Climbing Stairs & Play Time

Oh if you could just see Noah climb the stairs...it really is one of his favorite things in the world! As soon as he hears me open the gate downstairs in an attempt to walk upstairs, he makes a beeline to the stairs as fast as he can. Check out his skills!


I also got a video of Noah just playing in his playroom. These moments seem so ordinary, but I really want to treasure them because before I know it, he'll be all grown up, graduating from high school, and heading off to college...sigh....


Mini Coop Fun

When I was still very early in my pregnancy, my dad and Danette got Noah (who we then called Babell since we didn't know the sex of our baby) a miniature mini coop! The other day, I saw it in my closet and realized that it was the perfect time to let him play with it. Noah just thinks he is BIG stuff riding around on that car. He now can climb onto the car himself and has even tried to stand on top of it. Yeah, climbing is his favorite thing, I think. :)


Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for my Mini Coop! Mommy loves Porches, just so you know. :)

Where Have I Been???

I'm not sure how it happens, but it has been almost three weeks since I last wrote. You'd think that with not working all summer I would have so much more time to blog! It seems to be quite the opposite. Our schedules are so packed, and thought it is busy, I am enjoying every second of it!
I have been able to knock a few projects off my list:

1. All 16 doorknobs and 2 deadbolts replaced: Before = Brass & After = Oil Rubbed Bronze
2. All kitchen cabinet hardware is replaced: Before = Brass & After = Oil Rubbed Bronze
3. Garage is cleaned
4. House has been bug-proofed
5. Master Bathroom is now painted Toasted Almond
6. New shower curtain and towels for the master bathroom
7. Materials purchased for peg boards in garage and office closet
8. Closets cleaned and organized in office and guest bedroom
9. Carpets cleaned with steam-vac (pics below)

I still love this yellow and red combination!

Finally! SO CLEAN!!!

Seriously...were our carpets THAT dirty?

So, I really do apologize for not writing more frequently this summer. I am having an incredible time here at home with Noah! PLUS, I have finally had the time to do all of the things that I have put off for far too long.

Stay tuned for more adventures with the Abells!


Bourbon Chase Update

Well, I'm two and a half weeks into my training for the Bourbon Chase. After getting into my second week of running, it was getting much easier, my body was already changing, and my time was getting better, too. It had been around 10 years since I had exercised regularly, and it felt good! I know that I'm not the kind of person (yet) who can just exercise for the enjoyment. I need an ultimate goal - like the Bourbon Chase - to keep me motivated. The team element of the race helps tremendously because otherwise, if it was just me running a mini marathon or something by myself, I wouldn't have the accountability. I NEED accountability in several areas of my life...but especially exercise. I feel more confident already, and things are just beginning! So that's the good news.

Now for the bad news. I ran Friday night because I was too busy Thursday to get in my run. On Saturday I woke up and felt like a rickety old man. I was hobbling around the house, and my knees were really sore! I had another run to do that night, and for the first half mile, I thought my legs were going to break in two. Then, after running for a bit, they didn't feel so bad, but the aftermath was another story. Sunday morning I was REALLY sore...worse than Saturday. I totally expected muscle pain after running, but I was not expecting my knees to be so sore for two reasons. One, I have never had knee issues before. Two, I was only 2 weeks into training for CRYING OUT LOUD! I ran Monday night, and it was by far my worst run. I was just praying that I would be able to finish. I'm sure I looked like an old man running...or at least that's how I felt.

Today I had an appointment at Methodist Sports Medicine to get my knees checked out. The part that hurts the most is the inside bottom part of my knees. I was a little frustrated at MSM today because I didn't get to see the doctor until 30 minutes after my appointment time. I am not much for waiting...isn't that why they call it an appointment? :) :) :) Anyway, thank goodness Dr. Kersey was really wonderful! I felt like he thoroughly examined the issue, having me walk this way, flex that way, and move this way. Dr. Kersey said that my issue is similar to the New Years Day Phenomenon, as he called it. So many people around New Years get so excited and motivated to start working out, but they do too much too quickly, and their bodies react badly. Then they quit. Well, for those of you who know me, quitting is NOT an option! Instead, I just wanted to know what I needed to do to get better and get back out there!

Dr. Kersey said that part of the issue is just the anatomy of my knees because I'm a little 'knocked kneed'. That puts a little more strain on my knees. Because running is a high impact sport, I'm absorbing a lot of the impact in my knees, too. Considering it's been 10 years since I last worked out, my knees are a little surprised! The diagnosis is Pes Anserinus Bursitis. Basically, there are three tendons on that specific part of my knee that are just inflamed. When you work out, you are tearing down your muscles, and then they rebuild stronger. I need to give my knees a little time to "rebound" and then hopefully I'll be on my way again.

For now, the recommendation is icing 3 times a day, which is painful, but I can definitely tell that my knees feel better afterward. Maybe that's because they are numb! He also recommended Ibuprofen for the next 5 days to help with the inflammation. I'm not supposed to run for a bit but instead have been advised to do non-impact cardio such as the elliptical, swimming, stair stepper, etc. He also wants me to see a physical therapist to get some ideas about stretching and rehab. I am not usually very good about following up with doctor's orders, but this race is really important to me. It is such an incredible opportunity, and I want to do everything I can to accomplish my goals. Hopefully next time I write a Bourbon Chase update, I will be back to good and running again!


Backyard Pool Fun

For his first birthday, Ryan and I bought Noah a little baby pool. The weather was perfect this past weekend to finally set it up. I just love this little swim suit that I found at Target. Orange isn't necessarily my favorite color, but with Noah's blue eyes and blond hair, it looks really good on him! This picture (below) totally reminds me of myself when I was a kid because I always used to crouch down just like that...actually, I still do but don't look near as cute. :)

The pool is really shallow, but fills up along the edge and sprays upward like a sprinkler. There is a slide, a dolphin to ride, a ring toss, a canopy area, a palm tree, and other areas that spray water upward. I think he really enjoyed playing in it!
The only bad thing is that you have to constantly run water through the hose to keep the pool filled up and spraying along the edges and in the middle. Remember when you were a kid playing in the hose and how extremely COLD the water was? Well, the poor little guy was just shivering and shivering when we first put him in there. Then after awhile, he finally adjusted to it. I think we're going to get a lot of fun days out of that pool this summer!

I Love Summer

Don't you just love summertime? I love nothing more than bright blue skies, white puffy clouds, warm weather, and slight breezes. I think it's the only thing that keeps me holding on through the cold, gray winters of Indiana. Last summer was so different! We were surviving in a sense, trying to figure out how to be parents and how to meet Noah's needs. Breastfeeding took up nearly 8 hours of my day, and we were getting into the routine of our new lives.

This summer is so drastically different! We're all done nursing, and it is amazing how the day just flows now! We can just pick up and go wherever...whenever...except during his two naps, which are about 2-3 hours each. That is when I try to get some stuff done! Ryan is always telling me to just relax and watch TV or read a book while Noah sleeps, but it has felt sooo good getting projects completed around the house. Our house is full of brass fixtures, and I really HATE brass. It is seriously the nastiest finish I have ever seen. So far we have installed new light fixtures in the kitchen, changed out the cabinet hardware to match the new light fixtures, purchased new doorknobs for the entire house and started installation, and cleaned out our garage. Next on my list...installing peg boards in the garage and hanging up all of the tools Ryan uses, installing a peg board in our office closet in order to create a gift wrapping center, finishing the door knob installation once the rest arrive at our house, steam cleaning the carpets (thanks to my friend, Jennie, who is letting me borrow steam-vac), and many, many others. The biggest one on my list...putting crown molding all throughout our downstairs. I can't wait when that project is complete!!

Back to updates on Noah. He transitioned to whole milk without any problem and even drinks it completely cold! That is amazing given that he wouldn't drink his bottles unless they were almost hot. I'm glad I don't have to spend the next several months heating up his drinks. My body has transitioned pretty well, too. I only had to pump once after feeling really full and uncomfortable, but other than that, it's been fine. I don't really miss nursing in the sense that I wish I was still doing it...I just really treasure the experience and look back on it and smile.

I was a little worried about Noah's diet for a while because he didn't seem to like many things. I am quickly realizing that the best method is to expose him to something new, let's say whole green beans, every day, not making him eat a huge helping but rather a smaller helping. Then after about 3-4 times of trying something new, he eats it without incident. A surprise favorite....grilled cheese with bologna and roma tomatoes. I know it sounds like a crazy combination, but it sure includes several of the food groups.

I am really enjoying my time at home with Noah! We usually run some errands, go on walks, check out garage sales in the neighborhood, visit friends, play in his toy room, etc. It has been wonderful! I worried a bit that I would feel too couped up at home with him every day, but it's been just the opposite. I AM LOVING IT!


Noah's First Trip to the Zoo

Two weekends ago we took Noah to the Indianapolis Zoo for the first time and had a blast! We had talked about getting a membership for a couple months and finally had time to do it. We went ahead and bought the Family Membership + 2 Guests so that we can take our friends and family, too. It only cost $40 extra and will definitely be worth it, so we're already planning trips with a lot of different people.

The first exhibit we visited was the Shark Exhibit. They now have sharks that you can reach out and touch. It's pretty amazing! The picture above is one of Ryan and Noah watching a penguin dive down into the water in front of them. Noah was pretty in awe of not only the animals but all of the people, too. He had this stoic look on his face the whole time...so serious and inquisitive. He just loves to observe people, and I'm dying to know what he is thinking. The picture below shows his general look when we're in public. To get him to smile, we have to do something crazy or bounce around or something. Otherwise, he is a serious Sam.

Midway through our time at the zoo, I started craving cheese fries! It has been TOO LONG since I have eaten the delicious goodness that is cheese fries. Even Noah got to taste a couple...can you believe it? He liked the spicy cheese!

Toward the end of our trip, we saw the monkeys. There was this little tiny cute baby monkey hanging out with some of the older monkeys. They all walked down that rock, and while doing so, one of the bigger monkeys pushed the baby monkey. It was really sad...yet kind of funny, too! Guess we're not the only creatures that pick on each other. The monkeys ended up walking right by us along the fence. I think Noah thought their little bums looked funny.

We're really excited about our next trip to the zoo, as well as the special upcoming events like Zoo Boo and Christmas at the Zoo. Stay tuned for more trips and more stories!

Update on Noah's 12 Month Pictures

Yesterday morning we met Dawn at a local park to finish Noah's 12 month pictures. He pretty much wanted to look at anything except Dawn's camera...little stinker! Regardless, the pictures turned out great, and we couldn't be happier with the way Dawn has captured Noah this past year. If you would like to see the gallery of pictures, follow these instructions.

1. Go here
2. Create an account if you don't have one already (email address & password)
3. Type in access code: 1b2968fe



12 Month Pictures

Hi everyone! We just had Noah's 12 month pictures taken last week, well the indoor ones since it ended up raining all morning. Dawn brings a cake decorated with the colors of our choice, lays plexi-glass on the ground, and lets the babies tear into their cakes. They are a great way to capture the smash the cake moments! We were able to get some family pictures of the three of us, too. Dawn is coming down Thursday to take his outdoor pictures at a local park. For now, here are a couple teasers for you to enjoy until she posts the entire session. Just click here and enjoy!
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