23 January 2009

Happy 2009!

We have been having so much fun that I have been terrible about blogging! We had a great time in Texas visiting as much of our family as we could, although we came back to Maryland fairly exhausted from all our traveling. After a few weeks of fighting colds and other ailments, we are back in the swing of things. Jake is back at work with a new schedule (he now has to go in early, but he gets alternate Fridays off), and Gabriel and I are back at Stroller Strides and keeping busy with our chores and errands. It's nice to be back to normal, and it's fun to see Gabriel getting excited about our new schedule. He likes getting up and leaving in his pajamas to take Daddy to work, and then it's fun to come home and make breakfast before going to class.

It's been rough adjusting to the terribly cold weather up here since our return, but even tougher since the weather was soooooo nice in Texas -- in the 60's and 70's!!! We had some snow the other day, so that was a nice way to break up the bitter cold. Gabriel and I went for a snow hike and found a big, fat, brown bunny curled up on the playground. He's still excited about the snow-bunny!!! Today it was finally warm enough to play outside -- first time in a couple months. It's supposed to get cold again soon, so we'll have to go back to hibernating :(.

As for the baby, we are getting excited about finally meeting her! I'm at 34 weeks now, so we have around 6 weeks until her due date. If you don't already know, her name is Clara Grace, although Gabriel calls her "Cwara Grace!" She has suddenly moved down lower in my tummy, so I finally feel like I need to waddle a bit... I'm doing my best not to duck-walk :).

As for Gabriel news, he is just growing and learning every day. One of the most fun new developments is that he can sing songs now! He knows quite a few, and I'll catch him singing to himself verses from songs that I had no idea he even remembered. He's often fairly in tune and has a bit of rhythm, but he sometimes likes to put his own spin on things. And if he wants a song about whatever thing he's thinking about, he'll just make up his own lyrics. For example, if he wants an "elephant song" he'll start sing-songing "elephant song, elephant song, elephants eat dinner, elephant song, elephant sleeping in the chair..."

He's also great at identifying dinosaurs. We have a couple dinosaur books, and he has memorized many of the dinosaurs' names! He's also getting good at remembering the names of a lot of the states. Grampy (my dad's dad) gave him a big U.S. puzzle, and he loves working it bit by bit and naming the states, especially Montana, California, and Texas. He really likes to put his animals on Maryland and announce "dinosaurs sitting on Maryland! Gabriel lives in Maryland!"

He still loves to cook, he loves his new tools that he got for Christmas (he is constantly fixing things), and he is absolutely obsessed with Thomas trains. Anything involved with transportation is great, but especially trains. And his animals play with his toys with him. It's really cute. Another new thing is that he likes for his animals to "talk" to him. He wants Jake or me to hold an animal and make it move and talk like a puppet. His eyes light up and he gets so excited! If I can't get him to put on his shoes, all I have to do is pick up an animal and have the animal ask him to put on his shoes. Voila, shoes are on in a flash :).

To answer a lot of questions, yes, we are planning to have Clara up here in Frederick at the local hospital. Please come visit if you can! We have a guest room, a hide-a-bed couch in the living room, and an air mattress, so we can squeeze you all in :). And the next time we'll be in Texas is the end of May, as we'll be attending Melanie's (Jake's sister) HS graduation in Amarillo.

We've also had a lot of questions about gifts for Gabriel and Clara, so I thought I'd put our answer on the blog for all to see! We made a little registry with Babies R Us. It's mostly a list of things we're planning to get for Clara, but there are a couple Gabriel-related items as well. We're planning on moving him to a full-sized bed for his birthday in February, so bed related things will be exciting! He looooves books, so that's always a good choice. And he loves to go to Target or Barnes & Noble to pick out a toy or book, so that's a for sure fun thing for him. As for Clara, we have a lot of the basics but not as much "girl" stuff. Most of G's baby stuff was pretty neutral, so we plan on using most of it for C as well. Babies R Us and Babiesrus.com are good places to go to look for Clara ideas.

I've got a ton of pictures to post, so I'll do a few when I get a chance. Keep checking, and I promise to get some up here eventually!

Natural Science Museum



Santa came a few days early because he knew we'd be in Texas on Christmas morning.

Santa left lots of candy canes on our tree... Gabriel loooooves candy canes!

The Mountain Overpass Thomas Train Set!!!

The Lincoln Memorial from the car

The White House from the back

The National Christmas Tree and lots of big train sets

Mimi and Gabriel playing trains and diggers

Mimi, Gabriel and Grandma Becky playing trains and diggers

Mimi and Gabriel in the BEAR CAVE!

Our newest cousin, Sage Gasaway!

Ugly (the horse) is as old as I am!!!

Great-Grandma Gasaway, Mimi, and Gabriel

Gabriel and Pippy in Bastrop

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