Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Fun!

Last year we went to our first pumpkin patch, at Uncle Bob's in Newnan, GA. Ethan was 19 months old and it sounded like a fun thing to do with a toddler. Josh and I had never gone to a pumpkin patch just the two of us because I guess those are the sorts of things you do once you have children. :) We had a good can read about it by clicking here.

This year, we decided to try another local patch. Uncle Bob's was fun, but I found another that sounded like fun too, so we gave it a shot. This one was called Jack-O-Lantern Lane in Lafayette, AL. We loaded up the kids and made the 45-minute trek to the farm in the middle of nowhere. Deciding that a stroller would probably be difficult, I strapped little Noah to my chest in the Baby Bjorn, and Josh wrangled the other crazy little man for our adventure. We bought tickets that allowed us to ride the wagon out to the patch and pick a pumpkin while we were there. Awesome! At Uncle Bob's you had to pay admission and pay extra for pumpkins, so it got a little pricey. This was a much more affordable option. The only downside to the day was that it was in the 80-degree temperature range, which was a bit warm for pumpkin hunting, but we survived. :)

We started by checking out the animals they had available for petting. Poor Ethan was frightened by the horse's neighing. I guess I have to admit that that guy was so loud that even startled me! ;) haha!

Ethan was very happy to move on to the bunnies!

I think Noah liked them too. :)

After spending lots of time with the bunnies, we made our way over to another area. Ethan had lots of fun grinding corn all by himself! We even watched them make cornmeal from it too. I guess I should have bought some since he had a part in making it. Oops. :/

After finishing with the corn, we went to pick our pumpkins. They had two big fields for us to wander through, searching for the perfect round pumpkins. After quite the hunt we made it out with three nice ones. Ethan even picked one out all by himself! :)

We rode the wagon back to the parking area, tired from a few hours in the hot sun. Poor Noah didn't look very comfortable, but took a great nap! haha

While he slept, the rest of us enjoyed the most delicious vanilla homemade ice cream I have had in a very long time. It was the perfect creamy texture and was just the refreshing snack we needed on that toasty day!

I can't believe how big my "big boy" is getting!! :'(

Time together as a family is limited right now mostly to the weekends with Josh in Tennessee working during the week and the rest of us at the house in Georgia. So, it was a great day spent all together at the pumpkin patch. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Noah is Three Months Old!

Where does the time go? It's hard to believe that Noah turned three months old last week. It seriously feels like we were just bringing him home from the hospital not that long ago! He is such a big boy already too!! Our little "fathead" (as we affectionately refer to him based on his big head and overall chub, hehe) gained 1 pound, 6 ounces to weigh in this month at a whopping 14 pounds, 10 ounces (75th to 90th percentile). He grew just half an inch to measure up at 24 inches (50th percentile) as well. I haven't measured his head yet, but I am guessing it is on the higher end of the norm. ;) What can I say, he has inherited the Frank head for sure! I guess that is fitting to take after his namesake, Grandpa John Frank. :) He is definitely our chubby little guy because he is in the 75th to 90th percentile for height-to-weight ratio as well. Ethan was always super tall and skinny and under the 10th percentile for that category, but Noah's thigh rolls confirm that he is packing on more pounds than his big brother did. ;) I love it!  Here is a pic of our little cutie at 3 months old, wearing the 12-month onesie.

And here is a pic of Ethan at 3 months with Noah's pic. I still can't get over how similar they look! Poor Noah appears to be even more bald, which I didn't think was possible. I guess that is another trait inherited from his momma! What little hair he does have is a very nice shade of strawberry blond. His eyes are still very blue and I'm thinking they may actually stay that color. We will see though. It took Ethan's at least 9 months before they started turning brown.

Noah is gaining more personality every day. He loves smiling and laughing at us and has discovered his hands and apparently, how tasty they are! He is sleeping fairly well at night. He sleeps for around 12 hours, but it varies on how many times he wakes up during that period. He has gone 9 hours straight, but not very many times yet. He usually gives me about a 6 hour stretch, then smaller, 2 to 4 hour stretches. He normally takes a pretty decent afternoon nap. I try to time it up with Ethan's naps as often as possible which usually allows me at least an hour or two of peace. Ahhh. He still takes a short morning and evening nap too at this point. He continues to nurse every 2 to 3 hours during the day. You can't get those cute rolls without eating that much! ;) Fortunately he is quick and efficient and only needs 10 minutes to eat! I definitely think he will be ready to start cereal next month. He has already started eyeing our dinner plates and his neck/head control is great. He loves sitting in the bumbo and looking around at everything. He seems to find his big brother to be quite fascinating and loves "playing" cars with him already! :) He has been rolling from his tummy to his back since he was born, but just recently rolled from his back to his stomach for the first time. Unfortunately, we all missed it. :( I had laid him down on his back while I went into the kitchen to get something for Ethan and when I came back around the corner, there he was on his belly!! Silly boy! We're still waiting for him to do that one again. The boy also loves to be naked. He squeals with delight every time it's time to change him! haha. Fortunately for us, he is a good traveler, which has been nice with all of the trips we have been making lately. Hopefully we will soon find a place in Tennessee and we can settle in to a good routine.

Here is an adorable video of Noah's newfound laughter. :)

One more pic of our adorable guys. Ethan (or "Big Boy" as he refers to himself 24/7) has been such a great helper with Noah (which has even included him recently trying to "feed" him with his boobies - too funny!) As I was taking these pics, he was tickling Noah to get him to smile. :) I love these guys!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We're Moving!

It's been awhile since I've had a chance to blog, so I am going to take advantage of the fact that both boys are napping at the same time today (woo hoo!) to catch up a bit since I scrubbed the house clean last night after they went to sleep! :)

In case you haven't seen any of my recent FB status updates...we're moving! And that is the reason I have been a bit busy lately. Searching for houses is hard work! So we made it almost three years in this house. It was the same for our Kentucky house - just a few months shy of it. I think it will be much harder to make the move this time though (not just logistically, based on the two extra little people we have now, but sentimentally as well). We love our gorgeous house, the wonderful neighbors and friends we have made here and the beautiful Georgia weather (most of the time)! ;) This is the only house the boys have known. It's kind of crazy to think that I was still pregnant with Ethan when we first moved in. So much has happened and changed since then!! Just this year we had finally painted most of the rooms, did a complete remodel of our yard and built an outdoor building. The house/yard is looking fantastic! Go figure.

Aside from the house, we now have a 2.5 year-old toddler and a 2-month-old infant to keep us busy. They are the reason for our move. We decided that having Josh take a job with a better work-life balance was what we needed now that our family continues to grow. Josh genuinely liked his job and co-workers at Kia and really enjoyed what he did there, but the 65-70 hr weeks were starting to be too much and were not allowing him much time to spend with his family.

He wasn't really looking seriously for a new job, but when he was contacted by a recruiter (while we were still in the hospital, the day after Noah was born) about his new position, he was open to interviewing with them. After a couple of phone interviews, they invited him up for a day-long interview in August. We all made the trip north to Kingsport, TN, where we met both sets of grandparents, eager to see the grandkids. We looked around at the housing in the area, enjoyed a delicious dinner with one of the guys Josh is working for, and Josh completed his interview. It was an interesting weekend in the hotel room with a 4-week-old eating round the clock and a 2-year-old who has always had his own super quiet room (and hadn't slept away from home in 8 months). When he woke up with Josh on that Monday morning around 5:45, I caved and let him crash in bed with me. At that point, sleep was necessary, no matter where it occurred! All went well and Josh apparently made a good impression as he was offered the position a couple weeks later. After much consideration, we decided the offer was too good to pass up. The promise of a great salary, possibility of awesome bonuses and raises, incredible work hours (four 9's and one 4), and a relocation package out of this world was enough to convince us that is was time to move on. His new position at Eastman Chemical will be a research and development position, working with the raw materials that go into paints, so it will be a move out of the automotive industry. A bit intimidating to leave something that you are so familiar with, but exciting nonetheless.

Josh started his new job on October 3rd. So far, so good. He thinks that it will be a good position once he gets all settled in. He has been doing a lot of orientation/training stuff for now. It is definitely a different experience for him working with a bunch of PhD guys and having his own huge office (complete with nameplate on the door)! ;) So far they have been very accommodating with his schedule, which allows him to come back to Georgia every weekend.

We all went up the last week of September to hunt for houses. Grandma Frank came along to help watch Ethan and Daisy at the hotel so that Josh and I could search a little easier. Thanks Mom!! We went out with a realtor all four days we were there and saw at least 53 houses. Ugh. It was a bit disappointing to discover that to get a house and land comparable to what we have here in Georgia we would have to pay almost double for it. Sigh. We're still searching for the perfect house/lot, but have a few on our short list of houses to look at again. We are considering building again if our search doesn't turn up something perfect soon. Maybe we are too picky? Just seems silly to pay an insane amount of money for a house that still needs thousands and thousands of dollars of work yet too! :( Hopefully our perfect home will turn up on the market soon!

We have had two showings now on our house here in Georgia. One of those was this morning, so I have yet to hear how it went. We were told the other showing (last week) went great and that the couple wanted to make an offer, but then they had a death in the family and we haven't heard anything from them since then. Hopefully we will hear something soon so that we can get this house sold! It will be a bittersweet moment for sure, but at this point we are ready to be reunited again in Tennessee. The boys and Daisy and I are staying here at the house in GA while Josh is living in an apartment in Tennessee. We felt it would be easier for me to take care of them here with all of their stuff vs. cramming all of us into a 2 bdrm apartment. This is my first week alone with them and so far we are surviving. We'll see how long that lasts! ;)

Well, I think that pretty much sums up what we have been up to lately. Hopefully I will soon be writing to say we have completed the move!