Friday, January 30, 2009

Whew!

*Note: this too is postdated...I've had several post ideas floating around!

What a day! This morning I had a MOPS Steering Team meeting. We talked about how the year has gone so far and what we hope to do different/better for the second half of the year. Afterward, a couple of us joined working girls, Merideth & Joni for lunch at the Market Cafe, which I discovered has burgers...who knew? Unfortunately, it was after I had already ordered my pimento cheese sandwich, which was yummy...but Joni's burger smelled so good!

On the way home, Jack and I dashed into the grocery store to pick up some more ricotta, mozarella and milk (it's on sale this week...I would have gotten 2 gallons, but I don't have the fridge space...it's not as organized as my pantry!) Not long after we got back in the car had Jack given up the struggle to stay awake. Poor guy is still rocking 2 naps a day and when he misses the morning nap because we're away from home or out of sorts, he gets cranky.

So, while he napped I got to work making enough Lasagna to feed 3 families. I also managed to make a strawberry shortcake, which was hard not to dig into. We had some friends and their 3 kids (The Sheldons) over for dinner tonight. Our menu was Lasagna, Salad, Doughnut Bread (lol...thanks, Merideth!), Green beans & Strawberry Shortcake (saved a stash for the Spruills, but you have to cross the gnat line to get it!) We had a wondeful time catching up and as always Jack loved having the big kids around. Amy especially loved entertaining Jack and helping take care of him. She helped me get his pjs on and read him a book before I put him to bed. Then, while the guys gabbed Erin & I played UNO Attack with the kids. It was a lot of fun, but the last game wore everyone out...it must have lasted an hour! After it was all over, I was exhausted from all the fun. I quickly loaded the dishwasher and formulated all the great material for this blog entry and then headed to bed. Thank goodness my massage is tomorrow!

Oh, yeah the third family to enjoy lasagna will be the Cains on Sunday. I went ahead and assembled another to bake on Sunday afternoon to take them for dinner. Wendy & Stephen just welcomed a new baby, Emme. We went to visit them on her birthday yesterday. She's so precious!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Do you remember where you were...

*Note: this one has been floating around in my head for a couple of days. I'm just now making it to the computer to hammer it out, so I'm post dating it.

Do you remember where you were 14 months ago today? I sure do. I was sitting in a hospital bed as a proud mommy to a one day old baby! That's right Jack has officially passed the 14-month mark. I guess at a certain point you stop marking their age with months, but I assume that happens when their clothes aren't sized in months anymore.

Although he's still not walking Jack is certainly showing signs of having learned new things every day. For months, he had enjoyed playing peek-a-boo by hiding around the corner of the couch or just out of sight and then popping his head up, but this week he has learned to cover his eyes with his hands and then uncover them! He does this with a surprised look on his face and usually a giggle.

Jack enjoys laughing and does it like it's contagious. If he overhears someone laughing he usually laughs too, even strangers! It's pretty cute. We are still getting a kick out of watching him dance. When he hears some music he likes, he starts moving and grooving.

Jack loves chocolate milk and regularly asks for juice. He loves the sign for eat/food and does it all the time to let you know he wants to eat whatever it is you are eating or whatever it is he sees that he thinks might taste good (food or otherwise!) He recently started signing "down" for when he wants you to put him down or get out of his high chair. It's pretty funny because he usually signs it when he wants to climb up on the couch too.

He's standing pretty well on his own, but still seems to be pretty content to keep up the speed crawling. He walks well behind his push toy and loves to climb the stairs whenever permitted to do so! He loves to say "woof, woof" when he sees a dog. He still seems to be pretty tall. I look forward to seeing his percentiles for height and weight at his check up in March.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Asleep?

It's 7:45 p.m. as I begin this entry, and Jack is already in bed (actually has been for about 20 minutes!) And, I think he's asleep. He was a little grumpy this afternoon, so I decided early to bed tonight! Maybe it's all the fun from this weekend. Friday night we had the opportunity to meet my parents in Commerce for dinner. My little sister joined us too. It was a lot of fun to catch up and about a 20-30 minute drive for everyone. Jack enjoyed seeing his grandma & grandpa and of course Auntie Em! They also brought the prints from my photo session....one of which was this beautiful piece (this was hung on Sunday afternoon.)

We spent a good part of Saturday at home. Josh had some rounding to do, so Jack & I did our typical morning routine. After lunch, we went to Lowe's to price a few items and ended up finding an instant home improvement project. Later that evening, we headed to the York's for dinner. Jack had such a good time playing with Andrew and his toys! These two are so fun to watch. Jack really loved watching James & Josh juggle, and we all enjoyed watching Andrew taking a few steps here and there. That kid is going to be walking in no time...he's eager and has no fear. Our little guy on the other hand is still content to crawl as fast as the wind. He did get up behind Andrew's push car and go for a quick stroll. Andrea got it on video and it was hilarious. He kept running into things and eventually toppled over it head first! Don't worry, he was fine. I think our laughter helped stifle his tears!

After church on Sunday, Josh began to tackle the mini-home improvement project to only to find we had purchased the wrong size...or had we? Anyway, after a quick trip back to Lowe's, he was back at work only to find that this was definitely the wrong size and the first one was going to have to work. So, after his second trip to Lowe's (third in 24 hours), we had the project finished. So, now we have enclosed blinds on the back door. I've been letting Jack scurry around without his shoes the last couple of days hoping that will help him in his cruising. Thanks to the bare feet he has rediscovered the joy of his tasty toes! Silly boy!

Sweet Letter

Here's a kind letter the Bush daughter's wrote to Sasha & Malia Obama. Some are calling it a PR stunt and full of cheese, but who cares. It's not any more a PR stunt than Obama's own letter to his girls which recently appeared in Parade magazine.

Anyway, if you haven't seen this it's pretty sweet.



Thursday, January 22, 2009

365 Update

So, I thought I'd give you a little update on my Project 365. I'm not really sure why because it's certainly not to brag. Maybe it's because I'm hoping you all will nag me and keep me honest with your comments or by hounding me when you see me. I've missed 2 days in the last week! I really don't have any excuse for missing Sunday or Wednesday. Although neither were particularly eventful days, they certainly weren't unordinarily busy. Anyway, you can take a look at how the album is going.

In other news, I finally labeled the storage bins in my pantry...2 weeks later! I think the only reason I finally did it was because Josh & I went out tonight and I was afraid the sitter would look in the pantry and think I was a looney tune! I wanted to make sure she could find the snacks and popcorn, if she felt so inclined. I'd also like to point out how ridiculously full some of these bins are. I'm ashamed to say the one spilling over the most is the Chips, Cookies & Candy bin (in the top right corner of the photo)!

The builder has officially finished the deck addition, and it looks great. I'll post a photo soon. Maybe next week I'll have him come and expand the pantry so "Chips, Cookies & Candy" can each have their own bin! As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend in Carolina

I will begin by apologizing this is going to be a simple blog entry. I'm tired and ready for bed, but felt like I needed to get this stuff up (because some folks know I usually update on Monday nights!) I spent most of my evening working on our MOPS newsletter that needs to go out this week, so my blog will suffer because of it...oh, well. I know you will forgive me! LOL

We spent Friday night and most of Saturday in Greenwood catching up with friends. We have some very fond memories from the three years we lived there and several of our friends still call it home. We began our whirlwind of visitations at the Warner's house. Kristie aka Cissy is my usual hostess when I come into town. She graciously put Jack and I up for a couple of days this summer during our trip to Greenwood. We look forward to doing the same again this year. Jack loved the pool! Anyway, Cissy and Bill were preparing to leave for a glorious trip to Aruba. I know, I'm sitting here awaiting the predicted snow and they are basking in the sunshine! Next time, hide me in your suitcase, Cissy!

Our great friends, Chandler & Sara were kind enough to let us stay the night with them. They just moved into a new house with their son, Noah, in November. So, it was so exciting to see their new home. It's just gorgeous, and we look forward to more visits there in the future.

We started Saturday morning with a big breakfast at Cracker Barrel where we caught up with the Wiles family. They lived just down the street from us and are such a fun family. They are preparing to welcome their third baby, a little girl. Hannah Grace & Austin seemed to be excited to have a little sister. They both enjoyed entertaining Jack & Noah during breakfast.
Soon after breakfast the little guys were ready for a much-needed nap. Then, they finally got some playtime together. Jack loved Noah's basketball goal. He knew just what to do with it. The only problem was figuring out how to stand up to reach it. Noah is just six weeks older than Jack, but walking around pretty good. They had a grand time together.

Later that afternoon, we began making the rounds...first was a stop at the Forets. It was a bit sad to think that it could be the last time we say Ryan & Elise before they move back to Lousiana in a few months. We're already trying to plan a weekend together at the Ga v. LSU baseball game in Athens in a couple of months. Then after a hiatus at the new Marble Slab (even in 40 degree weather ice cream is delicious!) Our next stop was the Taylors. They also lived just down the street from us, but have since moved into a larger home to accomodate their growing family. Scarlet was in Josh's residency class and was also my doctor while we lived in G'wood. She guided me through the first 17 weeks of our pregnancy. She and Scott have two children Emma & Dalton and like the Wiles are about to add a third, a boy! Scarlet & Lindsay work in the same practice in Abbeville (just outside G'wood.) Their newest additions are due about a month apart from one another. Here's Jack envying Dalton's climbing abilities!

Finally, we stopped at the Johns' house. Marty & Gretchen were also friends from residency. They have a son, Tripp, who is four weeks older than Jack. Gretchen is also pregnant with their second child, due in July! It was the first time we had seen them in person to congratulate them. We ended up staying around for pizza and hanging out while the boys all played. I found this old picture, which was taken at one of Sara's showers (presumably in September of 2007). Fastforward 16 months to the photo that was taken this weekend. Pretty neat, huh? We were so grateful to reconnect with old friends, but so glad to be home too. They are calling for snow tonight, but I haven't seen anything yet. I'll keep you posted! :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Painted Sky

Last night the most beautiful sunset was taking place right outside our house. Josh said when he pulled down the street on the way home, it was as if it was leading him home. The temperatures are quite chilly here this week, but we stood outside and enjoyed the painted sky for a while anyway. Photographs don't always do these beautiful mountain sunsets justice, but here's one anyway.

After Jack's bath last night, Josh and I messed Jack's hair up pretty good. Then, we showed him in the mirror. Jack thought it was so funny! He even tried to do a little styling of his own. It was so funny. I had to run and grab the camera. There are more pictures here, including one where he shows how perfectly his finger fits in his nostril...boys, boys, boys!

In other news, Josh shaved his beard on Sunday afternoon and Jack seemingly just noticed on Monday evening. Here he is giving Josh the inspection.

We're also having our back deck expanded. (In fact, I hear the sounds of hammering right now!) We love being outside and love the view from the back of the house. We had talked about doing it for a while, but hadn't followed through with it. Taking the opportunity to employ some out of work builders, we finally bit the bullet. We're looking forward to seeing the finished product; and I'll be sure to share. If we can get our minds made up about what we want, the basement will be next.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Organized...or at least pretending to be!

I spent most of this afternoon and evening reorganizing our pantry. I know, sounds like loads of fun. I just came to the realization that I hated what a mess it was and the fact that I was constantly just stuffing things wherever I could fit them. Then I said to myself, "Self, do something about it!"

So, on Friday I measured the shelves and headed to Wal-mart. I had seen a pantry organized by baskets in a magazine a few months ago. They had a basket for spaghetti fixings, taco night, etc. It was cute, but I knew I'd need to organize a little more generally to make room for everything. As you can see from my before picture, it was a wonder I could find anything or retrieve an item without having six others falling out behind it. Honestly, there have been nights when Josh and I will be upstairs or in another room and hear a loud thud.

J: Did you hear that?
L: Yeah
J: Wonder what it was?
L: I'm going to go ahead and guess something in the pantry

I've also included a photo of what the kitchen looked like in the middle of my project. I'm ashamed to say that this is how much is in my pantry on a night when I would typically say, "we don't have anything to eat, guess we better go pick something up!" This photo does not include one other counter top you can't see and my kitchen table (which was primarily filled with paper products & utensils...how many plastic spoons does one family need?)

Fast forward a half hour and I had most everything in a canvas bin and loaded on to the shelves. It's harder to see what you have at a glance, but I feel like I've made more room for things. I guess I could have bought clear tubs, but this looks much nicer. The bins will soon be labeled, and who knows...maybe I can keep it organized like this?

Josh had to work in the ER tonight and so Jack and I were just hanging out after he left. I was preparing some stuff for a luncheon on Sunday and trying to get a few things put away when Jack decided to play in the fridge. It was so close to bedtime and it made him so happy, that I just let him. I'm guessing it defeats the purpose of having an Energy Star appliance if you leave the door open for 5 minutes. I'll try to be more green tomorrow.

S'mores, anyone?

Friday night we had a few friends over for dinner. With the hectic-ness that surrounds the holidays, it felt like it had been a while since we had been able to just catch up with one another. The kids really enjoyed each other. And despite four boys under the age of 4, the adults managed to survive too, but not without a few twists.

After dinner, we ladies began clearing the table, putting away the food, cleaning, loading dishes, etc. I asked Josh to get Jack out of his high chair and wrongly assumed that meant Jack would then be under his supervision. Well, the fellas all stayed in the dining room continuing to talk (and they say all we do is gab!) About 10 minutes later, we realize that we are down one little guy...Jack. We look in the laundry room, our bedroom, and he was nowhere to be found. Then, we hear him crawling around UPSTAIRS! That's right. He crawled all the way upstairs and was just hanging out by himself. I know you're thinking, "why don't you put up a gate, blah, blah, blah!" We have a gate, actually two of them, but they are sort of a pain in the rear (especially at the bottom of the stairs.) I typically only put it when it's just me and Jack and I'm not in the room with him. Anyway, since he was perfectly safe and sound we all got a good laugh out of it.

We also managed to keep the house from catching on fire. We have a little S'mores maker with a lazy susan. It is a lot of fun and I knew the older boys would like it(Tate & Brit that is, not our husbands, although they enjoyed it too!) Tate may actually have a future in professional S'mores assembly. It kept wanting to make them for everyone. He managed to eat a few himself too. In fact, this is one of my favorites!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Where's Rhianna when I need her?

She so kindly offers space under her umbrella. So, where is she when I need her? Yesterday, Andrea and I went to Buford to pick up a baby shower gift and run some errands. Somewhere between Babies R Us and Michael's the rain began to fall and the winds were right with it. I hesitated before getting out my trusty gold Northeast Georgian gift umbrella, but decided it could hold up long enough for me to get to the back of the vehicle to get my monster umbrella. No sooner had I stuck it out the window and opened it, had old goldy turned inside out and was preparing to carry me away like Mary Poppins! A quick dash to the back and I retrieved my monster HMC umbrella (wouldn't you know...also a gift). I now confidently strolled over to the back seat to get Jack out of the car. Well, if you couldn't tell from this picture, my monster umbrella was also no match for these fierce winds! Gripping our little ones tight, Andrea and I bolted into Michaels laughing all the way!

Since my umbrella found a new home yesterday, I had to take a picture (in case, no one believed its destruction). Anyway, by the time we left the store 15 minutes later the mini wind/rain storm had died down and we could safely walk to the car. What a funny sight I must have been though on the way in, dragging my broken umbrella behind me!

This photo also made my Project 365 album. I've read about this on a couple of different blogs and sites. Basically, you take a picture every day for a full year. I think you are supposed to then scrap the pictures in a pretty book, but let's be real honest...I have yet to scrap Jack's birth, am I really going to find time to do this either? So, in a compromise I started a Project 365 album on my Picasa page. I'll post the photos there.

So, taking a picture every day? How hard could this be? I've taken like a million pictures since Jack was born. Seriously, my friends tease that he's the most photographed child ever. But, I've already missed Jan. 3, 4 & 5th! In my defense, I didn't really decide to do it until like Monday, but still! Anyway, I'll keep a link to the album on my sidebar. Who knows? Maybe I'll find someone or something besides Jack to photograph!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Movin' & Groovin

This is similar to the video of Jack at Brookstone dancing in his stroller. On Christmas morning, we put him in his new car. He quickly figured out which button played a little song.

video

I resolve to NOT...

With all the focus on New Year's Resolutions, I came across the idea of doing NON-resolutions. Sounded perfect to me; I'm pretty good at not doing things (like cleaning the bathroom, etc.)

I resolve NOT to...(*corrected for my husband's sake! Sorry to all you English fanatics who were grimacing at the fact that I split my infinitives!)

1. Take for granted Jack's cuddly size; he'll be so big this time next year!

2. Worry about what my kid is doing versus others his age. So, what if he crawls to kindergarten? At least my kid's not running away from me (okay, so he's furiously crawling away from me...there is a difference, right?)

3. Spend so much time on the computer. Ouch, this one is going to be a challenge. Maybe I should clarify: I mean paying bills doesn't count, right? And updating the blog is part of our obligation to family and friends. Email also keeps me from having to make so many phone calls, and Facebook is...

4. Make too many Non-Resolutions, I mean that last one is getting pretty close to a real resolution!

Jack and I spent last Thursday night and Friday in Athens. I had the opportunity to try out my dad's new Wii and experience the Wii Fit. I'm pretty good at the hula hoop and long jump skiing; everything else I was pretty terrible at. Jack enjoyed watching and loved Dad's workout gear. He kept wanting me to put it on him. After taking it off, he wanted it on again! Silly boy! While we were in town we managed to squeeze in a meal at Chick-fil-A and a trip to the Elephant Trunk (all the Christmas clothes were 1/2 off). I snagged Jack the cutest pants and a Christmas outfit for this year (it's 2009, people!)

Look out, Mr. Clark!

There's a New Show in Town. That's right, we had our own Rockin' New Year's Eve (minus Dick Clark). Some friends of ours, the Hollands, invited us over and someone brought Guitar Hero and we all rocked out. It was a fun night of just goofing off and enjoying each other's company, and I think the kids may have enjoyed themselves too!

Jack stayed up way past his usual bedtime partying until about 10:30 (so he had a little drowsy spell in there, but never fell asleep). We headed home and he got in bed about 11! Crazy, I know! Thankfully, he sort of slept in (till about 8:30). We spent the rest of the day hanging out and watching the football game. I made tailgate snacks for lunch, and Josh and I had a fun afternoon before he headed to work in the ER and Jack and I headed to Athens for a visit.