14 March 2009

We're Moving!

We decided to upgrade our blog a little, so we're moving it to a new address which should be easier to remember:


BritBaby will still be here, but this will be the last post. All future posts will be at the new site, so update your bookmarks!

26 February 2009

Clara Grace Boone!

I just wanted to let everyone know that Gabriel is now a wonderful big brother!!!

We brought Clara home today, and we are all well. She was born on Monday, February 23, 2009 at 8:36pm at Frederick Memorial Hospital. We both had a fever when she was born, so Clara had to stay a few days in the NICU while they ran some blood tests to make sure she didn't have an infection. She received the all clear last night, and she was released today at lunchtime. She was born at 7lbs. 8oz. and 21 1/2 inches long (almost as long as Gabriel, who was 8lbs. 2oz. and over 22 inches long). She has very dark hair and dark eyes. Her skin is much more olive than Gabriel's, so they don't look anything alike! Luckily, we dressed them both in maroon for coming home day, so Gabriel was thrilled that they both had maroon and white shirts on.

Clara is wonderful! She is calm and quiet, and she doesn't fuss unless there's something to fuss about. She impressed the nurses by holding her pacifier in by herself (all the NICU babies have them), and they all loved her fuzzy dark hair. She has long fingers and toes, and her eyes are big and bright. And she loves to have her mouth open, even when she is asleep! She loves to nurse and sleep, so she is an ideal baby!

Gabriel was sooooo excited to bring her home, and he has been covering her in hugs and kisses since we got here. He made me sit in a chair with him and Clara and he wanted to show her his High-5 Magazine. He would intermittently pat her head, hug her shoulder, or squeeze her hand to make sure she was paying attention. He only got annoyed once: he wanted me to "put Clara on floor: play trains!" He really wanted her to come play with him, but we decided to cuddle as a family instead! He is wonderfully gentle and loving, and just so proud to have his little sister home. I am really pleased with his understanding of everything and joy about the new situation. Thank you, God!!!

Gabriel has been such a superstar since this whole fiasco began on Sunday. I was miserable all day, but he was very patient and loving. We were at the hospital until midnight, and he did his best to be a very good boy. After going home for a few hours of sleep, we all decided it was time to go back to the hospital. We dropped him off at a friend's house at 5:30am, and he cuddled with Maureen until her kids got up, then he got to play all day long. Once Clara was born, we called to say that Jake could come pick him up. Maureen had already put him to bed, and he'd been asleep for an hour and a half already! So Gabriel got to have his first sleepover party!!! He was so proud, and he had so much fun. I am so proud of him for being a big boy and playing nicely with his friends.

While I was at the hospital, Jake came home with Gabriel a few times. One naptime, Gabriel was not in the mood for a nap. Jake put him in his bed, but Gabriel threw his pillows all over the place and hopped off the bed to play with his toys. Jake was exhausted and just let him do whatever, but he had to stay in his room. An hour later, Jake went to free him from his confinement, but Gabriel was in bed asleep with all his pillows back in place! He's never done anything like that, and it makes me even prouder of my big boy.

One more note: our blog will be changing soon! We'll have a new address that will be a bit more fitting for our family of four. It'll be an easy transition, but Jake will post all the details once it's ready to go. Also, we'll have tons of pictures up as soon as we can. We need to develop a few rolls of film, and we have lost our phone-to-computer cord, so we'll do our best to get pics up quickly!

UPDATE: We'll pick up our pictures from the lab tomorrow, but here are some phone pictures to tide you over :).

20 February 2009

Party Videos

I know it's been way too long since we posted any videos, so here are a couple from Gabriel's 2nd birthday.

18 February 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Gabriel!!!

What a wonderful day! Gabriel is now two years old, and we had the best birthday ever! He woke up cheerful and excited, and he went to bed cheerful and excited... in a big boy bed in his big boy room, might I add! We had some Stroller Strides friends over for a lunchtime party, and G just loved it. We ended up with 6 kiddoes (5 girls and a boy) coming over to play, eat dino-nuggets with fruit and a super-yummy chocolate cake, and decorate flowerpots and plant some seeds. Gabriel got some really great presents and looooooved having his friends over to play. His tool table was especially popular. I think there are a few little girls that will be getting little tools for their birthdays :).

Gabriel was such a little star. He woke up a little early, so he and Daddy had breakfast downstairs while Mama got a some extra rest. He was Mr. Happy, and it was so great to wake up to his little smiling face this morning. He got two early birthday calls this morning from his grandparents (which so delighted him), then he helped me finish making his birthday cake, and then he got to watch Peter Pan while he danced around in his Indian Moccasins and reorganized his presents -- what a fun morning for the little guy.

We didn't get around to opening all his presents at the party, so we decided to wait until Jake got home to finish up. Instead, he helped me clean up (he insisted on helping me clean before he took his nap!!!) and then we curled up on the couch for a cozy Mama and baby snooze. When we woke up, he almost immediately wanted to open presents, but I said that we needed to wait for Daddy. We started cooking dinner when Jake walked in the door. Gabriel yelled "Daddy is home! Let's open those presents!!!" With that, he zoomed from the kitchen to the living room, completely ignoring Jake and diving into the rest of the gifts. It was the funniest thing he's done all day!

As for other random info, G can count to 16 now, and he's starting to recognize his letters better (although he picked up a letter A from the floor today and said "A is for Gabriel." We'll work on that one!) He is a puzzle-working machine, and he still loves to read books. He is pretty good at identifying dinosaurs, and he knows the names of half of the Thomas Trains! I catch him singing all the time, and I'm always surprised by how many of the words and tunes he remembers correctly. And of course he's usually singing AND dancing. That is the cutest thing you'll ever see, especially when we are out in public and he just HAS to stop, dance, and sing! If he gets tired of singing, he'll just stop, shake his head and say "can't sing that song" and continue on his way. He is such a little person now, and we can have real conversations about things. It's just amazing to see his little brain working. Unfortunately, he's figured out that if he cocks his head to the side and says "pweeeeese," it's very hard for grown-ups to resist him!!!

As for Clara, she is still doing fine and we are still waiting for her to arrive. Two weeks left until the due date, and I still feel good. I'm a bit tired at times, but I'm still active and comfortable (mostly, as long as I am careful about how much I'm on my feet and how much jumping or side-stepping I'm doing). I still go to my exercise class 3 days a week, and I just feel so grateful to have those women in my life! Although we are so far from family, these ladies make us feel safe and at home here in Maryland. It's so nice to have Christian friends that are in the same phase of life and even live in the same town... it's a first for us!!! And I can't neglect to mention our awesome neighbors that love us like family. We may not be thrilled about renting a little back-to-back townhome sometimes, but I love our neighbors (as well as Jake's 4 minute commmute to work).

Happy Valentine's to you all, and we'll let you know when little Clara Grace decides to arrive! Whoopee!

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

29 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had such a nice weekend! We went next door for brunch on Thanksgiving Day, and then Jake, Gabriel and I had a little turkey dinner at home. It was so nice and peaceful, and the weather was gorgeous. Yesterday we had a trip to the library, we went out to lunch, then we did a bit of shopping and then bought our Christmas tree at a farm nearby. The trees are lovely here, and Jake did a great job sawing it down. Gabriel had a great time despite the cold weather, although he was a bit more impressed with the cows mooing and the tractors driving by than with the tree-retrieving process. Every time the cows would moo, he'd yell a big "MOOOOO" right back at them! It was super-cute! Once we brought the tree home, it was very exciting. Gabriel wanted to help with every step, and he even started decorating early... by throwing all his toys in the tree! After we told him that throwing things at the tree is not allowed, he just let all his animals (mainly his talking chicken) nibble on the branches. He now has a little tree in his room with A&M lights on it, and he loves it. He had to give it hugs and kisses before he would go to bed!

Today we worked on Christmasing up our house. We hung lights and wreaths, decorated our tree, and played at the playground. It's been so cold that we haven't been to the playground in weeks. Gabriel loooooved getting to go swing and slide, and he especially loved that Daddy got to come with us. He is getting so good at "stop and go" on the way to the park, and he knows that we have to stop and look for cars before we can go across the street. And we don't dare vary from our normal route or he will have a fit! He definitely knows the way to the park.

Another funny note is that Gabriel loves counting in English and Spanish. He has his favorite numbers, though. If he's playing by himself, he'll say "2, 3, 9, 11, DIEZ!!!" or "uno, taco (for quatro), cinco, seis, siete, ocho, DIEZ!!!"

We also started watching a little bit of Sesame Street after naptime the last week and a half. We have our afternoon snack and drink and talk about what's on the t.v. He loooooves it, and he especially likes Elmo. He even makes an "Elmo face," where he opens his mouth in a big smile with his lips tucked in. It's hilarous! When Elmo comes on t.v., he desperately wants to give him a hug and kiss. It's the cutest. He also makes happy and sad faces, and he loves my old high school drama t-shirt with the sad/happy drama masks on it. His sad face is really just no smile and a tilted head, but it's funny anyway.

Today we were reading our fire-safety magazine and we were talking about "stop, drop, and roll." I asked him if he could do it, and he said yes. So, I said stop and he stopped with bent knees. I said drop, and he dropped to all fours. Then I said roll, and he rolled from his tummy to his back and put his hands on his forehead. I couldn't figure out what he was doing until I looked at the picture -- the boy in the picture is on his back with his arms over his head! I guess Gabriel really does pay attention when we read our stories!!!

We read a library book called Christmas in the Big Woods, and in the story Ma makes pancake men for all the kids. Gabriel is always impressed with this, so tonight I made him a pancake man and a pancake heart for dinner. He was sooooo excited, and Jake held him up so he could watch me make it. It's so much fun to learn with Gabriel, and then to make stories come to life for him. He learns so much every day! I almost feel like I can't keep up with all his new developments. I still can't believe that he's going potty like a big boy already (no, he's not potty trained, but he's getting there) and he loooooooves wearing pull-ups. He really wants to eat at the table or counter like Mama and Daddy, so we let him go high-chairless whenever we can. He does so well! And today he climbed the stairs by himself for the first time. He's been able to do it for a long time, but we never let him go solo until today. Yay, Gabriel!

It's late, so I won't add photos today. I will add them tomorrow, so check in again to see some nice Fall pictures!

17 November 2008

Remember, Remember, to Blog in November...

Once again I've let a month go by without a post. Ugh. What's gonna happen when I have two little munchkins to take care of?! And I have a ton of good pictures to show off! Of course, I have to start off with pictures of our little dragon-baby. He had a great Halloween! We had a day-before-Halloween-party with our Stroller Strides friends, and he loved his costume and playing with the other costumed kiddoes. We then had a spider cake at class on Friday morning, followed by a day out and about with our friends Becca & Jonny (from London, moving to Melbourne, Australia), and some fun trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. He did so great! We only went to a handful of houses, but by the end he knew the drill: ring doorbell, say trick-or-treat and Happy Halloween, get candy, say thank you! He did not want the night to end! And he loves his dragon costume. He would occasionally want to take off the dragon-face-hood to give it a hug and a kiss! And his roar-roar is the cutest ever!

We don't have a lot going on. We are house-hunting (although we have now decided to wait a bit longer), preparing for the new baby girl due in March, and enjoying the cool weather up here. The leaves changed colors beautifully up here, so we made sure to go hiking while Becca & Jonny were here. That is something that most of Texas really misses out on. Gabriel loved the leaves, and we even had a few leaf fights with all the kids at class! It was awesome! We are still searching for a church home, so we go somewhere different every week. Nothing has fit right (not even near), so we may start trying churches closer into the DC area. Other than that, we are just keeping our heads above water.

As for Gabriel news, he had a biggie today! Now that the weather is cold, we have Stroller Strides indoors at the mall. Santa arrived a couple weeks ago, so after each class we go look at the model trains and wave at Santa. At first, G wouldn't even wave. Then he'd give a little wave while clutching to Mama. Lately he's been giving humongous waves with a big, excited smile and blowing kisses. Today he wanted to go see him! He gave Santa a hi-five, took a little candy cane, and even talked to him! I asked G what he wanted Santa to bring him, and he said "trains." Okay, we had practiced that once or twice ;). Then Santa asked if he wanted just regular trains, or Thomas trains. Gabriel's eyes lit up, he looked at me, then he looked at Santa and said "Thomas trains, please!" I am so proud of him! Maybe in a week or two he'll even sit on his lap for a picture. We'll see...

What else? He loves to move the barstools away from the counter and push a dining room chair over so that he can stand on it and be with the grown-ups or reach for things we've hidden from him. We had a long visit with Jonny & Becca (almost 2 weeks), and now Gabriel has picked up a few things: he often says "cheerio" or "cheerios" when someone leaves, he says "tract-ah" instead of "tractor" about half the time, and he still thinks Jonny & Becca are somewhere upstairs. Actually, he knows they're in Australia now, but he believes that is somewhere upstairs. He is super excited about Christmas already, although I don't know that he knows what it is. He loves reindeer, Santa, snowmen, Christmas trees and lights, and all the music and decorations to go with it. He loves Nativity scenes and Baby Jesus, but his favorite parts are the animals and the angels. I have to sing Jingle Bells and Up on the Housetop every day, and we read "The Night Before Christmas" about twice a day! And if he's fussy, we just pop in some Christmas CD's and he will start dancing and trying to snap his fingers. He is definitely my son!

We don't have much new baby news, other than that she is a tough little girl. Gabriel moved constantly in the womb, but it was mostly gentle. This girl likes to kick and poke with all her might! It actually hurts quite often, and once she starts to push out a foot or an elbow, she just won't release. Ouch! But everything else is great. She's right on target for size, as am I. And despite my complaints, I love to feel her wiggle. I think it just makes her feel more real to us. Gabriel likes to put his little hands on my belly to feel her move, and he still loves to give her hugs and kisses. And no, we don't have a name yet, but we are desperately trying to figure it out. It's so hard! She'll be stuck with whatever name we choose forever, and we want to give her a name that is special, meaningful, and something she'll love. We'll let everyone know what we decide, and we promise not to make you wait so long this time around.

Well, tomorrow is a long day of house-hunting, and it's supposed to snow tonight, so I'd better sleep while G is sleeping.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope to post again before Christmas comes and goes!!!

Here are a few random pictures in no particular order. I might come back and comment on them later, but it's late and I am sleeeeeepy!