Tuesday, December 30, 2008

From the Hills to Hillbillies

Sausage Making 101

Greg got a sausage maker for Christmas and is now obsessed with making his own sausage. Personally, I prefer just to buy it like a normal person from the grocery store, but no, we have make our own. Who makes their own sausage anyway? Hillbillies. That's who. So there we were on Sunday afternoon making our own sausage. I am mad because I think the whole idea is ridiculous, Greg is on cloud nine, and Jace is screaming in the background. He didn't want the bratwurst getting all the attention. It was quite an experience.

"My own sausage...this is a dream come true!"
"Hmm... I wonder how I can monetize this" (Greg is always trying to make a buck when he can)
"It's either bratwurst or me... you choose!"

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration.  When we returned from California, we quickly came home did only the laundry we had to, and took off again for LaPorte.  We spent Christmas Eve with the entire Tonagel clan and had a great time.  Jace got some great gifts from his friends and family.  He received tons of clothes, books, toys, stuffed animals, and his very first pair of Nike shoes (Greg, of course, is most excited about this particular gift).  

The following day we were able to visit with Greg's high school friend Jeff Ballard and his wife Kristin who had triplets this past August.  They are absolutely adorable and incredibly well behaved.  We took some pictures of Jace and their 3 little ones.  I can't even imagine Jace x 3!  Jeff and Kristin, you are amazing parents!  

Here is Jace with their only girl Abigail.  Don't they make a cute couple?

The most important part of our basketball season is now beginning, conference play.  The next couple months are probably the most busy and stressful months for Greg.  And as for Jace and I, we are planning a trip to Rhode Island to visit my family in February.  That's all for now. Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cowabunga Dude!

Here are a few pictures taken of Jace before our trip. He is getting so big so fast!

We just got back from our wonderful trip to California and brr is it cold here! We had a great (and successful) trip. Our ball team won both games and Jace was such a trooper. I couldn't have asked for a better behaved baby! The trip out to Cali was long and tiring. From the time we left our house in Marion to the time we pulled in to our hotel parking lot was 16 hours. I was nervous about the time change affecting Jace but he stayed on his sleeping schedule (12 hours by the way)! We kept referring to time in "Jace time" or "Cali time". The sights were so beautiful and I am so glad I finally got to see California. I just got home and I already want to go back!

The guys were so helpful with Jace on the trip but especially during our travels. They continue to surprise me by their interest in him. Here are a couple things that happened with our guys and Jace during our trip.

Funny thing:
Unfortunately, the basketball team doesn't get much of a break over Christmas and they must be back on the Saturday night following Christmas for practice. We had just landed in Indianapolis and Greg told one of our players that if he could make Jace smile in 10 seconds he would cancel practice and they would get an extra day of vacation. Greg started counting "1, 2, 3..." Derrick, the chosen one, started making funny faces, silly noises, and goofy moves, but Jace was not budging. Finally as Greg starts to say 10 it looked like Jace was going to let out a big smile, but instead let out a big whale! He started crying hysterically! I have never seen him cry to hard. The whole plane was laughing and totally amused by this little ending to Greg's challenge (I think they were rooting for Derrick). See you boys on Saturday for practice...sorry!

The not-so-funny thing:
Our plane departing from Atlanta to Orange County was delayed (on top of a 4 hour layover). We were sitting in a congested, hot, dirty terminal for hours. I had to use the restroom, so I asked one of our players to hold Jace for me. I come back and see this older, Asian woman holding my baby! Apparently, she just came over and swooped Jace right out of his hands. She didn't speak any English and she seemed awful sweet so I wasn't upset with her, just at the team for letting this happen! Boy oh boy do we have some characters on our team. Hopefully, I will never have to come back to a strange person holding my baby ever again!

We are truly looking forward to celebrating our first Christmas with Jace. We can't wait to teach him about the way in which our Lord came to this earth. Enjoy celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I think I missed my calling as a poet.

Life got good this past September
Let me recall what I remember

Two hours of pushing, screams, and moans
While Greg sat in the corner on his cell phone

We heard his first cry and shouted for joy
Could it really be another Tonagel boy?!

Our beautiful baby was born just 3 months ago
He had all ten fingers and all ten toes

We sat in awe of his beauty as we studied his face
Greg whispered in my ear "I think I'll name him Jace"

Nine months of swollen ankles, I'm finally done
We now have a beautiful, oh-so-worth-it son

And although being a mother includes hardships and tears
I know it will bring us happiness year after year

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving festivities!

What a wonderful Thanksgiving we had this year! We were able to celebrate with my big sis Jill and her boyfriend Darren. We had a really good time just visiting, relaxing, cooking, listening to Christmas music, and of course, eating! Jill loved her time spent with Jace. I think she was surprised at his size... he has doubled his weight since that last time she saw him. Jace loves his Auntie Jill so much! Our first Thanksgiving meal was a huge success! Everything turned out delicious. We prepared all the staples, turkey, stuffing (props to Darren), mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and my mom's delicious cranberry relish (yum yum), We concluded the evening with a tour through Marion's Walkway of Lights--quite a tourist attraction. This is a couple who is used to seeing the New York City skyline and was very impressed by the Marion light display. Good job Marion! Having my sister here reminded me of how thankful I am for our families. We truly are blessed!

He really is a happy baby despite the way he looks in this picture.

My plate before

My plate after (a second helping)

Jill and I went for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner jog. I think we probably burned off a bite or two of the buttery, sugary, but oh-so delicious sweet potatoes.

Jill and Darren enjoying the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Jill bought Jace his first camo vest. Greg + Jace in camo = Love

I wanted to show Jill Jace's love for bathing and the struggle it is to clean in between each and every roll--not an easy task.

So that's where you get those dimples!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Our boy is now 10 weeks old. Wow, time flies! He is becoming much more expressive and his personality is starting to come out. He is an especially happy baby in the mornings. Usually, we wake up in the morning to him babbling on about boobies or poopies and we'll peek in the doorway and his little feet will be up in the air, it's the cutest thing! He is smiling all the time. He has laughed a couple of times in his sleep, but again, probably just dreaming about boobies. We had a doctor's appointment yesterday. He weighed in at 16 ibs. 4 oz and 24 1/2 inches long. He is off the growth charts! The doctor was so pleased at how well he is growing, once again, thanks to my boobies. We have a tournament in Chicago this weekend and early next week I will be planning to prepare my very first Thanksgiving meal. My sister and her boyfriend will be joining us all the way from Hoboken, NJ. We are so excited! I know what Jace will be having for his first Thanksgiving meal...mama's boobies.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Greg's finest Daddy Moments!

Greg's Top 5 Parenting Moments
#5 I went to my friends baby shower. I offered to take Jace with me but Greg insisted that he would be in good hands if I left Jace with him. I left happily and was excited to give Jace and Greg a little "daddy time". Like the untrusting wife I am, I called to check in. He tells me he is on his way to his hunting spot and Will and Sebass are watching Jace (two of our more responsible ball players). I leave the shower early and rush home. I walk in and there is Sebass feeding my sweet baby boy (with my breast milk of course!) His hand alone is bigger than Jace's whole body. Not a site a mother wants to see. Let's just say, Greg and I had a little talk, and this won't be happening again.

#4 Greg insists that I bring Jace up to the gym for his practices. He wants him to get used to the sound of basketballs dribbling and squeaky basketball shoes...no lie.

#3 I had to run a quick errand. I knew it was risky because Jace was having a fussy night. I wasn't going to be longer than 15 minutes. I asked Greg to bounce him, hold him, swing him, do whatever it takes to make him happy! I pull into the driveway and see Greg peek out the window. I walk in and Greg is standing there bouncing Jace in his arms. "Where was Jace when I pulled into the driveway?" I asked. He puts his head down and responds "in his crib". He put Jace in his crib to cry! Poor baby.

#2 Greg is keeping track of Jace's crying spells and he will be punished in suicides the day he takes his first steps.

#1 It was day 2 of Jace's life. We were still in the hospital room, it was 3 a.m., and Jace is screaming. Greg looks at me and asks, "is it too early to spank?"

But on a more serious note, Greg is an excellent father. The very best in my book. He loves Jace just as a father should love his son. It is such a joy to watch him love on his boy (maybe he will even consider a few less recruiting trips this year). They worship Jesus together in the morning and Greg says it's his favorite time of day. I couldn't ask for a better role model for Jace than my husband!

Here are some more pics of the last couple of days!

Can you believe I sometimes worry about him getting enough food??

Tummy time!

Our little butterball turkey!

We love bath time--all 3 of us!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Photo Shoot!

Jace absolutely loves to be naked! If he is ever a bit cranky, all I need to do is strip the boy down and let him be! Today, we had a little photo shoot during his "nakey time". You better enjoy because I was showered with pee twice during the shoot... As you can see in the last picture, he has a diaper on. When am I going to learn?!

Hmm...what should I do today? How about the cupid shuffle?!

"To the right, To the right, To the right, To the right"

"To the left, To the left, To the left, To the left"

"Now walk it by yourself, Now walk it by yourself"--Ok, maybe that part is a little too advanced for us just yet.

Oh, how I love to be in the buff!

This is a game I like to call, count Jace's rolls!

I promise, there is a neck in there somewhere!

Why did mommy put this plastic thing around me? Did I do something wrong?

That's a wrap!