Thursday, July 28, 2011

Everyday Stuff

1) Russell and I are still doing our weekly letters.  We’ve done A and B and are working on C currently.  He knows A and B well, but calls b “d” because of his speech.  Should be interesting when we start D next week – I wonder if it will confuse him!

We still do lots of coloring and computer work – when he wants to see the PowerPoint, he goes to the computer and says “A apple.” Smile We also use Starfall (a free educational website), and have started with Do-A-Dot markers (in the high chair pic below, he’s using Do-A-Dot markers for the “B is for Bus” page).  We used stickers on the “C is for caterpillar” page (pic below), which Russell really enjoyed…although when Meredith woke up, he decided it was more fun to decorate her with the stickers!


2) Russell’s speech is growing by leaps and bounds!!  It’s so exciting to watch.  He started saying “no” yesterday.  I know most parents hate that word, but it is much more useful than the screaming we used to get!  For example, now if we ask “are you all done eating?” he can say “no,” instead of a blank stare.  In fact, yesterday when asked that question, he replied, “no, still eating crackers.”  What a HUGE improvement!

3) Both Russell and Meredith love to be read to.  Hopefully this will really cultivate a love of reading and learning for them for life!  I can’t keep both of them on my lap together (Russell tries to sit on Meredith – not out of spite, just because he’s trying to get more comfortable) so they lay down next to each other while I read.  Well, one day Russell decided to pick up a book and read to Meredith!  I know they look like deer in headlights in this photo, but I wanted to capture the moment!


4) Meredith continues to be our little sweetheart! I love our time together on Thursday mornings while Russell is in preschool – that’s the only “alone time” she usually gets!  This morning we did a lot of reading, patty-cake, and laying and talking on this blanket:


Monday, July 25, 2011

blog makeover :)

Jason never liked the name “Faith, Love and Blessings” so we’re now “The J-Squared Jungle”…because it feels like a jungle or zoo in this house and we are the zookeepers (but our names start with J so jungle it is)!  Thanks to Leslie at Sweetie Baby’s Designs for our fun new look Smile

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Family-filled Weekend

We got to see lots of family this weekend!  Paw Paw and Kacki came down, and I think Russell was beyond excited.  They came on Friday night and left late tonight (I had a photo session, so Jason really wanted their help with the bedtime routine).

Everything is better with Paw Paw and Kacki – like reading!


We also ended up seeing some of Jason’s extended family, which was really fun.  They live 30-45 minutes from us.  We all got together for dinner on Saturday night.

Nanny just loves to hold Meredith (but who doesn’t?)


Aunt Terri and Kacki:


Russell cracked me up.  Cousin Jordan completely spoiled him by feeding him, and then Aunt Terri got out the matchbox cars they keep for their grandchildren.  I think Russell could have stayed there all night – between those two things, he was in heaven! (In the picture, he was saying cheese.)


Weekends always go SO fast – that’s the worst thing about them!  I think we all had fun – I just know all I’ll hear this week will be “Da Da, Kacki, are you?” (Russell-speak for “Paw Paw, Kacki, where are you?”)  Smile

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Jason and I often talk about how we wish our parents lived in town. 

Oh, we absolutely know how blessed we are – we have two healthy, beautiful children, the ability for me to stay home, and so many more blessings from the Lord.  However, it truly does take a village to raise young children, and a big portion of our village is out of town.


That’s why I’m so grateful for my grandmother.  She lives just down the road from us, and she loves to see and help out with the kids.  She acts forever young Smile She will play trucks with Russell, hold a fussy Meredith, take us out to lunch or her country club pool, and just generally be a wonderful grandmother and friend to me.  We see her about once a week.

Last week, she watched Meredith while Russell and I played in the pool, and then we all had lunch together.


This week, we visited her house.  She is so sweet to keep a basket of toys (mostly trucks) that Russell loves to play with.


What an awesome Great-Grandmother she is!  We cherish all of our time with her.

Friday, July 15, 2011

3 months old!

Meredith is 3 months old!

Look at that precious little face Smile


Meredith is wearing size 1 diapers still, and 3-6 month (and some 6 month) clothes. I have no idea about her height and weight – no doctor’s appointment this month.

We had a little sleep trouble right when Meredith turned 2 months old, and we decided Meredith was telling us she needs a sleep routine. Once we put one in place, she started sleeping great! We can put her down in her crib awake and she goes right to sleep. However, she pretty much has to be in her crib to sleep – too many car seat naps totally undo the sleep routine.


  • Meredith sleeps from about 7:30 or 8 pm to 7:30 or 8 am, but she still wakes up twice to nurse (then puts herself right back to sleep, so it’s not a big deal).
  • She takes about 4 naps a day; she will be awake for about an hour and a half at a time before she gets tired.
  • Prefers to sleep on her side or stomach most of the time.

What else is Meredith up to?

  • I heard her laugh twice yesterday! So sweet!
  • Rolling from back to belly! Normally she will just roll onto her side, but she can roll all the way over (but her arm is still caught under her, so I’m not sure if it totally “counts”).
  • And just today, she started rolling from belly to back! She's done it several times and I even got it on video.
  • She is still a bobble-head, but is getting better at holding her head up by herself and is now able to tolerate tummy time for a minute or so Smile
  • Loves her activity mat
  • Loves to be read to – she looks right at the book and gets pretty excited.

Meredith is just so laid-back and happy. We love her so much!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mer Bear

Just a post to show how cute and sweet our baby girl is!

Meredith is growing so fast!  We put her in the Bumbo for the first time over the weekend.  She’s still a bit unsteady in it but can sit in it for a few minutes at a time.


And the photo below is from yesterday.  I’m having a hard time getting her precious smiles on camera, because she goes from smiley to stone-faced as soon as I bring out the camera.  But yesterday I caught some of her normal happiness – maybe not exactly a smile, but she was quite excited!


And lastly, I have to dress my kids up in UNC clothes while I can, because I know they will be brainwashed persuaded otherwise by Jason’s family (and my dad and brother)very soon.  Carolina girl, sweet Southern pearl…


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Meredith’s Dedication

Today, we had Meredith dedicated at our church (meaning Jason and I and our families promised to raise her up in a Christian home).  What a special, special time of worship and prayer over our child!  Meredith was blessed to have Paw Paw and Kacki, Pops and Mimi, Nanny, Great-Grandmother, and Uncle Jon come to her dedication.


We chose Romans 15:13 as Meredith’s life verse: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


Russell and Meredith were both very good on stage.  Russell was distracted by our live video on the big screen – he was pointing to it and saying “Mama, Daddy, Russell, Meredith.”  So funny!  Russell went to the nursery afterward, while Meredith stayed for worship music and part of the service before she got sleepy and I had to take her out.

Everyone came back to our house afterward for a little celebration.



I thought the cupcakes turned out so cute!



Our sweet girl, all dolled up:


We love our two sweet ones!  And they love each other Smile



We had a wonderful time with our family!  Thank you, Lord, for these precious blessings.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Letter A

Well, I can’t promise I’ll keep this up, but I wanted to start doing a “letter of the week” (and a corresponding Bible verse) with Russell.  We started this week and I think we’ve both enjoyed the activities so far.  Some of these are Tot School activities (great site!).

Here’s Russell coloring the coloring page for our Bible verse of the week: All we, like sheep, have gone astray – Isaiah 53:6.  I discovered he likes coloring with markers much more than coloring with crayons.


Russell actually was interested in this apple puzzle, despite the fact that he had a car in his hand (per usual).  We worked on top, middle, and bottom – he liked the fact that the apple has a bottom because he knows he has a bottom – haha!


Russell’s favorite thing was this PowerPoint I made – we have watched it over and over.


I have Russell in preschool right now, but recently I’ve been thinking more and more about homeschooling (something I said I would never do – seems like every time I say I’ll never do something, I end up doing it! )  Thankfully I have other friends who are thinking about it too.  We’ve got time, though, and I’m in no rush to decide!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July

Just one photo (and not a great one) from a cookout with Jason’s coworkers:


We had a busy (lots of errands/chores) long weekend, but the house is pretty clean for once!  Hope everyone had a happy 4th!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

2 Year Photos

This is the last post about Russell turning two Smile

I hadn’t taken good, professional photos of Russell since he turned one. You would think I’d take plenty, especially since I have my photography business. However, it is a whole lot harder to take photos of your own kid than photos of someone else’s. At least at this age. And at least, my kid.

Anyway, so tonight we took Russell out to the beautiful park near our house and I ended up with a few photos I really like. These are my favorites.





Yeah, it was really hot, and of course Russell was running around, so he is very sweaty in some. Oh well – he’s 2, and I can look back at these and remember how much exercise he got! And wonder how I ever kept up with him!