Friday, December 28, 2007

Gracie the Photographer

It's hard work taking pictures of Grace because she has never enjoyed getting her picture taken, but she loves looking at our camera's viewfinder. We thought she might enjoy having her own camera, so we got Gracie a kids' digital camera for Christmas. It's really neat! It's definitely kid friendly, has room for its own SD memory card, has video capability, a photo editing CD, built in templates, its own USB cord, and all that... Of course, the quality of the pictures isn't what we'd want or expect for a regular camera, but for a kids' camera, it's totally fine. She loves seeing her own pictures. The following slide show consists of Gracie's first snapshots! It's interesting to see things from her perspective... Who knows, maybe this is the start of a lifelong love!

Our Holiday Season

We've been so busy this holiday season that I've fallen behind with my posts... Sorry! I'll start with Dec. 18. It was an important day for our family as it was the first year anniversary of Jason's dad's passing. It's hard to believe that it's been a year already. If you didn't get a chance last year to hear about his life, here's a link to our tribute to him: Tribute to an Amazing Man. Jason's mom wanted all of us to do something together as a family- we went bowling! It was Gracie's first time. Of course we had to put up the gutter bumpers, but still, the kids had a lot of fun. Gracie's first bowling score: 58.
A few days later, we headed up to the family's Shaver Lake cabin to celebrate Christmas. I got to have my White Christmas after all! The ground was snow covered, perfect for playing outside in. We went sledding, made snow angels, and even "snowtwins."
Even before we had kids, Jason and I have made Christmas Eve "our family" time. This past Christmas Eve, Jason made a fantastic meal that has become our family tradtion- Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Shallots. It was sooo good! Jason and Grace spent time putting together a gingerbread house. Afterwards, our family went to our church's Christmas Eve service. This particular one will be memorable because Jason, Jeremy, and I got dressed up to play Joseph, Baby Jesus, and Mary for one of the songs. It was Jeremy's second time- a few Sundays ago, he played Baby Jesus for our church's choir's program. He slept through both times! After the service, we went home to open presents. Gracie enjoyed that, also because she got to open up Jeremy's presents, too, so it seemed like she got to open up everything! It was such an enjoyable evening. In the morning, we opened our stockings and had a wonderful breakfast before heading up to Jason's mom's house for the day.
On Wednesday, Jason and I decided to do an overnight trip to Sacramento. I'm taking my 5th grade class on a field trip in May, and I wanted to explore a little bit for myself. We decided to make an overnight trip of it. Both Gracie and Jeremy stayed overnight with Jason's mom and then his sister watched them all day Thursday. In Sacramento, we were able to go out for a nice dinner and relax at the hotel (actually, I watched about 3 hours of the "Flip That House Marathon" on HGTV... we only get a few T.V. stations at home, so Jason and I love being able to watch stations like that when we're able to). On Thursday, we slept in (yeah!). We found a little bistro for breakfast in Midtown. We explored both the Discovery Museum (Gold Rush Center), and the California State Railroad Museum. Of the two, we both really enjoyed the Railroad Museum. Next, we walked to the State Capitol, and got stuck for about a half hour on the grounds because there was a funeral procession for a fallen sheriff happening all around the Capitol. It was a non-stop procession of motorcycles and police cars from all over the state. With the constant flow of the procession, there was no way for us to cross the streets, so we just stood and watched. Of course we couldn't leave the area knowing there was an IKEA nearby!! This was my first time away since having Jeremy... We're told that both kids did great! I was emotional leaving them and was so happy when we returned, but I also knew that it was important for Jason and I to spend some quality time together without them. The trip brought back memories of a time when Jason and I would spontaneously take trips somewhere just because we wanted to. We can't be as spontaneous as we used to be, but it's nice to know that we can still do getaways. We're so thankful to his family for watching our kiddos so we could take this trip.
Anyway, that just about sums up our holiday season... Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas! Make sure to check out our photo album for pictures!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Jeremy Update

I took Jeremy to the doctor for a wellness check earlier this week, and as promised, here's an update: he is now 12 lb. 11 oz. (75th percentile for weight compared to others his age), and 23 inches long (50th percentile for height). Of course Jason was hoping that he'd be in a higher percentile range for height- gotta have one of our kids nice and tall for volleyball! Ha ha ha... Jeremy started smiling about a week and a half ago, and he started cooing earlier this week. Here's a short video of our sweet little boy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Children's Christmas Program

Jeremy is 2 months old today... We go in to see the doctor tomorrow for his shots and wellness check. I'll post more details about how he's doing at a later time this week.
This past Sunday, Gracie "sang" in our church's Children's Christmas Program. Last year, she ran up on stage behind all the other kids and was oblivious that there was a congregation full of people watching her. I remember seeing her climbing up on the choir risers and running around while the other kids sang their Christmas songs. We knew something like that was bound to happen since she was only 2 years old!

As a 3 year old this year, we also didn't expect for her to simply stand and sing all of the songs. We wondered what she would do to make the moment memorable. Take a look- unfortunately, the picture is blurry but we'll make sure to remind her when she's older of the year when she lifted up her dress and showed everyone her underwear!
As well, Jeremy received his first Christmas gift during the program- his first Bible! Jason shared with the congregation the meaning behind Jeremy's names (Jeremy- means "The Lord is exalted;" Edward- named after Jason's dad; Anh Hao- is Vietnamese, given by Jane's parents, and means "hero"). It was a special morning!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

We "Elfed" Ourselves

Our friend, Tracy Neufeld, sent us a hilarious video that our family cracked up over. We personalized it for the four of us and Gracie, Jason, and I have been watching it over and over again... It is so funny! Gracie keeps asking to watch it "just one more time." Enjoy the video (Click here: Isaac Elf Video).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm Free... to Eat What I Want... Any Old Time!

Okay, cheesy title for this post... But I want to give an update about the state of my gestational diabetes. As soon as Jeremy was born, my doctors assumed that my body systems would return to normal. Just to be sure, I still had to get another glucose test to confirm it at my postpartum visit.

The glucose test was awful! You're supposed to fast for 8 hours prior to the test, so by the time it is all done, you're starving and feeling light headed...I had to do the 2 hour one, where they draw your blood every half hour. Altogether, it comes out to 5 needles! Unfortunately, due to the phlebotomist's incompetence, I ended up getting my blood drawn 8 times! I had so many needle holes, I actually imagined what it'd be like to be a druggie.

When I went to my postpartum visit at the Diabetes Center, my doctor informed me that the hospital had lost one of my test results. Imagine that- 8 needles and they still didn't get it right. I would've had to get the whole thing done again, but my doctor said that since my other tests' results were ok, he would just assume that the missing test result would indicate the same. Phew! It is now official- I no longer have gestational diabetes. However, I am now at a greater risk for developing diabetes later in life... It was suggested that I continue checking my blood sugar several times a year just to be informed. At this point, my diet choices and exercise are the best ways to lower my risk. The chance of developing diabetes gives me extra motivation to be aware of my diet choices and to lead an active lifestyle.
This past weekend, some of my girlfriends came over to help me celebrate Jeremy's birth and the end of my gestational diabetes. In addition to eating desserts and hanging out, they spent time creating pre-made scrapbook pages for Jeremy's scrapbook. Before Grace was born, one of my baby showers was a scrapbooking one where my friends created pre-made layouts for Grace's scrapbook. I so greatly value those pages! Now I have over 10 layouts ready-to-go for Jeremy's book. Thanks so much, dear friends, for your help!