Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where we are now

Sometimes, okay most times, I get a little nervous when I think about this fall and being responsible for three little tots.  I tend to get most nervous on Mondays and Tuesdays because those are Jon's long days.  The days where I'm on my own from wake-up to bedtime, through all meals, naptimes, tubby times and book readings.  Until they finally stop chatting in their beds and I can stumble right on by the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, collapse on the couch, flip on HGTV and marvel at how exhausted I am.  I mean, it's just two kids! 

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And most moms don't have it as good as I do, since the other three days a week my husband is working from home and can lend a hand when the boys are screaming for lunch and Mommy ends up spending 30 minutes on the phone listening to a prospective student go on and on about her health, financial and relationship issues, despite the fact that this same person began the conversation with "I only have a minute but ..."  By the time I got off the phone Jack was already down for his nap and Jon was working on the washing the lunch dishes.  Yeah, I have it good.  For now.

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Jon recently spoke with his new boss and it would seem that we can expect long work hours in his new job and loads of traveling.  And not just a few days here and there.  I believe a two month stint 1,000 miles away was mentioned.  "Dear Mr. Coast Guard Captain Sir, I'm going to have a newborn, in addition to a very spirited, highly active 3 year old, and his sensitive, mama's boy 18 month old brother.  You cannot take my husband away from me for two months!!"  Needless to say, I'm already scouring Craigslist for potential Mother's Helper applicants.  And "guest bedroom" has moved to the top of our housing "must have" list since we now have an open invitation for either set of grandparents to come and go as they please, and stay for as long as possible.

Other than that, I try not to think about it.  I try to just focus on the here and now, and heaven knows there's plenty to focus one.  So where are we now?

Now, we're really into tape measures.  As in, we've already broke two and have been caught devising a way to retrieve a third one from Daddy's tool box.  Clever boy.

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He figured this one out all on his own folks.  Just can't figure out how to open the toolbox.

Now, we have a shorter haircut, compliments of Daddy.  (Might be a long while before we attempt that again!!)

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Now, we are suffering a bit of cabin fever.  The weather's been cold and rainy this past week and some of us are bouncing of the walls, literally.  Jack has taught himself how to do foward rolls and does them the whole way across the house.  Of course, when we are able to get outside after a rain shower, the results can be traumatic. Poor Jack.  He was having so much fun running through the drainage ditch ... until he fell face first into the mud.

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For days afterward he would randomly start telling the story:  "Puddle ... eyes.  Eyes in the puddle."



So lately, since we're stuck inside, we're "playing" with flashcards, learning our numbers, colors, shapes and states. This kid really likes to learn!  And we've been doing lots of puzzles.  Jack's a puzzle pro.  See that Thomas the Train puzzle?  That's a 24-piecer baby!  And he can almost do the entire thing himself.

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We've had a lot of indoor time lately.  Need. More. Puzzles.



Where are we now? 

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Well, we're still not crawling.  But how close is he in this picture!?  We're doing really well with "walking while holding someone's hands."  And we dominate our walker (maybe that's why we're not crawling?).  You should see Jude maneuver his set of wheels around the house.  He whizzed by me the other day while I was walking across the kitchen.  The moment he heard me open the refrigerator door he put himself in reverse, whipped back around the corner and parallel parked right inside the fridge door.  Then he reached for the bottled cilantro - it's his go-to condiment. 

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Jude's also known for giving "flat tires", he'll come flying up behind you and run over your heels.  So lately I've been prancing around the house on my tiptoes.  Oh, and let's not forget the time he completely took me out in that thing.  Yup, came up behind me, cut me off and knocked me to the ground.  He's got a lot of work to do between now and age 16.

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Right now we're also cutting some serious teeth.  I'm pretty sure every tooth in his mouth is about to make an appearance at this point.  Whenever a Jude-tooth is about to break through, we usually have a rough night.  Which means I end up sleeping on the guest bed in Jude's room.  Last night was no exception.  In fact, it may very well have been our worst night yet.  It was 9:30 and I was just about to go to bed (first trimester exhaustion, cut me some slack!).  And then I heard Jude wake up.  He cried for two hours.  I got him out of bed, and snuggled for a while until he fell back to sleep.  Gently laid him back down and ... he was up again, kicking and thrashing.  So I picked him back up, paced the floor until he fell asleep, then sat down.  He started thrashing again.  More holding, more pacing.  He fell back to sleep and I kept walking.  I walked the hall until my arms and back ached.  As soon as I stopped he was up again.  I tried to rock him, he screamed.  I tried to nurse him, he pushed me away.  I tried to lay down in bed with him next to me, smack up on my side with one arm around his head and his feet kicking my thighs... he slapped me across the face and kept screaming.  By now, we're pushing 11:30 and I'm at my wit's end.  I finally grabbed him a cup of milk.  He chugged it, on and off in between 2 minute naps, until the cup was drained.  And that's the last thing I remember.  A few hours later I woke up, still sitting up in bed holding a zonked out baby in my arms.  I laid him next to me, he immediately woke up ... and started laughing and kicking the bed.  Oh Jude.

Oh, and then Jon woke up the next morning wondering why I was sleeping in Jude's room.  Men.

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Yes, where are we now?  Deep in the throes of house hunting.  We drove by a few last weekend (and quickly crossed them off the list) and looked at a new house (which we fell in love with), but just found out it's been sold.  We're only two weeks into this and it's already a bit discouraging.  We're going to look at a few more soon so hopefully we'll have some progress to report on in the near future.  And in the meantime, we hoping the weather will warm up and a certain someone will get all their teeth and the second trimester will come quickly!   That's where we are now!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Touchy Baby

Not long after we found out we were pregnant with Jude, Jack started crawling.  And a few months after that, he was off walking.  I was told having a mobile baby would change everything ... and it did!  I mean, he had always had a personality before that, but now that personality had legs!  We learned a lot about his Jack-ness in those early months of my pregnancy, which I wrote about here.  Thanks to Tracey Hogg's Secrets of the Baby Whisperer we were able to catch on to all the quirks of parenting a "spirited" baby, and it's helped prepare us for life with a "spirited" toddler. 

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And so, after seeing Hogg's dead-on prophecies and personality analyses ring true first hand, I was anxious to test her theories out on our second born.  From the moment Jude arrived I've been watching and waiting, trying to catch a few glimpses of just who this sweet little boy is going to be.  But I'll tell ya, he's not an easy one to figure out.  At first I thought he was an Angel baby, or at the very least a Textbook baby.  He was the perfect infant, sleeping all day, waking every three hours (on the dot) at night, and swiftly going back to sleep on his own.  In fact, Jude has fallen asleep without any help from me since the day he was born.  We never had to employ cry-it-out, never got stuck with a nursing or rocking to sleep routine and never had an issue with moving him to a crib in his own room.  The child is just plain EASY.  Ergo - Angel Baby.

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Now naps, as you know by now, are another story.  We dealt with the 45 minute intruder since an early age and only recently have been able to get past that.  Our current average is about 1 hour, 15 minutes.  But he doesn't seem to be over-tired during the day.  And with 12 hour stretches at night, I really can't complain.  The question is:  Are 45 minutes naps considered textbook since "the books" mention that they are common among young babies and are a result of 45-minute sleep cycles?  Or are they considered touchy since an extra-sensitive baby would have a harder time sleeping through a sleep transition?

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But a few other of Hogg's baby personality descriptions have led me to believe Jude is ultimately a touchy baby (pg. 26-28):
  • was very sensitive and cried for his first few baths
  • would blink excessively and turn his head away when he was brought out into bright light
  • always wanted to suckle during breastfeeding but would go "on and off" almost like he forgot how to nurse
  • when there is a loud noise (i.e. Jack screaming) he flinches visibly and often starts to cry
  • cries easily if too many people hold him
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Touchy babies also often wake up crying, or don't tolerate being left alone in their crib for long (pg. 139).  This is very Jude.  Although he seems to wake up happy more often than he used to, he's only happy for so long before he starts loudly insisting you come retrieve him.  When it comes to sleep you have to be careful no to miss a touchy baby's window, otherwise it's very hard for him to wind down.  Jude's usually pretty good about going to bed but occasionally we'll hit a snag and then Mama and Jude get a little quality time together until he reaches dreamland.  And honestly I don't mind, I rather like watching my baby fall asleep in my arms, as long as its not something I have to do several times a day.

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According to Hogg, touchy babies are best calmed by recreating the womb (the swaddle worked great for Jude) and they love structure and predictability (well then Kiddo you were born in the right house!) (pg. 30-31).  Also, Jude seems to have grown out of a lot of these descriptions, but he's still a much more sensitive baby than my firstborn. 

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For instance, when we were in Pennsylvania the other week, Nonnie came bounding into the room wearing a funny hat and yelling "hellos."  Jack thought this was the best thing ever.  Jude, on the other hand, started crying, and sobbing, and hyperventilating.  And wouldn't stop even after I held him and left the room.  And recently Jude's started having little meltdowns when he doesn't get his own way.  The other morning he woke up extra early.  I wasn't ready to start the day yet so I picked him up and brought him into bed with me.  He obviously did not want this and started screaming.  So I laid him on my chest, still screaming and thrashing.  (He does this thing where he flings his upper body back when he's trying to make a point.)  So I sat up in bed and held him, still not happy and making sure the entire neighborhood was aware of it.  I finally laid him back down on my chest, used my one hand to hold his head down and the other one to rub his back and he finally calmed down and fell asleep after a few more minutes of screaming.  Actually, Jude's thrashing has become a new trait.  He thrashes when he's getting his diaper changed, he thrashes when you try to give him a drink and he doesn't want it, he thrashes when you attempt to sit him down on the floor and he prefers to be held, he thrashes when I'm trying to snuggle with him before bed and he would rather just hit the mattress without all the nighttime ceremony.  He's Jude the Thrasher.

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He's also known as "Booger Boy" ...


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But "Booger Boy" does not like to have his nose wiped.

All that said, I don't think he's the ultimate touchy baby.  I just think he falls more into the touchy category than any other.  And although I hate to think about my babies growing up, I get a little excited about watching who they'll become and how their current temperament will impact their future as adults.  Hogg says that "the Touchy child can mature into a thoughtful, sensitive thinker, a child who weighs situations carefully and likes to ponder problems" (Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers, p. 26).  But even more than dreaming about their futures as individuals, I'm excited to see how these two boys grow up together as brothers.  I can't help but think of what a great team they will make - one a spirited, boisorous leader, the other a sensitive, careful thinker.  Gosh, I love these boys!

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This is where I envisioned a charming picture of my two boys loving up on one another, instead the best I get is this.  Typical 2.5 and almost 1 year old shot.  At least they're both looking at the camera!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our Story, Part V: The First Time I Watch a Football Game from Start to Finish

First of all, happy anniversary today to my perfectly-picked husband!  I fully intended to wrap up "Our Story" with the culminating wedding post on this day ... but obviously I've fallen a bit behind.  So here is Part V.  If you haven't yet, you can read the other parts here:  Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.  Now that I've given away the ending, let's go back to 2.5 years before the blessed event...

I mentioned that the big camping trip was a real turning point in "our story."  It was when I started to become more open to being in a relationship.  When I started to think about planning my future around someone else instead of just myself.  And when I started to realize that, hey, our two families are a good match!  But the real change occured a few months later, when Jon's parents invited my dad, mom and I to visit the Coast Guard Academy with them and watch Jon play a football game.  And when I started to get to know Jon a little better as a person and not just a potential significant other to ponder over.

I was really nervous about the upcoming weekend.  Soon after camping Jon and I went back to our respective academic lives and although we still kept in touch via IM and the occasional phone call, (and might I add that I actually called him at one point that semester, I think for the first time!) being apart for a few months doesn't exactly fuel a relationship that hasn't had much to stand on in the first place.  So it was with a little uncertainty and anxiety that I crammed myself into the back of my future in-laws Explorer for my first trip to New England.

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Jon had class and football practice during the day so our first stop was Mystic Seaport.  It was such a sweet, little nautical place.  I really fell in love with New England this trip and the Coast Guard Academy.  And I'm still dreaming of one day doing a tour up there, living in a historic home with a low stone wall around the yard, weekend trips with the family on our sailboat, Saturday football games at the Academy and seafood dinners on the water.  Just a thought.

After Mystic Seaport we stopped by to watch Jon's football practice and then walked around the school.  If you know Jon's mom, she likes to make memories and have a fun time.  So she picked up a pair of these on the trip up there, and put them on just in time to greet her son.  He was super excited about it.

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On Saturday we got to watch the cadet's parade (I'm sure there is an official name for it but I don't know these things!).  We toured Chase Hall, the dorms, and got to check out Jon's room.  I remember thinking it was very sterile.  Jon had left us a little note and some postcard pictures of London for me.  His mom, like any good mother, opened his drawers to check things out - totally, completely, perfectly organized.  I was impressed, and a little intimidated.  In fact, at this point, things were feeling a little awkward.  Like I said before, I had absolutley no military knowledge before meeting Jon.  I didn't know what an officer was, I didn't know what going to an Academy meant.  I just didn't know how that stuff worked (I still don't know a lot of it).  But I do remember wondering how I could ever fit into this kind of lifestyle.  I later wrote:

By now I'm beginning to feel completely inadequate, stupid, non-elegant, etc.  Basically anything negative.

Things lightened up a bit at the football game.  I was surprised that I actually enjoyed myself, even though the Bears lost.  But Jon played impressively well, and I was quite proud of the fact that I not only watched the entire game from start to finish, but that it actually made sense.  Of course, I asked lots of questions but I learned a lot that afternoon.


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This wasn't the same game, as evidenced by the scoreboard in the background.
After church at the Chapel the next morning it was time to say goodbye.  I actually got a little sad when it was time to leave. Jon sent some things home with his parents to put in storage - a football, that his mom says she watched me hold and stare at the better part of the drive home, and a yearbook, that I read through trying to get a better understanding of what this whole Academy culture was all about.  One thing that immediately jumped out at me was "The Ring Dance."
They have this dance in the spring where Junior's get their class ring.  They and their date dip it in The Water of the Seven Seas and then, traditionally, kiss.  Rough.

I spent the rest of the trip home wondering who Jon's date would be for The Ring Dance.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let's Pretend

Let's pretend this is what my house looks like all the time...

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... and not just when the landlord asks if I can take some pictures or when we know someone is coming to look at the house.  Let's just pretend.  Okay, done now.

Because behind those cleared counters with enough space to roll out a dozen pies, is a huge pile of appliances that got booted out of the kitchen. 

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And hidden on the floor in the other room, is a pile of paperwork that I've been meaning to "get to" for several months now.

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And dumped in deepest recesses of our closet, are piles of laundry I was haphazardly folding moments before the doorbell rang.

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Pretending is fun, but it's just not real.  Real is getting a new roof and new siding all in the same month ... and trying to get two little boys to take naps amidst all the pounding.

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Real is having two days to clean and prep your house for showings, two days for hubby to patch and paint the holes in the walls left behind after the siding guys left, and two days to weed and mulch the gardens.

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Real is having a little boy so eager to help out his daddy, he doesn't want to come inside for dinner.   

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Real is trying to find a happy medium between dinner inside and daddy outside.  And maybe real is not wanting dinner to end up on the newly cleaned dining room floor.

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Real is spending over an hour showing off someone else's house to an interested family, walking them around the neighborhood, responding to all their inquiries and then being slightly waylaid by, "Wow, it must be really hard for you to leave this place!"

Real is dedicating an entire weekend to making your landlord's house look good, and then having him sign over a lease to someone who lives on the other side of the country and didn't come see the house anyway.

Real is knowing you don't have to clean the house again until you move in 3 months, unless you want to.

And real is not having to worry about your current house any longer and getting to focus on your future abode.  Yay!

Pretending is nice for a little while, but real isn't so bad either.  And we're really excited to get crackin' on our new home, new city, new neighborhood, new friends, new parks, new church, new life ... search.  Real life is busy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The latest on our littlest

Our newest addition had a photo shoot yesterday!  At 11 weeks, 2 days (don't you love the exactness of gestational age!) this was the furthest along I've ever been for a first trimester ultrasound, and I was amazed at the difference a week or two can make!

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#3 is clearly a human baby.  Baby's feet were kicking, arms flailing, heart beating ... and I'm almost positive I saw fingers and toes but I won't assert that for sure, just in case that's not possible at this stage and I was just imagining things. The nurse sent home a stack of pictures since my husband couldn't join me.  Unfortunately, someone had to stay home with the other offspring. 

Baby was measuring a few days behind (as usual), but not enough to make them change my dates (as usual) so I'm officially due on October 5.  Yeah, me and the majority of pregnant woman apparently.  Did you know October 5 is the most populous birthdate in the United States?  Wikipedia says it, so it must be true - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday.  Of course, I highly doubt baby will make an appearance on its due date.  I'm actually thinking a week later (as usual), which is Jack's birthday. :(  So I'm hoping to go a week earlier and maybe score ourselves a September birthday, because I like to spread the holiday cheer around in this family!

The nurse didn't have an exact heartrate but said it was somewhere in the 150s, the same as Jack and Jude at this point.  Which means (a) our children are all consistent or (b) this one is another boy.  And I gotta say, even though I, and the rest of the world it seems, have been thinking girl this time around ... I wonder if it's just wishful thinking?  Honestly, if I went with my gut right now, I'd have to guess boy.  I think this is the safest guess to make so that I'll either be pleasantly surprised to find out it's a girl or already prepared to find out it's a boy. 

And did you know that with two previous boys I have greater chances of having a third boy than a girl?  The chances aren't as high as folklore might suggest, only about 2-6%, but still there.  Then again, technically everyone has greater chances of having a boy with each pregnancy because 51% of babies born are male.  Interesting, huh?  Read more at http://www.in-gender.com/XYU/odds/gender_odds.aspx.

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Here is our 11th week belly shot.  Definitely something there that wasn't there a few weeks ago, although I'm still able to button up my "fat jeans" or at least pull the rubberband trick.  Funny thing is my belly button has already started to pop, after three pregnancies in three years I think it just doesn't want to put up a fight anymore, because it's certainly not under much pressure!

So all is well in utero.  Baby is in the right spot, looking healthy and active and there's only one!  I'm starting to feel much, much better.  I haven't thrown up in three whole days and I'm feeling a bit more energetic each day.  Which is good, because I've got 24 hours to turn this neglected, haven't-felt-like-cleaning-since-week-7 house into something model home-worthy for some prospective renters coming to check things out, and it's going to take a large chunk of those hours just to make sure the bathroom doesn't smell like a 2.5 year old has been potty training for the last two months. Eek!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

First Trimester Funk

Jon says we must be having a girl since I’ve been so grumpy lately. Aside from not being the wisest comment a husband could make to his pregnant wife, he is probably right. I haven’t been the easiest person to live with. But it’s hard to know how much of that can be attributed to crazy hormonal activity, constant nausea, over-exhaustion, and nights of poor sleep … or all these typical first trimester issues combined with the fact that I’m trying to keep up with two little boys, the busyness of work during a heavy marketing season, and the constant weight of not knowing where we’ll be living in a few months. It’s hard to say. But I’ll admit, I haven’t quite felt like myself lately.

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The first trimester always gets me down, and this one has been no exception. I hate to say it but it’s almost like I’ve temporarily lost my zeal for life. Not that I don’t want to go on living, but more like I’m just trying to get through each day on the bare minimum. Just thinking about meals makes me want to gag, much less actually eating them. By the time the boys go to bed I’m ready to head there myself. I’ve traded in books and sewing projects for evenings on the couch watching American Idol. And I don’t have a single “spring” d├ęcor item up in the house. I’m seriously slackin’!

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And on top of the "normal" first trimester stuff I ended up coming down with some nasty stomach bug this past weekend.  The kind of bug that kept me up at night and exhausted all day.  By Monday my stomach was better but I had a major headache from being slightly dehydrated.  I recovered just in time for Jude's teething to really set in.  We're up to AT LEAST 7 teeth right now, that I can count, cutting through at the SAME TIME.  The poor little guy is hurting and exhausted and cranky and clingy.  And so is his mama.

But the good news is better days are just around the corner. Weather is predicted to be in the 60s and 70s the rest of this week, which means Jack will have plenty of fresh air to breathe, room to run and mud to throw. Thanks to the time change the boys are now sleeping past 7am and I am loving the extra time in the morning. On Friday I get to catch a glimpse of our new little one so we can settle the due date and confirm we’re only growing by one baby this fall. In two weeks, I’ll be headed into the second trimester and enjoying the new mommy adrenaline rushes that those months bring. And, most anticipated of all, we just got word on Saturday that in June we’ll be headed to (drumroll please) … the greater Annapolis area in Maryland!

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Yes, the wait is finally over! Now the hard work begins. And can I just say how proud I am of my husband for getting his FIRST CHOICE for the fourth time in a row. He’s so excited about this new job, and I’m excited for him!

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So here’s to new adventures in a new home, and new babies and new seasons. Because spring is just around the corner, and I have never looked forward to it more!

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

R & R ... and R & R & R

Rest and recuperation, and respite and rejuvanation and a little romance ...  The hubby and I were able to get away for a short trip, just the two of us, this past week and it was soooo wonderful!

Jon had military training in Pennsylvania last week and rather than stay home and try to take care of the boys on my own in my current state, we invited ourselves up to spend the week up at Marmie and Poppa's where we all three were all well taken care of.  After Jon's training ended he met back up with us, we kissed the kiddos goodbye, and were off for a rare 36 hours of alone time - the first we've had together since Jack was born!

I'll admit, it was a little more difficult to leave the boys than I anticipated.  We've only left Jack overnight once before, when we were in the hospital having Jude.  And I've never left Jude for more than a few hours.  Not to mention he's still nursing, and still not doing so well with other milk alternatives.  Plus he just seems so young, I was afraid he wouldn't understand that Mommy was going away but would be back.  But apparently all went well!  The boys spent all day Thursday with Marmie and Poppa, who took them to a castle playland, and then spent the night and next day at Nonnie and Poppie's.  And despite the fact that Jude appears to be cutting at least 7 teeth right now, and has been up in the night a lot more lately, he slept straight through for Nonnie.  And then he took a two hour nap the next morning.  Unheard of!!

But enough of the boys, this trip was about Jon and I!  We wanted to do a little something to celebrate our 5 year anniversary coming up in two weeks.  Since we're not going to the Cayman's this fall anymore like we had hoped, since we can't make plans this summer with the move and Jon's new job, and since I wasn't willing to leave Jude for too long at this point, we found a quaint little bed and breakfast in New Jersey to visit for one night.  Woolverton Inn was nearly perfect!

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I need to go ahead and apologize for the quality of these pictures.  I am so preggo-brained right now I should really just stick with a point-and-shoot for the rest of this pregnancy, or at least trimester.  Instead, I managed to take a handful of pictures on a completely absurd setting and not realize it until we were in the car and on our way home.  Pfff...

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This was our cottage.

So anyway, the only problem with our getaway was that it rained the entire day and night we were there.  It kind of made for a dreary visit, and we weren't able to do much exploring of the grounds like I was looking forward to.  But when your goal is just to relax and enjoy the peace and serenity a little rain on the roof wasn't so bad.

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Our lovely room.


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These windows look out onto the sheep pasture.


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Loved the fireplace!


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The cupaloo above the bed.


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Barn doors looking out from the whirlpool tub to the fireplace.

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Fresh flowers in all the rooms!
We ventured out in the downpour to visit The Inn at Phillips Mill for dinner.  I was a little skeptical after reading some of the reviews but it ended up being an ideal anniversary dinner.  Phillips Mill is an old stone barn converted into an inn and restaurant.  We sat in the glassed in porch with a fire roaring behind us.  Since it was a weeknight in March, we were the only couple there for a little while.  Another older couple arrived soon after, and the host seated them right behind us.  And not that we mind being close to other people but this was an extremely chatty pair, who proceeded to pour forth their life's history, complete with pictures, for the next hour.  So much for a quiet dinner.

The food, on the other hand, was magnificent!  I tried to take photos, like all those cool foodie bloggers do, but between the candlelight and my shaky grip they all came out fuzzy.  So picture an almond dusted brie with mandarin orange reduction and a trio of smoked seafood with dill creme fraiche for starters.  I had a crispy fresh house salad with the most delicious tomatoes (and I'm not typically a tomato eater!) and Jon had crawlfish bisque, which he claims was the best soup he's ever tasted!  Dinner was fillet of beef with blue cheese butter for me and black angus dry-rubbed strip steak with a red wine sauce for Jon.  After all that we were feeling lively and went for dessert, which I later regretted but it felt right at the moment! - some chocolate, vanilla strawberry cake for Jon and orange creme brulee for me.  Baby #3 is only the size of a grape these days but he/she was definitely hurting for space after that meal!

It continued to rain all through the night, which resounded on the cupaloo above our bed. Add to that a cozy fire and no TV, and we had a relaxing evening of reading and playing Scrabble.

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Oh and did I mention the fabulous featherbed, terry-cloth robes and complimentary drinks?  Heaven.

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The next morning the rain had stopped and since we slept with the windows open we awakened to the sound of bleating sheep.  The sheep pasture is actually right outside of the cottage where we stayed and they can walk right up to your window.  I just love sheep and the way they remind me of England!

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View from our window ... I took more pictures of the sheep up close but alas, they did not turn out.


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Other view from our window.
You can order breakfast in bed or eat in the manor, which is what we did.  It's served in one of the main rooms in the house but during the warmer months you can also eat out on the porch. 

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Breakfast room.


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Fresh flowers.

Breakfast was everything I was hoping it would be and more!  Chocolate cherry almond muffins, homemade granola with yogurt and lemon ricotta hotcakes with fresh fruit and apricot glazed pork sausage.  Mm mmm!!

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The ground was too soggy for exploring and we wanted to soak up our last hour in the room.  We loved it so much we hated to say goodbye.  I should add here that my husband was completely opposed to staying in a bed and breakfast a few months ago.  I think this latest pregnancy has evoked some sympathetic feelings and he finally gave in to my request.  I actually wanted to stay in the manor house (it's a little cheaper and the house looked amazing).  But after touring the other rooms I'm really glad we ended up in the cottage we chose.  Actually we were supposed to be in a different one but when we checked in they had an opening in the Hunterdon, which was Jon's favorite, so we were able to move over there.  And let's just say the man was impressed.  He loved the antique furniture so much he was eager to hit the town and find some for our own home.  And we did.  We now own a lovely little 1930s hutch, which is currently in my in-laws attic until we have enough room in our car to bring it back down to our house. :)

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So after checking out we decided to hit the town.  Although Woolverton Inn is in New Jersey, it is right on the Delaware River, which means it's just a hop, skip and a jump to Pennsylvania.  We drove over to New Hope to walk the streets.  New Hope is a very cute down, with lots of little shops to explore, but I have to say I was a tad disappointed.  Many of the stores weren't even open (for the season) and those that were didn't open their doors until noon.  And although I love shopping handmade and local ... well, these prices were just not in my range.  So we just admired.

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We also made a quick stop in Lambertville, NJ, which is where my college roommate had her wedding reception almost two years ago.  And then Jon wanted to check out Washington's Crossing, which he willingly re-enacted for the camera.

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We really wanted to climb Bowman's Tower and get a view of the valley but it was closed.  Notice a theme here?  I guess there's a reason it's called "low season."

My most favorite part of the day was just driving through Buck's County.  I have never seen so many stone farmhouses before in my life!  Or just plain lovely houses period.  It's just another thing I miss about Pennsylvania, people really take pride in their homes... and it shows!

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Drive-by shooting.

We made it back to Jon's parents' house just as the boys were wrapping up dinner.  Ohhhh it was so good to see them, and hold them and kiss those cheeks!  It was an amazing 36 hours, and a much needed break for the two of us, but I am oh so happy to be back with our other half!
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