30 Jul 2009

Antagonized

I must admit, I really don't feel like blogging right now. We've had a lot going on in the last week, much of it stressful, and though my blog usually feels like a welcomed safe haven for writing and sharing, this week it feels like a demanding employer, hands on hips, wondering where I've been.

I do have a few things worth sharing, but for the moment there are just too many words, thoughts and stories, and they'll just have to wait until I'm a little more physically and mentally rested!

Luckily we have no plans for tonight and the weekend other than hanging out and getting some things done around the house. I'm so excited about it. Oh, and the Real Housewives of Atlanta starts tonight, and I fully intend to sucker Chris into watching another season with me. R&R, here we come!

24 Jul 2009

Unplugged

Chris, Jayce and I headed out this week for what I hope will be our last road trip for a little bit. We have an annual Gatlinburg get together this weekend, and decided to leave a few days early and head over to the farm for a few days of unplugged family time, just the three of us.
The farm is great because there is the option of going to the lake for boating, water skiing, or swimming. There also is tons of land to run around and play on, animals to see, swings and wagon rides. Furthermore, there is no tv, no internet and no air conditioning, so if you're bored you have to be creative in filling your time, and if you're too hot than you have/get to figure out how to cool off.
We didn't have to try very hard to keep cool on this trip. We were there for 2 nights and 1 full day, and unfortunately, on the full day it rained practically non-stop. Also, the high temperature for that day set a record for being the lowest on this date- it's not typical for it only to reach the 60s in late July in Kentucky. While I don't think the 60s are freezing, they are too cold for some of the farm activities we had been planning on, particularly the ones involving the lake.
We had a great time anyway. Jayce had a blast exploring the house and ran circles around the rooms, rarely putting down this huge bat which he alternated between using like a walking stick or like a blind man's cane. While Jayce napped, Chris and I lazed around and talked, slept, read and leisurely drank our weight coffee. As soon as the rain let up a bit, we took Jayce on a wagon ride down to the nearby spring, and Chris introduced him to spider swinging.
It was a perfect time together. Though the weather didn't line up with boating and swimming, it lined up perfectly with snuggling on the porch swing and listening to the rain hit the tin roof.
To end our great day, we had dinner at this amazing country cooking restaurant nearby, complete with pie and ice cream, and then found a Redbox and rented a movie to watch on our laptop. :)

21 Jul 2009

My Little Stud

Jayce got this little H&M shirt from Justin and Tasha for his birthday, and even though it is still a little big for him he wore it to church on Sunday. I couldn't resist getting a picture: with his "cool dude" shirt and his cuffed baggy jeans, I was just cracking up watching him walk around. I had to eventually give him his pacifier and bear to tone down the little boy-ness a little.
Jayce always comes running if he comes across my lens cap and brings it right to me. Most recently he brings it over and wants to put it on-helpful in theory, but not if I'm still trying to take pictures!

20 Jul 2009

So This is What They Mean by Fine Motor Gross Skills

As I'm sure most parents can agree, we become more enamored with our child every day. We regularly marvel at the funny, sassy or just plain cute things that he does on a daily basis. But
most recently what we've become most aware of is how smart he is.
Since we were gone for a few weeks on vacation, it's been easy to see just how much Jayce has changed while we were away. There are several toys that he plays with differently now than before, and it just makes us so aware of how quickly he is growing and learning.

Last week Jayce was playing with his little wooden train, mostly just pushing it around and turning on the bell. But mom showed him how to thread the blocks onto the posts and he was able to do it almost immediately. I was kind of surprised by this since the holes are pretty small, but if the blocks didn't fit right away, he would just switch hands or turn them around a few times until he got just the right angle, and they slid on.

That same day Jayce sat on Chris' lap with one of his books, and as he flipped through the pages he went, "Dad! Da! Dad! Agh! Da!" Though I read to him pretty regularly, it was the first time I've seen him read to us, as he seemed to think he was doing.

He previously hated to have any of the little people in his toy bus and would smack them out whenever I had put them away. Last week he started taking them out one at a time and standing them up next to the bus in a line.

This morning he went over to a dump truck full of legos and fished out a few shapes that belong to a different toy set, and took them over and put them in the bowl that corresponds with that set. I don't normally keep the toys separated like this, (really who has time to put everything back together every time that they clean up?), so I was surprised that he knew exactly where they belonged.

I guess this is one of those instances where I don't necessarily have a story to tell, but just a few moments that I want to remember. I'm finding myself just watching Jayce as he roams about, playing and doing his thing, and I just want to dig my heels in as this baby is becoming a bright little boy right before my eyes.

17 Jul 2009

Too Much HGTV?

To continue in the theme of thrifty decorating, I also took advantage of a huge home goods clearance sale at Hobby Lobby last weekend where everything was 80% off. I had previously bought a few things for my wall recess that just weren't right, so I returned them and got 3 of these candle holders for about $15.
I wasn't a big fan of the maroon color, so I rag painted one of them white to go in the bedroom.
I spray painted the other two candle holders black, and rubbed some gold paint around the edges and details to make them stand out a bit more.
Here is finished (for now) product of the wall recess. I still plan to get a few candles but I don't think it's really lacking without. Everything in here was under $25 total, including the spray paint!

14 Jul 2009

Beautiful Bedroom

My mom came into town on Friday for a long weekend, which basically means her itinerary will be filled with lots of playing with the grandson, making her famous stuffed peppers, and taking on a painting project or two with me. I put her to work pretty quickly-she flew in Friday morning and by that afternoon we were already painting. I found this cool blue for our bedroom and we started in on it. We finished up on Saturday and had been planning on doing some shopping Monday before I dropped her off at the airport, but when Jayce was taking a nap I got this idea for some wall decor and we ended up spending the afternoon working on it instead. I picked these frames up from a yard sale last month and hadn't done anything with them, so I thought we would see if they would go anywhere in the room. We spent too much time arranging, and rearranging, and grabbing other random frames from around the house to see what worked best, but this was what we stayed with in the end.
I didn't like this medium colored wood, so I got some white paint from downstairs that must have been leftover from the ceilings or drywall, and brushed it on with a rag to tone them down.
Here Mom is holding up a few of the frames to test the height. I had my sister do this once when we first moved into our old house and she was helping me hang things, and she still brings up how I made her hold these really heavy pictures forever and her arms were killing her. Since Chelsea couldn't come visit this time, I had to get this picture to show her that I tortured Mom the same way!
Anyway, I filled the frames with the same material that is on our comforter. I had some extra throw covers that I wasn't using, so I used this striped pattern in one, a khaki linen in another, and a white linen in a third frame. I left a few of the other frames empty so that the blue from the walls could show through and this is what we ended up with.
This project seems more simple when I'm describing it here, but we had to get creative in figuring out how to attach everything and hang it on the wall, especially since most of the frames were missing the hardware on the back that hangs on the nail. I was pretty serious about making sure it that was secure, mostly since this will be hanging over our heads while we sleep! Even though it is thrifty decorating (less than $4 total :), I won't care about that if one of these falls in the middle of the night! Anyway, we were feeling pretty proud of ourselves because we came up with this and put almost all of it together during a naptime!! Jayce, thanks for sleeping so well!!

11 Jul 2009

Alone Time

Two weekends ago Chris and I headed to Savannah to attend the wedding of a good friend. I was sooo excited about our trip, but a little sad since Jayce would be staying with his grandparents for 3 nights and I had never been away from him overnight. Several people had told me not to worry, that this would be a nice break for us.

They were right. It was so great to get away just the two of us. We let ourselves enjoy old luxuries, like eating our food at a leisurely pace, sleeping in, chatting over dinner, and generally just attending to ourselves. We had fun travelling around Savannah as well: We took a tour, consulted guidebooks, pulled out the map and took too many pictures. We used to travel a lot when we lived in Scotland so it was nice to do that again on a smaller scale.
One of the places I was really excited to go was Paula Dean's restaurant, this chef who is a "Big Deal," meaning on the Food Network and whatnot. Unfortunately I didn't realize how difficult it would be to get in, and when we showed up at 11:00 am we were told that we couldn't get a table for 2 until 9:45 pm. Needless to say we went elsewhere, and Chris and I assured ourselves that a trip to Savannah was still complete without this dining experience. I was a little bitter about missing out on her southern fried lunch buffett, and therefore did not purchase any of the many MANY of her cooking items that were for sale in every shop around us, including this interesting seasoning.Anyway, our time away from Jayce felt so strange. We have done so much traveling with Jayce in the last year that we are now completely accustomed to basing our road trip decisions around his needs. Plus he travels so well that it didn't really feel like a relief to not be with him. I also felt like I had lots of extra mental space. I am so used to constantly watching Jayce and thinking about what he is doing and has done throughout the day, that only taking care of myself left me tons of extra time. Also, all day I couldn't shake the feeling that I was forgetting something, like my brain was telling me I was supposed to be taking care of a baby. We were really busy in the evenings so that helped, but in the morning I dragged out showering, straightening my hair, makeup and eating breakfast as long as I could just to try to fill the time. I'm so used to doing those things in a snap, so taking my time was just odd.

We also had to talk about him periodically, in addition to the normal ways in which he might come up in conversation. When I was riding with 6 other girls on our way out for a bachelorette party, I suddenly piped up with, "Do you guys want to see pictures of Jayce?" They willingly obliged, (really, what else could they say?), but I still felt a bit like one of those crazy moms.

Needless to say, Jayce was doing just fine without us and was really great for his grandparents. He ate, slept and played just as usual, even out of his normal routine and environment, and even picked up a few new tricks in those few days. He now will hold the cell phone (or remote or ipod) up to his ear and go "Ah?" like "hello?" He also is doing the Indian call thing, for lack of a better way of putting it, where he repeatedly smacks his hand over his mouth while going "ahhhhh."
While we were away I kept looking at this picture of Jayce that I had taken that week. How could I not miss this sweet boy?

We had a great trip but we were so happy to be reunited with our baby!

Complete and Utter Randomness: On John & Kate

Let me start off by admitting that, by now, this post is overdue to the point of possibly being irrelevant, and had almost fallen into the "posts I started but probably will never finish and publish" category. But it is still in my mind so I'll just go ahead and get it off my list.

I have never really been a fan of John and Kate Plus 8. I would occasionally come across a rerun or something and leave it on for a few minutes, but I always found Kate's demeanor to be a little too abrasive for my tastes, and would end up quickly flipping to something else. All of that to say that I don't really have a lot invested in the show and the family, other than a general awareness of who they are and the basic premise. I have seen the magazine headlines over the last few months with all of the breakup rumors and haven't really paid much attention.

A few Mondays ago I was on the internet and something flashed up about how they had filed paperwork that day for a divorce. I realized that the show was on right then and my curiosity got the best of me. I convinced an annoyed husband to flip over to it and we watched the last 15 or so minutes of the show.

What we saw was incredibly sad. You must have seen it now yourself by now, as I swear they are playing it on a loop. Anyway, both people discussed their impending separation and how they felt about it. John was rather flat: he seemed sad but mellow, maybe a bit optimistic about what the future held for him. Kate was more emotional, and discussed her sadness, bouts of crying, her anxieties about being a single parent and feelings of failure.

I found watching this unfold to be so awful and bizarre! I felt like I was listening in on a private and highly emotional conversation, like these people were talking about their crumbled marriage to a good friend and I just happened to be in the room. I wanted the interviewer to say, "Stop! You don't have to talk about this. It's none of our business." I know that reality shows thrive when a controversy comes along, but this seemed to go a little too far. This is supposed to be a show about family life with 8 kids, on TLC for crying out loud! But what was on was more like the Bachelor Rose Ceremony type of drama.

In spite of my indignation I did not change the channel and we watched the show until the end. I was a little disappointed in myself actually, that I had felt so strongly about how inappropriate it was to broadcast this as entertainment, but still watched along with everyone else.

So, now is my time for confession. Though I didn't care about John and Kate, there have been other celebrity breakups that I have cared about, for some odd reason. When they happened, I felt cheated that more details were not made available to the public. But now, when I was watching these celebrities bare everything for the camera, I was all too aware that these were real people and what had happened between them was none of my business.

Therefore, I am going to officially let go of my grudge against Nick and Jessica. Also, Brad, I will forgive you for leaving Jenn, even though she was Rachel Green for crying out loud. And I guess you don't have to marry Angelina. But if you do, I will probably buy the magazine that you sell the pictures to.

8 Jul 2009

Fountain

One of the plazas in Destin has these cool fountains that turn on randomly and there are always kids running through them. We went up there one night for ice cream and tried to take Jayce to play at a little playground that is beside the fountains, but he had no interest in the playground and headed for the water instead.
He loved them!! He would run towards the fountains and when they turned on would turn around and run back over to where we were sitting, it was hilarious! Most of the kids that were running through the water were screaming, so Jayce started randomly screaming as he ran around. He also made a few passes between the fountains and managed to get soaked, and even got knocked over when one turned on that he had been checking out.
Jayce was such a good sport throughout many hours of traveling and his schedule being so out of whack. Needless to say he slept like a charm every night and is still catching up on his sleep, which has left me with more time than usual these last few days to play with photo editing, which is probably pretty obvious. Chris told me that the beach pictures look overly "messed with." I'm still just experimenting, give me a break! :)

6 Jul 2009

Pool Time

We spent last week in Destin, FL with Chris' family and had a blast! I was so excited about taking Jayce swimming! We had taken him to Florida last year but he was only 7 weeks old at the time, so he was still in that stage where he needed to be kept completely out of the sun, and not really old enough to be any more interested in Florida than he was in anywhere else.

Our little pool baby was a little more impressed this year than last, but only a little. He was more interested in playing with us, his aunts and uncle than the water itself, and didn't really do a ton of splashing or anything. I think that now that he is walking and into everything, being in the water just limited him and he wanted to get out so that he could run around. It was still fun though, we enjoyed swimming around with him and his Aunt Melanie even got him to kick in the water. I think if we had a bit more time than he would have warmed up to it all more, so we'll see how he does this summer when he has some more pool time.

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