reached for Daddy's shirt and held on tight. "Don't let go Daddy." Then proceeded to rest his cute little head on Daddy's shoulder and nuzzled himself in. Daddy and I sat in awe of our little baby. Another one of those tiny moments that will stick with us forever. Being a parent is awesome :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Twilight

Okay I am just so obsessed now, I had to write about it. When the book series originating with "Twilight" first came out and I heard about people reading it, I couldn't figure out why all the fuss. Vampires?? Yuck. Who cares. Waste of time. When the movie came out... would have been last on my list of movies to see.. if it even made the list at all.

But the hype kept building. So in some small conversation I barely remember, I mentioned to Cody at some point -- "have you heard of Twilight?? It's supposed to be some kind of romance involving vampires." That was as far as the conversation went. Until one Sunday night he surprised me by bringing the movie home for us to watch. I spent 90% of the time watching the movie bracing myself to absolutely hate it. Then it was over. And next thing I knew, I HAD to start reading the books to see what would happen next. (It's a four-book series). Well lucky for me, our daycare provider, Jami, is a huge fan and owns all four books. So she loaned them to me almost a month ago now. I cannot put them down -- I am already on the fourth and final book. And I am counting down the days until the second movie comes out in November. I've gone so far as to research the gossip news and pictures of the cast. You could call it a twisted version of Romeo and Juliet in a way. It is never-ending drama mixed with love mixed with dark mixed with light... and I'm almost afraid to finish the last book because I'm scared for it be over. I'm scared to no longer be able to visit the lives of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. Cody might have to buy me all the movies when they are all out.

Anyways... point of this post was to tell you all to read the series (I would advise you to read the first book before seeing the first movie -- which is opposite of what I did). The first book just gives you so much more insight and detail and explanation into the whole vampire story that the movie can't quite portray. Twilight. New Moon. Eclipse. Breaking Dawn.

Get them on Ebay or Amazon -- they'll be cheaper that way. But invest in them.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April Videos





We recently cut Jaden's hair... gave him a big-boy cut! It's amazing how much older he looks... and even more handsome as if that was even possible!!

video video
This is Jaden's new dance move!! Normally he only does it when there's music, but he was really happy here cuz Cody was sharing some of his peanut butter and bread with him! ;)



video

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! (The day after) :) Hope everyone had an enjoyable time. Ours was busy, but successful. Except for the fact that Jaden came down with a cold that I had last week. But he's such a trooper... watery eyes, stuffy nose, sneezes and fatigue... he still manages to smile, laugh and make us smile and laugh in return! He enjoyed his Easter and being spoiled by his grandparents and Mommy and Daddy. His new gifts included an Easter book and new Boz DVD from myself and Cody. (If you have small children and haven't seen the Boz series -- you should invest in them. Great fun Christian DVDs that are very colorful and lovable)! Grandma and Grandpa J got him a fuzzy bunny that sings and dances! And the Ubben grandparents got him a lawn mower that blows bubbles. Now if he would just start walking...! Little stinker takes steps on his own only when he feels like it. So stubborn. I don't know where he got that from????! Jaden also has a new "summer" haircut! We decided yesterday to give him a buzz cut like his daddy. He looks so much older!! It is weird to see without his out of control hair that used to always stick up no matter what... but he still looks adorable. When I dropped him off at daycare this morning, his sitter went ga-ga over him!

Other updates.. he has entered a phase of "protesting" nap time or bed time. It's really not that bad though. Lately when we put him in his crib, he tends to throw out all his blankets and pacifier so that we have to go back in there and put everything back in his crib before he goes to sleep. But I will gladly take that over him crying non-stop. He's pretty easy to handle when he's tired :)

Cody and I have decided that since we have slowed down our hunt to buy a house that we are going to try to find a three bedroom rental house. I didn't think I wanted to rent again, but there are plus sides to renting so now we have our fingers crossed that we will be able to find something that way.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Videos for Sally

I've been slacking on the videos lately, and Sally called me out on it... so here we go!

video video video video

Friday, March 13, 2009

Angel face...

He's our angel... :)

Picnik


I wanted to share a website with you all... www.picnik.com. I absolutely love it. It is a place to take your photos and change them into something sweet and creative. There are so many things to do on there, and I'm still learning, but I wanted to share some of my favorite "picnik" edited pictures with you!
















Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dancin' in '09!!

Well... I finally did it. I left Jaden for more than one night. The UNI men's basketball team headed to its conference tournament in St. Louis this past weekend. This is a trip that is pretty much an annual event for my family (although I didn't go last year). It is always a blast (obviously even more fun when the Panthers win). I wasn't planning on going again this year... I didn't want to bring Jaden because it's not very "kid" friendly if you really want to have a fun adult time. And I also didn't want to leave him. So I just didn't even consider going... until I got to work Friday morning. I must have had some kind of intuition that UNI was going to win the championship because within an hour of getting to work on Friday, we had made arrangements for Cody's parents to babysit Jaden all weekend and for the two of us to meet up with my parents and stay at the team's hotel downtown STL. Of course I was in complete panic all day on Friday at the thought of not seeing my little boy for potentially more than 48 hours. I cried when I left him. But I'm so glad we went... we had so much fun!!! Our hotel was great with a nice bar right in the middle of the lobby. There were so many Panther fans staying there that there were huge parties every night after the games until like 3 in the morning. (Needless to say we didn't really get much sleep while we were down there). We had some great food -- even walked through the casino that was attached to our hotel... and George Clooney was in the VIP room of that casino. I didn't actually get to see him, but we were told he was in St. Louis shooting a movie while we were there. It's always fun to hang out with a bunch of Panther fans, and there are now lots of great memories of that weekend! Cody got to talk to some of his former teammates from when he was on the UNI football team. I got to see some friends I hadn't seen in a while. We got to watch FANTASTIC basketball and cheer our team onto an NCAA Tournament birth. I survived the entire two days without seeing Jaden (although I did talk to him on the phone a couple of times) -- and it was fun for Cody and I to have some time for just the two of us. (Not to mention the weather was GREAT). When we got home on Sunday night, it was so nice to see Jaden but it was also nice to realize that I was able to go away and ENJOY myself while I was away. (Not something I want to do very often though --- I love my little boy too much!)

When I picked Jaden up from daycare Monday night, Jami told me he'd been saying "Mom-mom" all afternoon. Good to know I was missed! ;) Cody and I both thought he looked like he grew over the weekend. He looked taller and older! He is looking more and more like a little boy and less and less like a baby. I can't wait to watch him play sports one day. I was so nervous and emotional during the championship game in St. Louis that one of our fans turned around and said to me, "haha - just wait until you're watching YOUR kids play." Which is so true --- if I'm this nervous at UNI games, I will be a wreck when I'm watching my kids!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hugs and Kisses and Fist Pounds

Sorry it's been so long since I updated! There isn't a whole lot new. Jaden is a pro at giving Mommy and Daddy kisses now. Although sometimes it's more of a head-butt as he tries to lean in for one. Every once in a while he connects lips to face though! He loves giving us hugs at the end of the day --- and loves all of his soft stuffed animals. He really is just a very sweet and cuddly little boy. Lately I've been teaching him how to give me "fist pounds" rather than high-fives. He has caught on better to giving pounds than he has with high-fives. Whatever works :) He does "so big!" and "touchdown" -- although half the time he only throws one arm up rather than two... but again... whatever works :)

He still is not walking. He has taken a step here or there by himself, but he just flat out does NOT want to walk on his own. Whenever he realizes he's standing up without holding on to anything, he immediately sits down. I didn't walk until I was 18 months old... I hope he doesn't wait that long! He LOVES to eat. Cody and I can no longer snack or eat anything in front of him unless we share some with Jaden :) He absolutely loves pizza... got that from Mommy and Daddy, too ;) We had a rough week a couple of weeks ago. He had a little bit of a tummy bug and got two new big teeth in at the top. They still aren't completely through but they don't seem to be bothering him much anymore. Although the last two nights he hasn't been sleeping that great... so who knows. :)

Daycare is still going great. They got a new bunny for the daycare. Her name is Daisy, and Jaden LOVES her! Yesterday morning when I dropped him off, he went over to her and gave her a big kiss and rested his head down on her -- like I said, very sweet and cuddly little boy!

I have started researching toddler swimming pools to find one that I want to get for him. Wow are there some cool little pools out there -- I can't decide which one to get! We will definitely be getting one with a little slide in it. I can't wait to get him outside and swimming and swinging!

Cody and I have been looking for houses lately. It's a very stressful thing to be doing! We keep finding ones that we like parts of, but won't work for other reasons. Either they don't have basements, not enough bedrooms, need too much done to them, not good neighborhoods, etc. We're praying it will happen when it's meant to -- but I sure hope God doens't make us wait too long! I'm so tired of being in a two-bedroom apartment. I can't wait to have my own place that I can decorate how I want -- and more storage space!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spring Please

With the nice weather earlier this week, we cooked out on Tuesday night. And all was right with the world again. It's amazing how being outside for just a few minutes can make you feel so much more alive again. I have never minded the winter. And I still am grateful that I can experience four different seasons every year. However, maybe it's due to the fact that I'm aging (I know, some of you will laugh, but it is true -- I am getting older), but also the fact that I have a little one to entertain now -- I am READY for spring. I am ready for the evenings when I can get home from work, smell chicken on the grill, and Jaden and I can sit outside in the grass and roll the ball back and forth while Daddy prepares supper.

Cody was definitely in his element when we were able to grill out again a couple nights ago. I think it improved all our spirits. It's so much less depressing to be able to leave work when it's still light outside, too. Darkness at 5:00 just makes me TIRED. I am anxiously anticipating watching the sun go down from our backyard, while Jaden explores new territory after being cooped up inside for months. Cody's going to get irritated with me, but I think the first chance I get, I will be at the stores purchasing baby swimming pools, outdoor slides and even a sandbox possibly. I don't like being HOT and sticky and sweaty. But I do love summer nights.

Jaden is sick again. Strep throat and colds have been making waves through the daycare, and we have a very moody baby on our hands. (Just in time for Valentine's Day and what was supposed to be "date" night for Mommy and Daddy!) He has the whole runny nose, cough, tired... BLAH. He also has had some patches of red irritated skin on his face for a couple of weeks now. I thought it was just dry skin for a while, but now it has spread viciously to his bottom, and it is very sore when we go to change his diaper. So... Cody will be taking him to the doctor this afternoon so we can hopefully get to the bottom of what this rash is. I think one of the most difficult things for me as a parent is when I don't know how to fix something or I don't know what's causing something. It makes me feel very uneasy, and I hate it. I would much rather be sicker than a dog myself than to have my little baby have a cold. Please send good thoughts and prayers our way for a relaxed weekend, and for Jaden not getting too sick. Unfortunately, due to his illness he is missing his Valentine's party at daycare today. However, we did bring all of his Valentine's home with us last night, and enjoyed his first sucker! He loved it, but we did take it away shortly after he started sucking on it.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Milestone Reached

Milk. It does a body good. It also does our pocket book good. Jaden is officially drinking milk -- and loving it. And this means we are no longer spending $$$$$$ on formula! After his one-year doctor's visit last Friday, we got the go-ahead to cut him from formula and give him milk at each meal. So Saturday morning, we pulled out the sippy-cup (which he was used to using because he had been drinking juice out of it for a while) - poured milk into it with his cereal - and he drank it like he'd been drinking it all along! That means no more mixing bottles, packing formula everywhere we go, having to wash lots of bottles throughout the day - wonderful! We do still give him his bottle at bed time to help him go to sleep -- we will wean him from that soon, too. He's not only drinking milk -- he is eating EVERYTHING. He had his first peanut butter & jelly sandwich last night. Jami fed him little bites of steak for lunch yesterday. He's had pizza and egg salad sandwich (Jami said he was the ONLY child at daycare to like their egg salad sandwich)! We also took him out to eat with the family last Saturday night, and he ate the chid's spaghetti plate, some of my dinner roll and french fries and some of Deanne's asparagus! He was a happy little boy with all of that yummy food.

Back to the topic of his one-year doctor's visit ---- he did very well. Weighed in at 26 lbs. 2 oz. and measured 32 inches long. He is definitely still at the top of his charts both weight and length. They gave him two shots -- one in each leg, and he barely wimpered. Then he had to get blood taken out of his finger, and he never even flinched! He was just facinated with the whole procedure and kept trying to grab the needle out of the nurses hands. Another nurse walked by and said, "What's going on -- why isn't he crying?!" He just sat there so patiently while the nurse kept squeezing the blood out of his finger. It was amazing. But not necessarily a good thing - he is like his daddy and will end up getting really hurt one day and won't tell us and we'll find out later that he's had a broken bone for a week!

Jaden also is getting very good at giving hugs. It's the best! Many times he crawls over to me while I am sititng on the floor and wraps his arms around my legs and lays his head in my lap. Last night when we got home, I had him on my lap as we were taking his coat off. He looked up at me, wrapped his arms around my chest, put his head on my shoulder and just squeezed me. Loved it! :)

He is so much fun, and I cannot wait to start taking him outside for new adventures!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jaden is ONE!

Life has been very very busy the last week and a half - sorry for not updating in a while. Between work and family life, I feel like I've been running a full marathon for the last two weeks!

Saturday was Jaden's 1st birthday party, and what a success! It was a full day with lots of family and little kids running around, and Jaden loved it. (Except for the balloons!) He got some wonderful presents, but balls still continue to be his first love. He devoured his cake. It started out slowly, as he wasn't quite sure what he was supposed to do with it, but once I shoved his hand into it the first time, he had no problem making a mess on his own after that. Thanks to Cody's grandma Alda for her contributions in making a delicious cake for Jaden to have all to himself! The balloons... Jaden enjoyed them before the party actually started. However, we think he got bopped in the face by them one too many times as the day went on because by the end of the party, he would quickly crawl away from them if they got near him. He looked to be afraid of them! He was such a good boy the whole day - missed his afternoon nap due to all of the excitement, but still managed to stay happy. He was just in awe of all the other kids running around.
Sunday we had his one-year pictures, and that was not as easy as they have been in the past! Jaden did NOT want to sit still at all, and after the session was over, I was almost positive that we hadn't gotten any decent pictures at all. We also tried to get some taken with he and Ella in their UNI gear, and that didn't work very well either. I think one picture of them could have turned out cute - we had Jaden positioned standing behind Ella while she sat on the ground. But Jaden ended up pulling her hair, which ruined that pose before a picture was even snapped. However, once we were able to see the pictures later on ---- there were some very cute pictures that managed to get taken amidst all the chaos.

This week at work, we had our patient open house -- that was our first big event since I joined AAD, and it was a success. It feels good to have that over with since we started talking about it the first week I was on the job last September!

Jaden continues to grow and amaze us. His new thing is not wanting Mommy to be in the shower with the door closed. The last three nights he has pounded on the bathroom door when I've been in there. Last night, he managed to bust the door open and crawled right up to the shower when I was in it. Cody raced in and brought him back out to the living room and shut the door again, but Jaden continued to bang on the door and was crying until I opened the door and he saw me again. But he still continues to be a super happy little guy! (He might not be so happy tomorrow -- we have his one-year checkup and SHOTS -- yuck!) But we also get to clear it with the doctor so we can start him on milk. We are almost done with formula!!! No more mixing bottles and no more huge payments to CVS whenever we run out of formula :)
I will post the video soon of Jaden digging into his cake. :) Cody has his first home inspections tomorrow -- he's doing them for free as practice ones, but it's finally a start!!! Please pray for him and his company -- this has been a long road to finally get this thing started, and I'm proud of him for sticking with it!

Monday, January 19, 2009

"I Am"

I have a very happy little boy. He's always been happy. Though he does have his days (he's entitled - Lord knows I have them). But the last few days he has seemed especially happy. I don't know if he has discovered a new secret that he doesn't want to share with Mommy and Daddy. I don't know if his food has tasted even better lately. Maybe that darn tooth we always think he's getting (but can never see because he bites our fingers the minute we try to peak into his mouth) has finally poked through. Maybe the fact that he has been sleeping through the night for almost two weeks now (please, let that sentence not be a jinx) has ensured that he is extra alert and happy during the daytime. I don't know, but boy is he happy. And talkative. He all of the sudden is very talkative. "Na-na" is his new favorite "word." This could be for "banana" because he LOVES his bananas, and I repeat BANANA about a hundred times every time he is eating one. Or maybe he finally just discovered the letter N. But he has the sweetest little voice in the world -- especially when he's saying "Na-na." (I got to hear it all the way to daycare this morning).

I also have a rapidly maturing little boy. I don't know what it is but the other night while he was taking his bath, I looked at him and saw a glimpse of the "future" Jaden. In that moment he just seemed to grow up a little in front of my eyes. I think it had to do with the fact that he was testing the word "no" while in the tub that night. He wants to stand up in the bathtub. So we repeatedly have to tell him no -- "you might fall and get ouchy." But that night he did it about a dozen times. And every time he stood up and I repeated "no" he would stare at me, sit back down, stare at me some more and then repeat the process. But when I say he stared at me -- I mean he REALLY stared at me. Like he was trying to process every little expression on my face and every single word I said. I LOVE when he looks at me like that. It was a simple few moments that I don't think I will ever forget. It's the face I will probably remember the day he graduates high school or stands at the front of his church on his wedding day. My baby.

And much to Cody's disappointment and frustration - he is a Mama's boy. Cody says I'm turning him into a sissy. I am not turning him into a sissy. He's just at that stage. The "attachcment" stage. Last week at daycare, four days in a row, he wouldn't let me hand him over to Jami, his sitter. Today instead of trying to hand him over to her I walked him all the way into the house and sat him down by some toys. He never fussed. So that is now our new tactic every morning -- take him straight to the toys. Saturday when we went shopping, Cody was pushing him in the stroller... whenever I got too far ahead of them, Jaden started crying. Not whining/fussing... CRYING. Bottom lip pouted out and everything. Little sweety pie.

It will be a busy couple of weeks. And I am getting way too into a lot of shows now. We have the Bachelor, Jon and Kate Plus 8, American Idol (yes it's back!), Gray's Anatomy, Friday Night Lights (finally returned), Bromance (don't ask -- stupid MTV show that got me hooked), and of course, Days of Our Lives. Thank heavens for TIVO. Jaden's birthday party is this Saturday, and his one-year pictures are Sunday. Next week (on the day of Jaden's birthday) is the open house for my work, and we have a lot of staff members flying in from all over to be here. Cody's home inspection business is SO close to being up and running... very exciting. But stressful. It's been a long winter... already! I have never minded winter. But now with a little one, I cannot wait to be able to take him outside. Last summer he was too small to really enjoy the outdoors. This summer, I am already thinking of the little swimming pool we can get for him -- and the little slide/swing set we can put behind our deck. We also want to get Cody a bike and one of those little buggies you can put behind an adult bike to pull Jaden in.

I have videos from this past weekend I need to post. I will do that tonight hopefully. Until then, I leave you with the lyrics of this song -- I loved this song in high school and was reminded of it again last week.

"I Am" by Nichole Nordeman
Pencil marks on a wall, I wasn't always this tall
You scattered sme monsters from beneath my bed
You watched my team win -- You watched my team lose
Watched when my bicycle went down again
And when I was weak, unable to speak,
Still I could call You by name
And I said, Elbow Healer - Superhero
Come if You can
You said, I am

Only 16, life is so mean
What kind of curfew is at 10pm?
You saw my mistakes - and watched my heart break
Heard when I swore I'd never love again
And when I was weak, unable to speak,
Still I could call You by name
and I said Heartache Healer, Secret Keeper,
Be my best friend
And You said, I Am

You saw me wear white by pale candlelight
I said forever to what lies ahead
Two kids and a dream, with kids that can scream
Too much it might seem when it is 2 am
And when I am weak, unable to speak,
Still I will call You by name
Shepherd, Savior, Pasture Maker
Hold onto my hand
You say, I Am

The winds of change and circumstance blow in and all around us
So we find a foothold that's familiar
And bless the moments that we feel You nearer

When life had begun, I was woven and spun
You let the angels dance around the throne
And who can say when, but they'll dance again
When I am free and finally headed home
I will be weak, unable to speak
Still I will call You by name
Creator, Maker, Life Sustainer
Comforter, Healer, my Redeemer
Lord and King, Beginning and the End
I Am
Yes, I Am

Good luck Kurt Warner -- go Cardinals!!!