Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Sorry it's been so long since I've posted last, but we've been moving!! Our original move date was July 3rd and then my mom came out for about a week and a half to help us move. We were making such great progress that we wondered if we could move the previous Friday (the 26th) instead. Seemed silly for me to be in a packed house with just Hannah Gray and I when we could be in NJ with Ethan. So we changed the date to the 26th. Well, our mover in Annapolis cancelled on us, so we had to scramble to find another company. Ethan managed to find some guys out of Baltimore, but they were only available for Thursday morning, first thing. So we had to be completely boxed up by Wed. night. We did it! Phew!! My mom and I were hoping to take some time to hit a beach for at least a couple hours to enjoy the Maryland shore before we took off and I think we would have been able to do that prior to the second change of date. But it all worked out well and good thing we were on track in our progress!

So we drove to NJ on Thursday and we changed my mom's flight so that she would leave from near our new home on Sunday. Thank goodness she was here for the move. The movers on the NJ side of things were SLOW!! I think I unloaded more from the truck than they did. Now granted, they did a bunch of heavy stuff, but I think I saw them with their heads in the freezer, panting than I did with a box in their hands. We couldn't shoo them away until all the heavy stuff in the front of the truck was unloaded. But once that last piece of furniture was out, we sent them off. The "team leader" was in his car, with the radio on and car out of park before the other two guys were even out of our house. Our new neighbor, Steve gave me a lesson in being from NJ. "Kid, you gotta tell them how it is. You tell them they've got 20 minutes to unload that truck and this is what you'll pay them for it. You're in NJ now". And in NJ we are.

Some things I've learned so far...
1. Don't talk on a cell phone while driving. Cops don't like that.
2. You can't turn from intersections 99.9% of the time. They have these weird little off shoots that go around so that you change directions there and get to the street you want to. Other drives don't like it when you miss those.
3. Everyone seems like they're from Italy.
4. Ask people to spell their names. Sometimes it's the only way to tell what they're actually saying.
5. There are lots of bakeries here. And all good ones.
6. The bakery down the street gives my mom (and me) free cookies and he waves to us as we walk by.
7. I should hyphenate Hannah Gray so that we don't hear her name pronounced just as "Hawn-ah"

Okay, now for what I think you're probably reading this blog for; to hear about Hannah Gray.

She's changing a ton! She's started this quiet babbling that's different from anything else she's done. It's not a repetitive saying of the same one or two noises, but more like she's actually carrying on a conversation with herself, or with you if she's looking at you. She also started standing by herself for like 20 seconds at a time. She started to do it I think the weekend before we moved and now will pull herself up and let go of whatever she's holding onto. It's funny b/c sometimes I don't even think she realized what she's doing. Then once she does, the back arches back, she starts to teeter, she'll catch herself (sometimes), then Boom, falls flat on her rear end.
She blew kisses (I think that's what she was doing) for the first time yesterday, she regularly waves hi and bye. She high fives now, will love on whatever she decides to whether that's us, Tanner, a picture she really likes or a favorite stuffed animal. But it's all very intentional and she means it. She's giving kisses. Actually she opens her mouth really wide and leans into you and puts her open mouth on your face/nose area and just keeps it there, mouth open until she's decided that she's loved on you enough.

Let's see, I think that's about it for now. I will post pictures of the house and lil' bit soon. Our house is a bit of a disaster still. I did take a couple pictures "before" and I'm waiting until we have our final product to take the second round.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

moving pic

Well, we officially have boxes scattered around our house! Hannah Gray crusies from one to the next, plucking whatever she can out of them. Today, she managed to climb up on top of the printer (that's a "no no" and she knows, b/c she now shakes her head "no no" at appropriate times), but it was too cute and funny to not take a picture. She realized she was in the clear once she saw us pull the camera out.

One more birthday!!

Our dear friends Tom and Lindsay Rockwood welcomed their first, Madison Alexis on June 12th. We were in NJ at the time, but were able to meet her on Saturday. It was so good to see them and to finally meet little Madison. They are all doing well and what a sweet baby girl!! I know Hannah Gray and Madison will grow up to be great friends! :) It's hard to remember that babies come that small!

Daddy's birfday!!

Today we celebrated Ethan's birthday a little early (it's Tuesday) since he had to get back to NJ tonight. We (let's be honest, me) sang Happy Birthday (as pitiful as it was, I think Ethan was amused) and had dessert. Here are some pictures from our little family celebration!


We ended up celebrating Hannah Gray's 1st bday in
Cincinnati so we'd be closer to family and the weekend worked out better since finding out about our move. I only have a couple pictures from the party, but I will post more later. However, I do have pictures of Hannah Gray's actual birthday. I got her out of her crib singing Happy Birthday, which she thought was pretty silly and fun. Here she is with her birthday balloon and at her lunch with all the cards that she received (she also began clapping, which you can also see in the pic. After lunch we headed up to New Jersey so we could celebrate her big day with Daddy. We went out to Red Robin for dinner where there were at least 6 other tables celebrating birthdays and each time, the whole staff (it seemed like) sang to them. Half way through dinner, Hannah Gray realized what was going and would dance and clap her hands in her high chair. I contemplated having them come to her (afterall, it was her actual bday), but I decided that that would probably permanently traumatize her and decided against it. :)

We then headed back to the hotel to enjoy a little birthday treat of chocolate chip muffins. Here she is with Daddy and her treat. Our wonderful neighbors across the street have been such a huge blessing to us, especially during this moving process. They watched Tanner (again) so that we could head to NJ and even gave Hannah Gray a birthday present which we gave her to open after she had her muffin. She LOVED the bubbles!!! I then had to make sure I got a picture with her too, and I can't believe how different she is compared to this time last year!! I think Hannah Gray's best gift was getting to see Daddy after several days of not seeing him. She lit up and was SO excited to see him!! She just squealed and laughed!! It was really, really sweet.

What a blessing and joy she is on our lives. She already has such a sweet, tender spirit and a great sense of adventure and humor. We have many, many more great times ahead! I can't believe my baby's one alreay...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

dropping Daddy off...

Today we left Daddy behind in New Jersey... but thankfully
 we get to pick him back up on Friday afternoon, so just in a day and a half we'll all be back together again. Hannah Gray has been in the car SO much lately, that she's enjoying her freedom whenever she can. She discovered what toilet paper was at the hotel as well as figuring out how to make Daddy laugh to prolong going to bed! We put her pack 'n play on the far side of the hotel room and did bedtime. Then about 2 minutes later, up popped her head over the side. She looked so stinkin' cute doing it that I disappeared for a bit (usually if she can't see me, she'll go down). Well, Ethan came to me and said "too bad she's not supposed to be doing that, b/c it's so cute". So I looked down across the dark room and just saw two little eyeballs looking at us, then a HUGE grin and TONS of giggles as she knew Daddy was smiling. Then she heard Ethan chuckle and she really starting laughing. She thought it was HILARIOUS. It was very cute and then it was Daddy's turn to put her down. She does so well. The room was actually much darker than it looks in the picture, which I think made it funnier (i know it's not a word...), but you couldn't see her without the flash on.


Tinsleys came for a visit after Memorial Day weekend and it was SO fun to have them here! We played at the beach park, had great ice cream and saw the sailboat races. It was so refreshing to have some time to visit with Kelly and the kids had a great time together. We're looking forward to seeing them again soon!!!


Here are just some cute random pictures... 

Fun with friends!

These pictures are actually from a few weeks ago that I didn't realize I didn't post. We met our friends Heather and Finlay at the park and got to see some pretty fun (and stinky!) animals. 


On Memorial Day, we took a break from looking at houses and took Hannah Gray to the hotel pool. She LOVED it! She giggled and squealed and splashed all around. She loved it when Daddy spun her around in the pool. 

New Jersey

New Jersey, what? Well, we have a lot going on here in the Petro household! Ethan has accepted a position with a company in New Jersey that we are very excited about. There is a ton of room for growth for him and they offered him partnership in the company. So we're very excited about the idea of him having some flexibility again and being able to just run with things. It all happened very fast (the company called him on a Tues, we drove up on Friday for Ethan to meet with them and by the next weekend-which was Memorial Day weekend- we were looking for housing). Ethan has actually been in contact with this company for close to 6 years and timing just never seemed to work out. And this time it finally did. Tuesday was Ethan's first day of work at Live Oak and so he's in New Jersey now while Hannah Gray and I are in Annapolis. We're not exactly sure when our moving date will be b/c we do not have a place to live yet. Obviously the sooner we find a house the better, so we're not doing this long distance long. It's an extremely family friendly community that is very close to the mountains (some of the best mountain biking out there is about 10-15 mintues away from where we're looking for housing). In fact, some of the neighborhoods we're looking in are in the "foothills". Foothills, but  not like Colorado foothills. It's very pretty and not at all what I expected from New Jersey. We're about an hour south of NYC and about 45 min away from the coast. However, from what I understand, Southe Jersey has some great beaches and those are about 1 1/2 hr away. So a perfect day trip. We're excited about this opportunity and all that it offers. We're praying for a solid church community and just the ability to get plugged in quickly. We will miss our friends here and the Annapolis waterfront environment. Nothing like riding bikes along the coast.... I LOVE that. So gorgeous. But we feel like this is where the Lord is leading us now and so we go! :)

Here are a couple pictures of Hannah Gray outside one house that we looked at and some of her having fun at the hotel.