Monday, December 29, 2008

For Those of You Who Don't Know

Here's the story with us moving. About a year ago Jim purchased two acres of land out in the country. The land had an old manufactured home on it, and a little shop. The plan was for us to live in the house, and Jim would work from the shop. The problem was, the house wasn't livable. Slowly but surely Jim worked on fixing up the house, and in a year we've poured a foundation, and pretty much gave the entire inside a face-lift including new floors, new paint, new doors, etc.
There's still some stuff that needs to be done, but when it became livable we moved in. Also, with the economy as it is and Jim's work slowing down, we really couldn't afford two housing payments anymore. So, with the house still not 100% complete, we decided it was time to move into it anyways, and fix up the rest after we moved. There's really not too much left to do to the inside. Small things like light fixtures changed, finish painting the kitchen, closet doors hung, shelves built, are what's left. Jim also needs to finish the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. As of right now we're still using cardboard shelves Jim's Aunt Michelle helped me fashion after we moved in. They look great (sense the sarcasm) but they're functionable (is that a word?), and that's all the matters.

When spring comes, Jim has plans to fix up the outside of the house. It needs a little TLC as well. As does the landscaping. It will all get done slowly but surely. For now we feel comfortable enough to call this place our little home for a spell. We're surrounded by peach and apple orchards, as well as vineyards. We're definitely out in the country. When I look out of my kitchen window I see chickens running around and our neighbor's horses. It's different, but change is good.

We're not planning on staying here forever. We're hoping by the time this place is done, we'll be able to sell it and move onto something else. However, for the time being this is home.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Guck!

The other day I heard Tralee saying "I guck. I guck." I followed the sound of her voice only to find this happening in our room:

Yes, she sure was stuck! I grabbed the camera and took this shot, before I helped her out of our blinds. Only one blind was broken, and we have a replacement for it. So, no harm, no foul. However, since this happened, I've attempted to teach Tralee that we do not play in the window blinds. It hasn't sunk in yet. We're working on it.

In other news, Tralee has learned her colors. While at Jim's Uncle's house, his kids had a Twister game out, and each time we asked Tralee to find a color, she would point to the correct one. Then, today at Church, as she was munching on some Fruit Loops, she picked out a yellow one, looked up at me and said, "Lellow!" I whispered, "That's right, that's yellow! Good girl!" She popped the yellow Fruit Loop in her mouth, and then picked out a blue one, looked up at me and said, "Boo!" I praised her once more, and waited for her to name another color. She didn't dissapoint, and next picked out a green Fruit Loop and announced, "gween" and then munched on it as well. What a smart little girl!!
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Saturday, December 27, 2008


Our Christmas was very nice this year. That sounds generic doesn't it? Well, it was still nice. On Christmas Eve Jim, Tralee, and I opted to stay home instead of go to a Christmas party. We watched old Christmas movies, and read the Christmas story out of the bible. Tralee actually sat very still as we were reading it.

After Tralee went to bed, Jim and I finished wrapping her presents, and then hit the hay ourselves. Somewhere around 4 am Tralee wandered into our room, and I let her stay there, snuggled in between us, until she woke up and we could open presents. I didn't sleep very well Christmas Eve night, but I never do. I'm always too excited to sleep. It used to be I was too excited due to all the presents I would be opening. Now, I'm too excited to see Tralee open all of her gifts. After she woke up, I ran to get the camera ready, while Jim kept her occupied in our room.

Tralee was still a little too young to grasp the whole present/Santa concept, and we had to remind her how the whole opening presents thing went, but she got it after a while. The first thing she saw was her stocking on the couch. Santa left her a stuffed animal monkey, and she grabbed that first and said, "Ooo Ooo Ahh Ahh." It was pretty cute.

All I wanted from Santa was the movie Penelope, and Santa delivered! I guess Jim must have had a conversation with Santa, because Jim told me it was VERY difficult for Santa to find this movie, and it took him and his elves a lot of time to locate it! I'm really glad he did!

After about three gifts, I think Tralee lost interest in opening presents, and she just wanted to start playing with her things. Towards the end, Jim and I opened the rest of Tralee's gifts for her. They were just clothes, and being a kid, she wasn't too interested in them anyways.

The gift we thought would be the big hit, a Tickle-Me-Elmo-Doll, freaked Tralee out! As soon as we set it up, and Elmo was on the floor laughing, Tralee ran out of the room screaming in fear. I wish I would have got it on video, because it was pretty funny. After that, all we had to say was, "we're going to tickle Elmo now!" and Tralee would run out of the room as fast as her little legs would carry her. After a while, Tralee warmed up to Elmo, but only from a very far away distance, and if she was safely in one of her parent's laps. Now Tralee thinks Tickle-Me-Elmo is okay, but she still enjoys him from a distance. Today she carried it up to me, and as soon as I took it from her, she ran across the room to watch Elmo laugh and shake from a distance.

The biggest hit was a little turning puzzle game. I don't really know how to describe it, but Tralee absolutely loves it, and if that's all she got for Christmas, all would be well.

Jim's favorite gift was a homemade card from Tralee. She had a little help with it, but it was mostly done by her.
After opening all the presents, we got ready, and we drove to Jim's Aunt Michelle's house for brunch. It was really yummy, and we had fun visiting with her family, and playing with all of her kids' new toys. We also visited the 21 puppies her two dogs recently birthed. If you know anyone who wants a puppy, I know a place you can get one!

Later on, we went to Jim's Uncle Dave's house to play games and eat more yummy food. Every year Aunt Becky makes a prime rib dinner and we were lucky enough to be invited to it! It was yummy, and as always, we had fun playing games with the Callisters.

Our thoughts weren't far from Jim's Mom and the rest of our family we couldn't be with on Christmas. We were happy to hear that Tricia is progressing more and more everyday. We're also happy Jeff was with her on Christmas, as well as Jim's brother John and his family. It sounds like Christmas was a good day for Tricia.

We also missed going to my Nana's for her annual Christmas Brunch (seriously the best and most anticipated meal of the year in my family) but we're happy to hear the rest of my family had no problem polishing her platers clean of all the yummy food Nana prepared, even without us there to help.

This Christmas is one I will never forget. We didn't have much in terms of material things, but we were so very blessed all the same. Our prayers were answered in ways I can only describe as miracles, and for that I am truly grateful. I'm so thankful for those that have served us, and help our prayers be answered.

We hope the new year brings everyone much hope, peace, health, and happiness. We're excited to see where this crazy ride called Life takes us this following year. We'll be sure to keep you posted.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's a . . .

BOY!!!! Jim is SO excited! We made it a family affair and took Tralee with us. She was excited to see the baby up on the screen at first, and then got bored after awhile. I have to say, she was very well behaved! She'll be such a good big sister! I could have stayed all day watching this little guy squirm and move all over the place! Speaking of squirming and moving, check out this video. When you see him make that big movement, I totally felt it! I told the sonographer (is that a real word) that I felt it, and she was impressed. You can also see his little heartbeat thumping away.

Here's his face.

It took quite a lot of work to get our baby boy's side profile. The sonogram tech had me lay on one side, then the other side, and then back to my back to see if all the movement would make this little boy shift so we could capture his profile. It finally worked!

Hopefully the next picture isn't too in-your-face, and if you're easily offended, sorry. As you can see, our son had no problem showing us his "stuff." When we walked into the room Jim told the technician, "Do all you can do to find a penis!" She told us that it had been a "penis day" so far, and that all three of her appointments were all boys. She quickly added, "just in case, what should I tell you if I can't find one?" Jim told her, "Just say, 'Well, I didn't find one today, maybe next time' that way I still have some hope." When we got to that part of the sonogram, the technician said, "Well, I did all I could to find a penis. . . and luckily for you, I found one!" Jim was thrilled! I was happy, but I would have been happy either way. I did feel some relief (for Jim's sake) that it was a boy. Later on I asked Jim, "On a scale between one and ten, how happy are you?" He replied, "An eleven." I then asked, "What if we were having a girl?" He answered, "A nine." So. . . either way Jim would have been happy too, but not as off-the-charts-happy as he is right now. When Jim left to go back to work he wished me a "Happy Penis Day!" From now on, 12/22 will be known as that.

Below are his arms and hands.

The next picture is of our son's feet. The technician pointed out that he has VERY large toes. He must get it from Jim, because I have short stubby toes, and Jim has gargantuan long toes. I also think our son's profile looks a lot like Jim's too. I know it's hard to tell at this stage, and while looking at a sonogram picture, but I still think it looks like Jim.

The last video is of baby boy Jacobs playing with his feet. The sonogram tech was laughing, because she said she doesn't see this kind of thing too often. He was playing with his feet for several minutes! It was so neat to watch. The video doesn't do it justice, but you get a glimpse of it. You might have to watch the video a few times to see what's happening. The head is to the left, and at one point you actually see his hand holding onto his leg so he can look at his feet. It's awesome! What a smart little guy, he's already coming up with ways to stay occupied in there!

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as we enjoyed posting it. We're very happy, and can't wait to meet this little man in about four and a half months.
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Ready or not. . .

. . . we find out today if I'm growing a boy or a girl! Stay tuned.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Up! Up!

Anyone with kids that knows us well, probably knows that "Up! Up!" is a favorite activity Jim likes to do with anyone around 9 and under. He's been working with Tralee since she was about 6 months old, waiting for the day when she would finally get the balance to stand all on her own. Over our Thanksgiving stay in WI, she finally mastered it! We think she saw her cousins Haylee and Brady doing it enough, that she wanted a go at it too. We're so proud of our little balancer.

These pictures were taken in our "new" living room. So, there you go, you caught a glimpse of our new space in the world.

Also, if you look at these pictures closer, there's like a halo of light around Tralee's head! WEIRD! What do you think this is? A spot on our camera? The lighting in the room? OR. . . is it an actual halo? We like to think of Tralee as our little angel, and apparently, she is! :)

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After this, everyone will be doing it!

Tralee found a new use for Easter baskets. At first you might think, "huh, that's a little extreme." We like to look at Tralee as being fashion forward. Before you know it, everyone (probably ages two and under) will be sporting this look. We think it will really hit the U.S. this spring. Watch for it, and then when your kids are sporting their Easter baskets as head wear, you only have Tralee to thank for it.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Moved In

So, we're officially in our house. There's still loads of unpacking to do, but it'll get done eventually. When we're feeling nice and settled, I'll be sure to post some pictures (it might take a while). Until then, I have to say this move would have been impossible without the help of Jim's Aunt Michelle, and Uncle Dave. Both of these people have been a HUGE help to us, and we're SO thankful for them.

First of all, our old ward's Elders Quorum were setting up for the ward Christmas party during the time we scheduled to move all the big stuff. So, when Jim's Uncle showed up, there was just TWO guys there moving all the heavy things. We really appreciate Uncle Dave's willingness to help us move, and we're pretty sure he got a big workout doing it! Not only did Jim's Uncle move things for us, but he gave us a pretty sweet deal on some appliances for this place. We're so grateful for all the help he provided.

Aunt Michelle helped us finish packing all the miscellaneous items that are SO annoying to pack on the last day of moving, and she helped us clean up our old duplex. She was a cleaning machine! I don't think I could thank her enough if I tried. Not only that, but after we put her to work on day one, she came back a second day for round two of moving. She showed up at our new place with home-made soup, home-made bread, home-made cookies, gifts, AND she even stayed and helped me get all the kitchen stuff unpacked and organized. I honestly don't know what I would have done without her here helping me. I woke up yesterday morning feeling a little overwhelmed with all the things I would have to do to make my kitchen function, and after Michelle showed up my worries were gone. She whipped this place into shape, and again we're so thankful for her help! Even Aunt Michelle's nice neighbors, who we don't even know, gave us a gift. We're so thankful for them to, and are touched by their generosity.

My parents have also helped pitch in with helping us purchase things for the new place. We're grateful for their generosity and willingness to help us out.

I really wish there was something I could do to pay all these people back for their kindness to us this holiday season. I hope someday I'll be able to. I've been a little down lately, but all of this generosity has really helped perk up my spirits. Thanks again to everyone that's been watching out for us. We hope and pray you will be blessed beyond your means for your willingness to serve us. We're so thankful!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Latest Accomplishments and a Set Back

Tralee now knows how to use the word "uh-oh!" which is really cute. Sometimes she drops things on purpose just to hear herself say "uh-oh!"

Tralee has also been using the phrase "I guck!" not to be confused with "Uck" It took us a day to realize she was actually saying "I'm stuck." "Uck" is her word for duck. Tralee says "I guck" if she wants her clothes taken off, if she can't reach something, or if she's in her car seat and wants out ASAP! She's a smart little thing.

I'm also amazed at how good Tralee is at puzzles. She knows just where the pieces go. Grammy Char Char also got Tralee some cute books where you have to put a certain animal or food on a certain page. I'm amazed that Tralee gets it right EVERY TIME!

Tralee also amazes me when we're doing anything involving the alphabet. The girl isn't even two yet, and she can correctly identify most letters when we ask. She also says and points to and does the sound for the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, H, K, L, M, O, P, S, T, Z.

Tralee is now counting to three as well. She actually counts higher than that, but one, two, and three are the only words you can actually make out.

Much to Jim's dismay Tralee is in love with all-things-cat. Any puzzle we have with a cat, Tralee takes the kitty out first and carries it around. There's a book we have with a cat in it and Tralee turns to that page first. My mom got her some books that you can pull the animals out of, and Tralee always pulls the cat out, gives it a kiss, and walks around with it all day. When we try to get her to put it back, she refuses. We have to wait for her to set it down, and then quickly put it back in the book. When we were in Wisconsin Tralee found one of Haylee's cat stuffies and carried it around with her everywhere. As soon as we pull in front of Petco Tralee starts meowing, and runs up to the cats you can adopt. The only thing that will tear her away is the promise to look at the fishes. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Tralee's mostly enamored by orange cats. I'm not sure why. I want to find an orange stuffed animal cat for her for Christmas. So, if you know where I can find one, let me know.

One thing we're not too pleased with regarding Tralee is screaming. Tralee doesn't like hearing the word "no" although she can dish it out like no other. Whenever we have to tell her "no" she usually growls, roars like a bear (seriously), or SCREAMS! For instance, she wanted to play with a bottle of vaseline today, and I wasn't to keen on cleaning up the mess that could make, so I took it away from her. It wasn't easy. Whoever said taking candy away from a baby was easy obviously never did it. Tralee had a death grip on the vaseline. When I finally pried it from her grasp she looked at me, her face got bright red, and she screamed as loud as those lungs would let her. I swiftly got to her level and said as Supernanny-ish as I could "We DO NOT scream when things don't go our way! It's inappropriate behavior. If you do it again, you go to time out." She pouted at me another minute, and just when I turned away another high pitched scream erupted from those sweet little lips. So, to time-out she went. After a minute of hanging out in our designated "time-out" area (the half bath downstairs) I opened the door and, just as those Super Nanny episodes taught me I got to Tralee's level and explained why she was in time out, and then asked for a hug. She obliged and went off to play. The only problem is, this keeps happening. The time outs don't seem to work. She still screams when she's ticked off. When this happens part of me wants to laugh because, honestly, it's so cute to see her little face all pouty and mad, and the other part of me wants to be a good mom and nip this behavior in the bud. We're working on it.

I just thought I better document the latest info on Tralee, so I don't forget it. I never thought I would forget things about my baby, but as I was watching a video of Tralee from last year I was shocked at how much she's changed in one year. This whole growing up thing really does go by fast. She changes everyday. It's exciting and sad. I would love to keep her my little baby forever, but at the same time I can't wait to see what else this little girl comes up with.

To Grandma Trishy From Tralee

Dear Grandma,

I've been thinking that you've probably had a nice stay Up There visiting with loved ones, filled with light and happiness, and feeling pretty good. Here's the thing, my memories from Up There are fading everyday, and I could really use someone to fill me in on the news from whence I came. I know you're probably in a different division of Heaven than from where I came. I was in Outgoing and I'm pretty sure you've been visiting with the folks in Incoming, but either way you've been closer to my Heavenly Home than anyone else I know down here. So, I was wondering if you might be able to come back soon and remind me what it's like in the Heavens. I know it's difficult to leave and say your goodbyes to everyone Up There, but there's still quite a few folks that are anxiously awaiting your safe arrival back to the earthly realm. I know it's important for your body to rest and all, but if you could come back to us sooner rather than later I would really appreciate it.

I thought a song might help you wake up faster. My mom likes to sing to me when I wake up, so I thought I'd give it a shot too. I can't really sing yet, so I'm just going to post a song I first heard on a very important and informative show. It REALLY got me movin' so I thought it might do the same for you.

Here goes nothin'.

Love you Grandma Trishy and for goodness sakes, wake up!!

Waiting Patiently (well, trying to),

Tralee Marie Jacobs

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Milwaukee Area Photos

Jim and I had a discussion about why I always tell people I'm from Milwaukee, when I grew up in the suburb of Fox Point. I explained it's because no one knows where Fox Point, WI is, but everyone has at least heard of Milwaukee. Also, Milwaukee is literally a 15 to 20 minute drive away from where I grew up (depending on the traffic). Jim was concerned about my eternal salvation in this "lie" I've been telling people for years, so I thought I should clear things up and explain that I'm from the "Milwaukee area." The funny thing was, right after we had this conversation Jim got a phone call, and when whoever he was talking to asked where he spent his Thanksgiving holiday he replied, "In Milwaukee." I couldn't help but tease him about his hypocrisy! Anyway, so we both don't end up in hell for the vicious lies we tell, let me just say these next few photos are from the remaining part of our trip in the "Milwaukee area."
Nana and Tralee playing together.
The little garbage trucks I wrote about in an earlier post. My five-year-old nephew, Brady, thought I was silly for taking a picture of a garbage truck.

Tralee playing at the indoor playground at the mall

We ate lunch at Rocky Rococos at the mall. It's a pizza place I used to eat at all the time when I lived in Milwaukee. Too bad there aren't any Rocky's in Idaho.

More playground pics

The house I grew up in. I lived there from first grade to eleventh grade.
Katie was one of my best friends from Wisconsin. We were in the same kindergarten class together. She has a little boy a year older than Tralee, and I really wanted to see them play together. However, Tralee was a little stinker and grump and we had to put her down for a nap during our visit with Katie.
Katie and her cute little boy Jack

I was also able to go visit Lauren, another one of my best buds from Wisconsin. However, I forgot my camera and didn't get any pictures. Oh well, it was a nice visit even without the pictures to prove it.

We also had dinner with my Uncle Mike and Aunt Mary, and didn't get any pictures from that either. Bummer.
Pics from our visit with my big bro Todd

On the day we left my mom, Jim, Tralee, and I went to visit my brother Todd at his group home. He wasn't sure about me when I first walked in, but as always, he was all grins and giggles as soon as he saw our mom. After he saw Mom, he liked having me around too. I was also excited for Todd to meet his newest niece (the last time I visited Todd Tralee was only five months old, and slept through the entire visit). Tralee and Todd eyed each other down a few times, but that was about it. I guess I wasn't expecting much more than that, as Todd's mental age is about the same or younger than Tralee's actual age. Tralee sure had fun playing with Todd's toys. She was ticked off when we made her leave Todd's room and say good-bye.

We left for the airport after our visit with Mr. T. Our trip to Wisconsin was fun and exhausting. Tralee didn't sleep too well away from home, and so we didn't sleep too well either. Oh well, it was worth it to visit with family, and see so many loved ones I haven't seen in over a year. I'm not sure when we'll make it back to WI after the new baby is born, and due to the fact that Tralee won't fly free after 1/23. Oh well, I'm glad for the opportunity we had to spend Thanksgiving back in the land of beer and cheese.
Tralee napping at the Milwaukee airport

Monday, December 8, 2008

Up Nord Photos

I'm breaking the pictures into two groups. The first half is from our stay in Shawano (pronounced SHAW-no). We enjoyed our stay up there, and my Grandma Stoehr and Mom made a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for us.

I love this picture of Tralee!

Tralee playing in the leaves in the forest behind Grandma and Grandpa Stoehr's

The day after Thanksgiving we hung out, played games, walked to the river for some photo opportunities, ate some more, and watched movies. Here are some of the MANY MANY MANY pictures that were taken on our walk and by the river.

Tralee playing outside with Daddy

Tralee playing outside with Mommy

My brother Jimmy, his wife Amy, and their kids Haylee and Brady walking to the river

Jim and myself walking with Tralee down by the river

Tralee holding her daddy's hand by the river

Grammy Char Char, Tralee, and me by the river

Family photo shot by the river

Tralee absolutly LOVED being outside in Wisconsin.

First "belly shot" of the pregnancy. I was 17 weeks along in this photo. Jim found this "pregnant tree" and wanted a shot of my belly next to it.

Cheesy glamor shot

More cheesy couple shots. I bet your glad these aren't our wedding announcements.

On Saturday Grandma took Amy and me to some thrift stores, and an awesome antique store. The funny thing was, I saw some cool things at the thrift store that were marked up 500% at the antique store. If you have a good eye, you can find some awesome deals at thrift stores for some nice vintage/antique items. It's still fun to look at antique stores though. At the first thrift store I found three ties for Jim that were super vintage (which translates to super ugly). Jim believes the uglier the tie is, the better it is. They were .50 cents each. I also found an old cookie/frosting press in its original (vintage glory) packaging for $2. I saw something similar at the antique store for $15. I ended up spending $3.69 while thrift store shopping. Can't beat those prices! You also can't beat going to thrift stores with Grandma Stoehr. I think it's a tradition. I used to get up early Saturday mornings to go to garage sales with Grandma to look for treasures. Grandma and I would love to show each other our finds, and then talk about where we would put them or what we would do to them. Grandma has a great eye for thrift shopping. So, if you're ever in Shawano ask her to take you, you won't regret it!

Jim, Grandpa Stoehr, David, and my dad went bowling on Saturday. We met up later and Jim and Uncle Dave came with the ladies to go buy some real WI cheese (so so so good). Afterwards we went home, played games (this is when we found out about Jim's Mom), ate more yummy food, watched more movies, and went for another walk.
Here are some pictures of Jim walking Rudy, my dad riding a bike on our "walk," Uncle Dave hanging out with us, and my mom and me pulling some random faces in Shawano.

I didn't pack any winter clothes, and it was cold up north. So, Grandma Stoehr saved the day and gave me some winter clothes to wear. Jim thought I looked funny in them, so he took a few shots of me sporting my borrowed winter gear.

Later that night Grandpa Stoehr invited Jim to a hunting raffle that was taking place in Gresham (an even smaller town than Shawano). Jim thought it would be a nice outing so off he went with Grandpa. Jim said the raffle was quite the experience. It took place in a tiny bar, filled with smoke, and large beardy men sipping on their Papst and talking with thick Wisconsin accents. When the bartender asked Jim what he would like to drink, Jim replied, "A Sundrop" (this is a soda that's made and bottled right in Shawano). The bartender looked at Jim funny and said, "Is that all?" To which Jim replied, "Yup, that's as strong as it gets for me." Jim also said whenever he talked all the men would turn and stare and him and then exclaim, "Wow! You have a really nice accent!" Jim thought this was pretty funny, because all these Wisconsinite men's accents were thicker than their waste size. The good news of the night was Grandpa Stoehr won $50 on the deer raffle. The deer he shot while hunting a few days before made him enough money to pay for the tags. Good job Grandpa! :)

The thing Tralee liked BEST at Grandma and Grandpa's was their dog Rudy. She LOVED him, and would cry when he wasn't around. Silly girl!

It looks like Rudy is about to bite Tralee, but he's just about to kiss her.

Sunday we went to church, came home, packed our things, ate one last meal, said our goodbyes, and drove back to the Milwaukee area.

Brady, Tralee, and Haylee before going to church (Tralee REALLY loved her cousins!)

Some generation photos. Grandma Stoehr, Grandpa Stoehr, Mom, Tralee, and myself all pictured.

Our stay in Shawano was great and it tuckered us right out!

Jim and Tralee napping on the drive back to the Milwaukee area.

Pictures from our stay in Milwaukee coming soon. . .