Feb 28, 2010
Me: "Yes, baby."
Well - Jarrod had just taken a large bite from his sandwich and his mouth was full. He didn't answer Gavin, and apparently that wasn't ok with him.
Gavin: "Hello??? You! Daddy!" he said, while pointing right at him. We both started laughing so hard. I think it was the tone of his voice and how he was pointing that we both thought was so funny. It was like he was telling Jarrod, "Ummm, don't ignore me. You are the Daddy....answer me!"
And so the bossiness begins....
Feb 27, 2010
The first time, Gavin was still in his PJs, throwing a fit while Jarrod went out to shovel and lay salt. So, I bundled him up and he walked with Jarrod to throw salt. Such a big helper.
Then later in the day, Jarrod took Shirley out and again, Gavin wanted to join him. So, we bundled up again and went out for 10 minutes. There's a huge pile of snow from the parking lot that the plows made. When we first got Shirley back in '04 (man, that seems like a long time ago!) we had a big storm in Dayton and we had the same scenario - big pile of snow in our parking lot...Jarrod and Shirley climbed to the top and I took their picture. Jarrod decided to recreate that scene! Here they are climbing the pile.
Feb 26, 2010
He's a really good traveler. On the way down, our first flight was delayed, and he still did pretty good. He watched some Thomas on the DVD player (Thanks Aunt Sandy and Uncle Dave!) and then fell asleep on me. When we flew from Chicago to Beonville, it wasn't a full flight so he got his own seat. He watched the DVD player and read books the whole time!
We spent so much time in the car over the 4 days we were there, so Gavin pretty much napped and snack in the car seat. He was getting quite tired on being in the car on Monday afternoon, so Jarrod decided to offer him a muffin. He just kept saying, "Mess!" over and over again.
Feb 25, 2010
It was quite a culture shock. I don't know when I've ever seen so many cows. But, it is definitely not just farm land. There are a ton of shopping areas and restaurants, probably more than we have here in NY. There's a really nice outdoor area that reminded me of Ohio. It was like The Greene or Rookwood, and I can see myself walking around with Gavin when the weather's nice. I love that we'll have access to the Walton Life Family Center, which is the rec area. I'll be able to work out again while Gavin goes to the adorable child care area, and they have a ton of classes I can sign up for with Gavin, like swim lessons and a Moms and Tots class that sounds like a tumbling class.
There are definitely constant reminders that we're in the south. We passed restaurants called "Slim Chickens" and "Pig and Whistle." There was an advertisement for the 3rd Annual "Are You Smarter than a Hog" trivia contest on the radio. People refer to carts and shopping bags as buggies and sacks.
Even though there was a lot of traffic, neighborhoods everywhere, and shopping centers galore, it already felt like it was a slower pace of life. It's definitely different....but hopefully something we all adjust to and begin to enjoy. I remember that first drive up here to visit New York and how I kept thinking it was so different, and I grew to love it here. So, I'm hoping the same thing happens with Arkansas.
Our house-hunting didn't go quite like I planned. By the time we got there, all of our top choices were already rented. We also quickly learned that we needed a fenced yard. Most of the houses are built quite close together, so if we didn't have a fence, Shirley would definitely be spending a lot of time in our neighbors yards. After talking with the realtor we worked with, we decided to bump our rent limit up a bit to find what would truly make us happy. So, this is the house we decided on, for just $75 more than we pay here in New York for our 2 bedroom apartment! It's a 4 bedroom/2 bath home in Bentonville. If traffic isn't bad, it's only a short 8 minute drive or so for Jarrod to get to work. We love the kitchen and the fact that it came with a refrigerator. Most didn't, and we didn't really want to have to buy one. Jarrod loves that it's so close to 'civilization,' as he calls it, but also within distance from a farm. He walked Gavin down the street to say hi to the 'moos' (cows) when we were there visiting.
Here is the 4th bedroom, which has really cute french doors. We're probably going to use this as a playroom until we need the space for a guest room. For now, the 3rd bedroom will be the guest room.
Feb 23, 2010
Feb 22, 2010
Feb 21, 2010
Feb 20, 2010
I've had a lot of people asking me lately if I'm really ok with this move. Honestly, I am. I'm in a completely different place with this move than I was when the New York move happened. When Jarrod first brought up the chance to move to Arkansas, I thought he was crazy....didn't want anything to do with it. But, in true Jennifer-fashion, I tend to react quickly before weighing the options and thinking things through. The more we talked about it, the more I looked into it, the more I realized it was the best option for our family, even if it meant we'd be in Arkansas.
I'm not saying that I'm not sad that we're getting farther from home. I wish we were closer to our families all the time. When I have Tastefully Simple parties and see hosts there with their moms or sisters, I miss mom and Megan so much. When Dad texts me to tell me how good he's doing with this workout and diet, I wish I was there to hug him. I miss seeing Tyler and Briana grow and wish I could be there to help with their homework occasionally like Megan does. (Though something tells me she's probably better at it....I only taught first grade....they're 6th and 7th graders now - probably over my head! Isn't that what Bri told me once? Megan was smarter because she was in college and I only taught first grade!) When I hear stories about Shaw, I wish I could be there walking down the hall....spending lunch with Sara and Tori, doing recess duty with Lindsay. I wish I could be there for the baby get togethers when I hear that Lindsay, Jill and Megan got together. But, our life has taken us on a different journey, and I'm bound and determined to make the most of it!
My family and I have done a fabulous job keeping in touch. This blog is a great way for them to see what we're doing here in NY, and I plan to keep it going in AR. We talk on the phone almost daily, and thanks to Skype, they get to see Gavin quite often. I think we've even done a great job getting to see one another. I think the one of the hardest parts is that some of my friends and I aren't in touch as often as I thought we'd be. I imagined lots of emails, texts, and phone calls, and that hasn't exactly happened. But, again, I think that's a part of growing up and moving away....things change. I know, even if we aren't in touch as often as I'd like, that we'll always be friends no matter what. The distance just makes things a little more difficult.
So, now that this has gotten very long, I'm going to stop. I just wanted to let everyone know how I was feeling. Yes, I miss you all terribly. I think about you all EVERYDAY. In a perfect world, we'd all be closer together again. But, I am ok with Arkansas. I'm actually looking forward to it! I'm so excited to move into a house with a yard that Gavin and I can play in this summer while Shirley runs around. I'm looking forward to being in a neighborhood where we can take walks and get to know other families. I'm anxious to see a different part of the country that we'd otherwise never visit. I know if we hadn't moved here, I never would have experienced the great things Rochester and Upstate NY have to offer and met the great friends I've made here. I'm so excited to see where this move takes our family; it will bring us even closer and make us even stronger.
Feb 19, 2010
I was just going through some of the photos and videos on my computer, and I don't think I ever posted this. A lot of my family and friends got a lot of snow lately, but we haven't had too much. This was taken in January, but thought you'd still enjoy it.
Feb 18, 2010
Earlier this week, I gave him his shoes and asked him to put them in his drawer. Off he went to his room.... Later that day, I went in to put laundry away. I opened the bottom drawer to put his pajamas away and just smiled.
There in his drawer, were all his pajamas and the shoes I asked him to put away. I know it's weird that I took a picture of it, but when I saw the shoes in there, my heart just melted and I couldn't stop smiling. They were in the wrong drawer, but he tried to help out. So sweet.... I always want to remember things like this from when Gavin was little.
Feb 16, 2010
- Apple Crisp Cheeseball Mix
- Awesome Amaretto Cocoa Mix
- Bayou Bourbon Glaze
- Berry Sunrise Raspberry Pancake and Waffle Mix
- Berry Sunrise Raspberry Syrup
- Bowtie Pasta and Chicken Cacciatore Mix
- Carrot Pecan Bread and Frosting Mix
- Cheese It Up! Crisps
- Cheesy Chive Warm Dip Mix
- Cranberry Tangerine Cheesecake Mix
- Creamy Dreamy Chocolate Mousse Mix
- Creamy Wild Rice Soup Mix
- Everybody's Chili Mix
- Gotta Lotta Garlic Salsa
- Hearty Chicken and Dumpling Soup Mix
- Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning
- Mild Red Pepper Dip
- Nutty Good Granola Snack Mix
- Oh, So Berry Granola Snack Mix
- Oh, So Olive! Dip Mix
- Oven Baked Mac and Cheese Mix
- Pasta and Portabello Beef Stroganoff Mix
- Quick Corn Bread Mix
- Roasted Garlic and Herb Dip Mix
- Ruby Orange Slush Drink Mix
- Seedless Black Raspberry Preserves
- Sesame Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce
- Spicy Olive Twist Cream Cheese Dip
- Sweet Bell Pepper Dip Mix
- Warm Up! Mulling Spice
Let me know if you need anything! :) Remember, it ships directly to you via UPS for a flat rate of $6.99 for orders up to $50. Order as much as you want! After $50, the shipping goes down to 10% of your order. You can get $50 worth of yummy food shipped for just $5!!!
Feb 15, 2010
We fly to Arkansas on Saturday to start the house hunting process (and will hopefully know for sure what home we'll be moving into by the time we fly back on Wednesday.) I'm so excited to go house hunting! I love looking at homes, and to know that we'll be in a HOUSE again is soooo appealing to me. I can't wait for campouts in our backyard with Gavin, nights by the fireplace (because it seems like every home we put on our list has one!) and having friends and family come stay with us. YAY!
I have my last Tastefully Simple party Friday, and then I'm taking a short break until the Spring/Summer line comes out in March so that we can get settled. But, of course...if there are any Fall/Winter items you have to have before they retire, call or email me before the end of the month. There are some amazing products going away...Sweet Bell Pepper Dip, Awesome Amaretto Cocoa... Mmmm!
Alright - have to take advantage of naptime and head out to the garage for a little while! Oh, and if I haven't talked to you in a while, CALL ME! I miss you, friends! :)
Feb 14, 2010
I just looked through the pics again - good thing the sucker had a stick, huh? He never held the sucker by it! :)
Feb 13, 2010
Last night he called when he left work and this is how our conversation went.
Him: "Do you have any extra Valentine gift bags laying around?"
Him: "Ok, I'll just use one of the boxes I'm bringing home to pack in and put your gifts in there."
Me: "Well, I didn't wrap your gift yet. I was going to give it to you tomorrow."
Him: "So, do you just want to trade gifts and say "Priiiiiise!" (Gavin's favorite word....a commonly heard phrase around here.)
I thought it was pretty funny. So, when Jarrod walked in, Gavin took him his package from LL Bean and said, "Priiiiise!" Jarrod took my gifts out of the cardboard boxes one at a time. He bought me an 80s Greatest Hits 3-Disc CD set for our looooong drive to Arkansas, a new cookbook, and a box of chocolate covered strawberries and cookies. Yummy! Gavin and I took care of the cookies last night. :)
Feb 12, 2010
Feb 11, 2010
Jarrod got the first minute and a half on video. We probably spent 20 minutes on the whole cut, and it actually got worse after the camera went off. I ended up sitting in the chair and holding him, while his hands gripped the cape she put on me and he screamed bloody murder. But, in the end, he looks adorable! Pictures to come soon!
Feb 10, 2010
Bloom where you are planted....
Feb 9, 2010
How to get to Sesame Street? :)
When Jarrod was finally done traveling back and forth from Syracuse, we celebrated having our family back together with a trip to Strong Museum. I, regretfully, forgot my camera. :( But, I did have the Flip Camera in my purse so here are a couple short videos from our trip to visit Elmo at Sesame Street!
Feb 8, 2010
Feb 5, 2010
Then I realized it's been 6 weeks since Christmas, and started thinking about all his toys. There are some that he still really enjoys and we play with regularly.
- The Table and Chairs - these were mine when I was little, and Gavin loves them! He eats his snack there (if it isn't a messy snack) and loves to climb on it.
- The ABC Nesting Blocks are very popular. We build with them daily and he likes to identify the letters. Funny that these weren't even on his original list of gifts to receive. Jarrod and planned out what we were going to buy, but I saw these 50% off at Target and had the have them. The bright colors and educational value of them appealed to the teacher in me.
- The shopping cart courtesy of Mimi and Beepa. LOVES IT!
- Ball Pit from Aunt Rosi - this became a lot more fun after the extra balls mommy found. Mommy, on the other hand, doesn't think it's much fun putting 200 balls back in the ball pit on a regular basis.
- Play food from Evan. We dump this out several times a day and play with his kitchen.
On the other hand - here are some Christmas gifts that unfortunately find themselves being ignored like Bert and Ernie...
- Little People toys - these started out to be a big hit, but lately he hasn't been all that interested in them. I'll have to make more of an effort to pull these out.
- Puzzles - still in the closet. These don't get played with very often either.
- Keyboard - We thought this would be his favorite toy....he never touches it!
- His drum - he still likes it, but it's definitely not as popular as it was in the beginning.