31 Aug 2011

Non-Camera Randomness

I still do not have my new camera. So I have been camera-less for days now. Actually, enough days that I can count it by weeks, but I won't.

Jayce's face below sums up how I feel completely. But I can't write a blog without pictures included, so these are from a few weeks ago.

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When I first realized that I would be without a camera for several days and was freaking out about it, Chris informed me, in a very informative husbandly way, "Erin, it's not that big of a deal."

I quickly informed him, "Actually, it is a big deal, Chris. This weekend is the fall festival at church, next week is Jayce's first day of school, and the Balloon festival is that weekend and I'll have no pictures of that. Plus Hannah will be 3 months old in a few weeks and I have been taking monthly pictures of her. And I need to take pictures of my projects to stay ahead on Lemon Tree..."

These were the "events" that immediately came to mind of the next few weeks. But I was most sad about the "non-events."

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Non-events like this weekend last year, when I had taken photos at the church's fall festival. It ensured that I had my camera on me when we got home, Chris started watering the lawn, and we ended up in the middle of a very ornery, laughable water war. This would have just been a little game that we played one afternoon and then forgot about, but I took a load of fun pictures in those 15 minutes, and I love to look through them and read that blog post now. It's a fun summer memory.

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Along the lines of non-events, our air conditioning went out a few days after I sent my camera away, and despite what we were initially told, it has still not been repaired.

For Chris and I, this is not that big of a deal. Yeah, it's hot, but we're adults and we can deal with it. I didn't have a/c at home when I was growing up. We didn't have it in my grade school or my high school, and I didn't have it in the dorms in college. This was particularly rough when I was sunburned after soccer conditioning and practice, but I obviously survived just fine. But it's a little bit of a different story with kids.

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Jayce cannot nap when he's so hot and uncomfortable. Hannah, on the other hand, cannot stay awake in this heat. It has led to some interesting moments.

Like the other day, when Jayce fought off his nap all afternoon. I put on a movie to keep him in the room while I sat down to feed Hannah. I glanced over at him after a few minutes and realized that he had fallen asleep on the couch, something that has never happened before. I don't get to watch Jayce sleep like I do with Hannah and it was so sweet. His arms were stretched up over his sweaty head, his ankles were crossed, and I kept sneaking over to wipe the tiny beads of sweat off of his nose. I was dying for my camera.

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Little Hannah has been sleeping in her diaper alone and I could stare at her for hours. I can't stop smiling at her chubby little belly, her legs folded into that frog leg position, and her arms extended over her head. I rarely get to take in all of her sweet little rolls and it is absolutely a treasure.

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I randomly came across a blog yesterday where a lady was talking about how she carries her camera with her all of the time, and often gets harassed by her friends and family about it. She said, "That’s the thing about pictures – they capture what is and let us see later how beautiful something was (that we might have missed) while we were living it." I couldn't agree more.

But I would argue that just being aware of picturesque (or blog-worthy) moments allows us to appreciate their beauty while they are happening. For now, I'll take this.

But I'm still more-than ready to get my new camera. :)

Also, you might remember me saying that I would be catching up on writing posts with the photos that I already have. It's true, I did this today! :)

Furthermore, I discovered a few blog posts that I wrote a few months ago but never posted because they were either almost finished, or I was waiting to download pictures from my camera to go with them and I forgot about them. So I think next week I'll post my "delayed reaction" posts. You'll know them when you see them.

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30 Aug 2011

Out With Dad

Last month I emailed a friend who has 2 children with the same age difference as mine. Her youngest is about 8 months old, so she has had a bit more time to get used to her new setup. I asked, "How long does it take until it gets easier?" When she wrote back she informed me, kindly, that it doesn't get easier. "But you get better at managing the chaos. You also figure out a routine that helps you to manage both kids at the same time, and it will seem easier." I appreciated her candidness.

A few weeks ago I had a particularly crazy week with the kids. I did not have a schedule worked for them/me yet, and I literally spent all week tending to either one kid or the other. Jayce had only taken a nap one day that week, and when I was feeling particularly frazzled that Thursday evening I realized that I had only had one hour to myself the whole week. Anyone who has gone through the "end of the nap phase" can remember how, one of the worst things about it, is that every day there is the chance that your child might sleep that day, and therefore you might have some free time yourself.

Or, instead of relaxing/sleeping, you might spend that time constantly answering calls from a child who wants to leave their room, listening to constant stalling tactics to avoid sleeping, or repeatedly ushering your child back to his room and bed. This was my week, and my "free time."

As I was recounting my day to Chris, feeling (and probably looking) very frazzled, he offered to take Jayce Saturday morning for some boy time. That way I could rest a bit and have some time alone with Hannah.

They went put putting. :)


I was thrilled for this little outing because I really needed the break. But I was sad to miss out on the fun! I made Chris promise to send me lots of pictures and he did.


Jayce has always loved to golf. Even when he was barely walking he liked to swing a golf club, some friends of ours even cut down a real club for him. But this has never happened anywhere other than in the yard or the house, or occasionally the bed, and Jayce was loving it.


I was a little worried about the putting part. Jayce has always been exclusively a driver. (Is that what it's called? I'm not up on my golf lingo. He likes to hit the ball far.)


But apparently all was well. His swing was controlled, they got to the course early enough that they could take their time a bit and not worry about the people behind/in front of them for a while, and he had a blast. I got this picture and immediately texted Chris, "Get him some water!" It was a hot one that day, not that it mattered to him.


When they left the golf course they headed over to Target for Jayce to pick out a backpack for school, a stop that was mandated by me before they left. I was a little sad to miss this too, but true to form, my boy ran straight to the Lightening McQueen bag and was done. Apparently he shops like his dad, quick and precise. No looking around to see if there is something else, no debating between a few options.

While they were gone, Hannah and I had a quiet time together. It was not entirely restful as I had hoped, she was a bit fussy that morning so I spent much of their time away feeding, rocking, walking, and feeding her again. Eventually she fell asleep though as did I, and now we are ready to take on another week.

Chris and Jayce got home around lunchtime, and wouldn't you know it, Jayce was so tired that he actually couldn't fall asleep. Crazy kid.

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29 Aug 2011

Hannah's Airy Vintage Nursery

I have been talking about Hannah's nursery for months now it seems. I didn't mean to drag it out, it's just that "Operation Nursery" came to a screeching halt once I was put on bed rest, and stayed there during the haze of the newborn phase. But now it is finished and I am so pleased.

Allow me to take you on a short tour.

The Room

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My favorite thing about Hannah's room is that it gets the most beautiful soft light, and with the light gray walls it seems to glow. I didn't want to take away from that at all, so I splashed my color on the feature wall in this fun damask pattern, and left the others blank so that I could play with furniture, fabric and other decor.

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The dresser was a flea market find, re-painted and gussied up with some new Hobby Lobby handles. I filled the frames with some of my favorite pictures of us with our new little lady. The lamp, tray, blocks and frames were thrift store finds, and the lampshade is from Target.

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Hannah's crib and glider were a part of her brother's nursery. I was initially disappointed not to have white furniture because I just love that look in nurseries, so I decided that I would compensate by white playing a part in all of fabric in the bedding and the other details of the room. Now that the room is complete, I'm glad that the crib and glider have a maple finish. It adds large chunks of warmth to the color scheme and blends everything together nicely.

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I wanted her room to be sprinkled with a few of her brother's things, since the toys now belong to "the kids" instead of just my son, But I also wanted a few things that were just for her. The stuffed animals, books, baskets and the well-loved wooden train that adorn the book shelf had each belonged to Jayce. But the art piece is just for her.

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The Details

I was on a tight budget when pulling Hannah's room together, so most everything was found at a thrift store or made by me.

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This little shelf display warms my heart!

I made the family blocks for my son about a year and a half ago and I thought it was such a fun little display of our family of 3! I was so pleased to make a coordinating block with a picture of our newest addition for an updated family display! I had used the "It's a Girl" bunting on her vintage inspired announcement, with a picture from the doctor's visit where we discovered her gender, so I was pleased to have that little trinket in her room as well. The photo on the shelf is her birth announcement. The three components together bring all sorts of memories to mind of the "before, during, and after" of my pregnancy and her addition to our family. Is that corny? Regardless, it's still what I think when I look at it. :)

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I love this quote because we are constantly reading in our house. I used fabric as a mat since the frame was an unusual size, and printed the quote onto photo paper so that you wouldn't see the pattern through the paper. The bunting is made from fabric scraps that match her bedding.

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I wanted Hannah's name displayed beside her bed, so I wrapped doilies around these chunky letters to add a bit of daintiness to them. I found a large frame that we cut down and re-sized so that it would frame her name perfectly. I love the wood of frame. It has beautiful details and is a lovely gold color, but was a bit a bit beat up. I really like the mix of it being both elegant and worn, so I did nothing to it other than re-size it.

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The color scheme and inspiration for her room came from this puff quilt that I pieced together throughout my pregnancy.

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I pulled a few of the fabrics from her quilt to use for her crib sheet and ruffled crib skirt. All of these were my first attempts at sewing anything even remotely complicated, so if you are a new sewer, you can do it! :) I was hesitant to make the crib bumpers myself because of the safety issues that can come with bumpers, so I had a custom set made for me from the talented Isla of IslaCorrine. The craftsmanship is beautiful, she was so sweet to work with, and I just love how it completes the crib! Perfect!

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I made these hanging fabric doilies with the same fabric used in the quilt and other areas of the room. I strung them onto the frame from my son's old mobile for a colorful and sweet display.

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I had extra quilt fabric that I had cut on the bias, so it was in perfectly long stretchy strips. I wrapped these strips around a few of the baskets on her shelves, and wove the longer strips around a basket that holds blankets beside the rocker. This added a nice pop of color to these baskets and pulled them into theme of the room.

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The blocks are my husband, son and I's initials. I am on the lookout for a coordinating "h."

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I made a few throw pillows with coordinating fabric for the glider. When we no longer need the glider in the nursery I plan to keep her quilt and these pillows in the same corner for a little reading nook.

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I shared her My Girl inspired Nursery Subway Art on Lemon Tree last week. It is one of my favorite things in the room. Unless my little lady is in there.

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Wouldn't you know that with all of the colorful elements in this room, Hannah's favorite thing to stare at is the white ceiling fan? Go figure. :)

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What do you think? It was definitely a labor of love, and I'm so happy with it. :)

Thank you Mom for your help in painting the walls and furniture. Thank you Patsy for bringing some extra drawer pulls and finding the elusive correct sized screws for those drawers. Thank you Chelsea for enduring a 3 day long re-assessing period of where to put everything. Thank you Chris for drilling holes when you wanted to be doing anything else. Hannah and I are grateful.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

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25 Aug 2011

Preschool Part 2: The Reality

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We took Jayce over to school for what I thought was an open house, but it ended up being a mini-school day.

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We met up with one of his little buddies right away.  They were so cute, they had just hugged when I took this picture!  (Now, granted, it was on at the suggestion of the moms, but still they did it!  There will be a day where they are too cool to hug their friends, but this was not the day.)

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It was really busy once we got to the hallway where Jayce classroom was, and he got a little nervous.  I carried him in the room, and once he was in there he jumped down and was fine.  He gave his teacher her pictures right away and then busied himself coloring.

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At story time he sat with his two friends.  I wonder if they will be the three little musketeers or something?  I'm not sure why they were all holding hands, but it was pretty cute.

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They read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and then passed around the little stuffed caterpillar.  Each child said their name and then their favorite food.  Jayce declared apples as his favorite food.  The boy does love apples.

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They played on the playground,

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had a snack in the cafeteria,

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and even went for a ride on the school bus.

It was so cute because they are all so tiny on that big bus.  Jayce stood on his seat, waved and yelled, "Hi Mom!" and then sat down, disappearing completely from my view.

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It was a hit.

When I took him in on Tuesday for the first real school day, there was no nervousness outside the door.  Not for him anyway.  He ran in and started playing.

I went to tell him goodbye, that I was leaving and I would be back to pick him up in a little bit.  I imagine that I should have snuck away, but I kind of felt like I should draw to his attention that I was leaving so that he wouldn't look up at some point, realize that I wasn't there and freak out.  It turns out that there was no reason for me to worry.  He so busy the whole morning that he never had a chance to stop and assess the situation, or maybe he did and realized that it was just fine with him.

Chris drove us over for moral support, for me, and then came home and fixed me some coffee.  I only cried a little bit, snuggled Hannah a lot, called a good friend, and then was ready to pick him up again.

He loved it, was EXHAUSTED, and wanted to go back immediately after he woke up from his nap.  Today's drop off was less traumatic for me, and I think we are all going to make it.



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24 Aug 2011

Pre School Part 1: Just Thoughts

Yesterday, Jayce had his first day at preschool.  I wrote this blog post on Monday, because I want to get my pre-preschool thoughts out there before we dove into this in the first place.  I meant to write about this last week, but remember that thing I said about never being able to blog about the current week anymore?  Or perhaps you remember me saying how last week was rather stressful and Jayce wouldn't nap for me?  Both of those things are major factors in this post appearing so late in the game.

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Over the last few weeks many of my friends have mentioned their sadness regarding the upcoming school year.  There are lots of "babies" attending preschool, kindergarden and first grade, and everyone is discussing how quickly time has gone and how sad they will be to send their little ones away for the day.  I couldn't agree more.

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But I'm also aware that Jayce doesn't have to go to school right now.  3 year old preschool is a choice that we made, and though I'm sad about, I'm also happy about it.

Part of this has to do with my new role as a momma of two.  Jayce was my only baby for 3 years, so I had ample time to soak up each and every one of his developmental stages, revel in his milestones and the sweetness of our every day life together, and give him lots of undivided attention.  But now, to some degree, my attention is always divided.  I'm spreading snuggle time, story time, play time, bed time and bath time between my two babies.

So a part of me is looking forward to having these few hours to spend with Hannah alone, much like I had with Jayce when he was this age.  I am really looking forward to this, particularly now that she is more and more engaged each day.

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But the main reason that I'm happy about the upcoming school year is for Jayce.  Every time that I think about him going to pre school I just get so excited for him because I know he'll just LOVE it.

Jayce loves Sunday school at church.  He runs right over to the door and into the classroom without a backward glance.  He is always coming home telling us the stories that he learned, singing the songs, and sometimes telling us the games that they play as well.  I have thought for a while that I wish there was some sort of extended program that he could do and I think preschool will serve this function for him.

Like many kids his age, he loves to color, draw, paint, sing, and talk about letters and numbers.  We used to do lots of this at home, but since I have less time and energy to do all of these things with him every single day, I'm glad that he'll still be engaged in this way.

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We've been talking about his school since we signed up in April, so we were thrilled to get this sweet postcard in the mail from Jayce's teacher a few weeks ago.  He was over the moon about it, and busied himself that day painting a picture for her.

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I went to Walmart the next day to get his school supplies.  I thought it seemed like a lot of things for 6 hours of class a week, don't you think?

As I was browsing the school supplies, I found myself thinking things like, "It costs more to buy two 8-packs of crayons than one 24-pack...Why do 3 year olds need #2 pencils?...glue sticks AND Elmers glue?." A woman walked by and informed me that she had just come from CVS and they had better deals on their school supplies than Walmart.  I smiled that I was in a new stage as well, the "mom shopping for school supplies" stage.  Of course I had to grab a few new packs of brightly colored post its for myself as well.

Then, out of nowhere, I felt a lump form in my throat and my eyes fill up with tears.  I needed to get out of the school supply aisle to get control of myself, so I went after an employee to help me find an art smock.  It worked.

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I brought home the school supplies and started labeling everything, and putting it all into the "cool new Lightening McQueen packpack," as Jayce calls it.

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The morning of the open house Jayce was bouncing all over the house, ready to go to school, but he had to wait until 10.  He discovered that his backpack was full of goodies, so he pulled them all out and started lining them all up along the floor, grouping them with the like items.  That's my boy.  I was across the room, trying to restrain myself from making him keep it all together and organized.  I was thinking, "Let's just leave the crayons in the box until we get to school," and "Don't put the pencils in your pencil pouch first or the other stuff won't fit..." But I kept myself quiet.

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He had Chelsea label the pictures that he had painted for his teacher and put those in the folder too.  Then we were off to school.


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