Sunday, December 27, 2009

Just for the record

Brooks is scooting. I am not sure if this is normal in baby world or not but over the last week at Nise and Big's house (finally they have official "grandparent" names) Brooks has started to turn and scoot towards the object of his desire - that usually being my cellphone. He looks like a paralyzed gorilla if you ask me but it sure is quiet entertaining. I am just blown away by the little guy. It truly is an indescribable thing as a mother or father to witness a child learning right before your eyes. This little gorilla made Christmas this year such a joy and comedy all at once! Thank you, God, truly, for somehow thinking I could raise this boy. I am so honored and more so, I am recognizing everyday how this is truly a task that I couldn't do without Your guidance. Thank you. I am grateful for this gift and for your constant presence as we watch and guide his growth.

And I hope to have a video of this craziness soon and some Christmas pictures of the little Spud. We are still meandering around the city before we head back to the low country sometime tomorrow or Tuesday and then I am sure we will need some recuperating days but I expect to be up and operational before the new year! Enjoy the last few days of this decade....that's crazy too!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Home for the Holidays

The little man and I are in Marietta for the duration of the Holidays. About 75% of me feels fully Christmasy. The lights on the tree are always on, there are presents pouring out from under, there are home made goodies in every corner of the house, my siblings are home (though constantly on the go), and we've watched a different Christmas movie every night. BUT. And this is a huuuuuuge "but"....Mr. Brad is back in Savannah working for the man. Boo! I don't like that someone in our house actually has to work at a paying job. I'm so grateful that he does but over the holidays I just think corporate America should shut down for 2 whole weeks. So, a big chunk of my heart is just waiting for Brad to get here for it to fully, 100% feel like Christmas!

When he does get here we have a fun few days planned. We are taking Brooks to the aquarium with my brother and his new cute wife. We are going to actually start our Christmas shopping and come up with a fun first gift for Brooks. We are going to make oodles and oodles of pinwheel cookies that mama and I make every year. We are going to drink my dad's wassail and eat mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. We are going to read the Christmas story to Brooks everyday until Christmas. And....we are going to do a whole lot of nothing in between. Brad needs a restful vacation and I just hope I can give that to him.

We are so happy to be home for the Holidays! But "baby, all I want for Christmas is you!" Hurry to come see us!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The "White Chocolate Oreo Truffles {thank you, Sara, for the rename}" (aka" Reindeer Balls) took home the prize tonight....Literally, they won best tasting among a wonderful sampling of cookies made by my new Savannah friends. As I said, you should steal this recipe and take it to your cookie swap. I admit, it did get a little more difficult when the chocolate dipping part came around. Maybe not difficult but tedious but oh so worth the sweat and tears.

Week in pictures

I am wanting to sit and chat for hours on end and tell you about our crazy luncheon at my house yesterday, the beautiful weather here, Brooks' amazingness, my anticipation for the Christmas break (even though my last semester was 6 years ago I still expect everyone to have 3 weeks off at Christmas), the shopping I have left to do, the complete exhaustion that my body is feeling these days, my no-longer-sick baby, lessons I've learned lately, the amount of cookies I have eaten lately, how blessed I am, and the Braves. Fortunately for you - I'm too tired to even begin. We've had a fun week though so I can't just let is pass. Here are a few pictures for proof. (P.S. - Do you think Santa is still taking requests? I would FALL APART to unwrap a new Canon SLR camera. I know you would fall apart too as soon as I start to post pictures taken from a new camera. I mean, Brooks is about the coolest thing around but can you imagine how cute he would be behind a big, fat Mac-daddy lens and a super duper camera? Maybe next year Santa......)

I'm sure you don't believe this but Santa's little helper likes to unwrap the gifts right after I get them all pretty. Unbelievable right?

Here are 4 of the 5 boys between ages 2 and 3 that entertained me and Brooks yesterday at our first luncheon hosted at our house. They loved looking for the crabs in the marsh. Aren't they just so precious? Brooks was a little shy and seemed to just watch the big boys in awe.

Yes, I am a dork. These are the Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer pb&j's that tickled me more than the little guys that ate them. If only I had that much energy and creativity when it comes to laundry and other house chores
I spy........a BABY.....10 feet from the pillow that I first sat him in as I was putting the noses on the Reindeer sandwiches. Who needs to crawl when you can roll your way around the house!

P.S. - I am not sure what crazy lady was on t.v. but it surely is telling that the t.v. ALWAYS seems to be on yet I swear I NEVER watch it! In the New Year, I will turn the t.v. off and take in the quiet house all..... day....... long. Promise.

Reindeer Droppings

Eeeewwwww. I love an occasional reindeer on my rooftop but I dont like to think that they leave feces in my yard but like the book says, "everything poops." Well, this morning I have been elbow deep in reindeer droppings and now they are chilling in the fridge waiting to be dipped in chocolate. YUMMY!

Actually, I have a cookie swap here in the neighborhood tonight and I am pretty psyched to have been invited. Unfortunately, I have put way too many things on my to do list this week so yesterday I found myself hyperventilating at the thought that I had 72 cookies to make standing in between me and my first party here in Savannah! I am embarrassed to even share my secrets regarding this SUPER EASY actually, easier than easy recipe but as I can imagine many of you will find yourselves in this same bind in the next week I thought I would pass on this little recipe. Happy early Christmas.

Side note: the actual name of this recipe is often called "Reindeer Balls." I won't comment any further but I am not sure which is less appetizing....reindeer balls or reindeer droppings? I feel funny even writing that word on my blog.

1 package Oreos (full fat kind, can't skimp here)
1 package cream cheese (I have used 1/3 less fat version...and it doesn't work well). Oh, make sure it is softened.
1 package white chocolate or milk chocolate (or both) morsels for melting

Put on Christmas music.
Pour glass of eggnog (I've had 2). Put baby down for nap if you have a baby.
Place oreos in food processor and process until oreos are crushed (think: consistency of dust). I have to do this in batches.
Dump oreos in large bowl with package of softened cream cheese.
Blend ingredients with hand mixer until mixture starts to clump together and could make a large moist ball. (Ewww)
*You could do this all in the food processor if yours is big enough.)
Roll into 1inch balls and place on a cookie sheet.
Place in fridge to harden (up to 2 hours but it doesn't have to be that long)
In the meantime, drink more eggnog and scape the oreo bowl with your fingers - this is the best part!
And, melt chocolate on low heat on stove ( I am sure you could do microwave too)
Dip oreo "spheres" in melted chocolate and place back on cookie sheet.
Place back in fridge or freezer for chocolate to harden.
Enjoy!!! They are rich enough to only need a few bites but small enough to not feel too guilty.
**I'll have to update with a finished project photo later. My second batch is in the fridge. And, Sherri, aka: my cookie monster partner in crime, tell me what you think after you run out today and buy some oreos! I love a kindred spirit when it comes to cookies!

Monday, December 14, 2009

What was I thinking? {In pictures}

"Yay, let's iron with a luke warm iron for the next 4 days!!!!!

This was a good idea....butternut squash for the wee-man and for lunch with friends on Wednesday. The smell in the house right now would make you do cartwheels.

What was I thinking? Let's take the 6 month, sneezing, coughing baby to the islands tour of homes during his bed time!

Last but not least......and having nothing to do with the below post and everything to do with the tingly sensation in my toes is this bulletin board displaying the friends whom have not yet forgotten us in Atlanta (and beyond!) and have wished us a Merry Christmas. Oh, I can't tell you how happy this makes me! I sit and stare at this board throughout the day and I may or may have not been caught talking to some of you over lunch - just to feel like I have a dear friend near by! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

What was I thinking?

I've had alot of those moments lately. Actually, the majority of my moments lately have concluded or been interrupted by the exact thought...what was I thinking? (But sounding in my head more like...what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks was I thinking?) My ability to reason these days is on vacation somewhere tropical and breezy.

Like the time last Wednesday when I thought it a noble idea to wash the perfectly clean white duvet cover on our king sized bed. I love fresh bed sheets and thought I should extend my cleanliness to the duvet cover. Oh how I wish I could rewind to that moment and slap myself on the head. Today I am finally dealing with the consequences after many days of delay. You see, I DON'T IRON. I should, I know. I have oodles of time on my hands with a 6 months old. I just don't like it and honestly, I don't know how so everything gets taken to the dry cleaner and I skip 6 meals a month to be able to pay for our astronomical dry cleaning. (Mind you, this is the same girl who begged the lady at the coin laundry to wash and fold her clothes when she first moved here just so she didn't have to do it - even if it meant nearly $70!!!) Yes, I have this thing called an iron but it was a hand me down from a regular ironer (my mother) who would have thrown it away had I not convinced her that I would actually enjoy (gag) ironing. Anyway, I have now flattened a whole 2 square feet of the comforter. It looks terrible and it took me 25 minutes. Seriously, what's a girl to do? Nap time will soon be over and I still don't have a put together bed to sleep in tonight. Sorry Brad. This project may have to be delegated as well.

(But to make me feel better my butter nut squash that is baking in the oven makes my house smell like a homemaker's dream! A house that smells this cozy must be a house where the wife irons and cleans and makes banana bread, right?)

Moving on....this afternoon I sat in my drive way with an 8 ball a oiji board and a rabbits foot deliberating the question of the day....really, of every day. TO LEAVE BROOKS IN THE CAR NOW THAT HE IS ASLEEP OR ATTEMPT TO PUT HIM IN HIS CRIB FOR THE DURATION (potential 1.5 hours) OF NAP? I couldn't come to a conclusion so I asked the working member of our household and as expected - because he likes a challenge (and secretly I think he thinks my days are pure giggles and fun over here every minute) he decided that I should quickly get him in his crib and then carry on giggling and creating fun. Well that is the last time I will take daddy-o's advise. The little guy has yet to fall asleep - 40 minutes later. Have you ever tried to "carry on" while listening (but trying not to listen) to a baby fall asleep? Yeah, it doesn't work. Every silent second seems like an eternity and I literally think in my head...."okay, quiet....quiet (this can't be true)....quiet (I know he's not asleep)" WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH. Why do I always have to be right? Please go to sleep. This sequence is repeated every time there is a break in the noise. Anyway, what was I thinking? Oh, I know what I was thinking.....won't it be fun to spend my Monday afternoon learning to iron on the largest piece of ironable thing in my house while listening to the baby pretend to go to sleep for what seem like hours on end. (Sorry for the sarcasm today. No more I promise.)

Or try this one on for size. I am coming home from a lovely lunch downtown today when I decided to take a new route home (even though I know the quicker the route meant the possibility to make it home to get Brooks down in his crib and not have to deal with the above.) Let's just say I ended up on Martin Luther King Blvd and you know what that means in any city. In addition, I wanted to change Brooks' stinky diaper before he actually fell asleep so I proceed to pull over into a gravel lot in order to change him. Some crazy looking man asked Brooks for a dollar and I figured he could wait until we got home with his stinky diaper. stomach is turning. There has been 10 seconds of silence from the nursery. Could it be that I actually may get to tackle another 2 feet of my dreaded project? In that case, maybe I'll just get the little guy up! Kidding. I'm going to find someone who enjoys ironing or at the least is effective at this chore (meaning: the wrinkles actually come out!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2 sick boys and a rainy Saturday

What do you do on the one Saturday that you are actually (unexpectedly) in town and the sky has been crying big alligator sized tears all day long? The tears just didn't stop coming today along with a pretty fierce wind. Naturally we were cooped up in our abode like most Georgian's were today.....looking in corners for things to do and things to eat. On top of the dreary weather outside, the spirits weren't so high inside either. The little man of the house had the nastiest cold I have ever seen. His cold seems like a dad sized cold all welled up in that little body. Oh, he was just so pathetic looking. Luckily, he was happy to have us all to himself today and happy that his dad was home to share in his misery so he was not as cranky as you would imagine a hacking, snotting, feverish nearly 7 month old. His dad on the other hand (don't tell him) has a baby sized cold and is much more put out by his symptoms than the little guy. So what's a girl to do? I decided early in the day I would clean the house from head to toe to prepare for my first gathering of friends to the house next week. I also decided I would complete one of the following projects (some of which were started two years ago) - begin Wedding picture album, work on Brooks' baby book, create collage of black and white pictures in black frames for the hallway, sew buttons on pillows that Amos chewed in his early years, write letters to dear friends like I used to do, address Christmas cards (though I am actually late on these this year even though in an earlier post I said I would be early) or iron the clean, crisp, white bed linens on my bed (fresh, plump bed linens make me act out of character). Unfortunately, the ever flowing stream of mucus from one of the boys nose kept me occupied much of the day and I am just now sitting down for the day.

And I am pooped. But had I not spent the day all bound up with two icky boys I would not have discovered the best part of this entire Christmas season so far. Ta da! We have a fireplace. We have a live, working fireplace and it is soo pretty in the dark room right now! I had coveted my neighbors smoke rolling from their chimney the last few cold days but no longer! Tonight I have my very own roaring, warming, soothing fire and honestly, had we not been stuck in the dark room all day we wouldn't have actually been bored enough to make it work! I am thrilled about what this nasty weather and my two sick babies have brought about. In an instant, Christmas time here (alone) in Savannah doesn't seem so cold and lonely. I love a rainy, sick day every once in awhile! Oh, and how fun is it to actually wear my rain boots I bought the last time it poured for the purpose they were made - to stomp in the rain on the way to the mailbox! I love wearing useful clothing.

And for your enjoyment: A few funny facts about the Christmas season:
1) Every year my parents would beg us to watch It's a Wonderful Life among other holiday classics. For some reason, to this day I do not know that I have actually ever watched the whole movie. Maybe this year?
2) I LOVE exquisetly wrapped presents...with huge overflowing ribbon, bright yet crisp paper, plush tissue paper beneath, and fun little trinkets to adorn. Oh.....I love a perfectly wrapped present and I know many will not agree but I think the wrapping of the present is half the joy of getting a present. i won't lie....I don't wrap my presents with such passion..yet....but I will one day when I don't know what to do with my money. And I'd find the papers here in the Virginia Highlands.
3) I am the gift giver that many people don't like. I like to find the present you would never buy yourself but once I give it to you - you wonder what you ever did without it....I just love to find a unique something for each person.
4) My favorite Christmas as a child was the Christmas we found the trampoline Santa had hidden in the garage a few days before he actually came. My parents left me to watch the 3 other munchkins and we jumped and jumped as much as any four youngsters could jump in a 10 foot garage.
5) I love my dad's Christmas wassail he makes every year.
6) I love wearing fuzzy, warm Christmas themed socks about the house for the weeks leading up to the big day
7) I love Christmas time with Brad. He is as cheesy as it gets when it comes to Christmas and that sure is fun for me. I am glad I don't live with a scrooge this time of the year.
8) I don't get Cranberry sauce.
9)I can't wait to play Santa Claus for Brooks but more so, I can't wait to get to eat a bite of a cookie and leave the rest on the plate. That was always so convincing for me.
10) Our Christmas parties and Christmas in July parties at the Terrace (my house in Buckhead before marriage and where 3 of my favorite people spent their days with me) were I think the best social event in Atlanta back in the day. Oh how I miss our 15 foot tall Santa Clause and our over-lit Christmas tree (Katherine was the tree lighting queen!), margarita machines and tacky Christmas sweaters. I love to get lost in my own memories about my days at "The Terrace"...what a sweet sweet time!

I hope you are doing something warm and Christmasy tonight with your favorite people even if their noses are dripping.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Even though it is 79 degrees today

We wear our snowman pajamas and sing with Frosty.

We play outside in our big yard with Amos. We look for fish on the dock.

And we investigate all of the falling yellow leaves! Despite the beach weather - we are feeling quite Christmasy these days and counting down the days until Brooks' first Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The way to my heart

1) Send a Christmas card with a picture
2) Make the bed in the morning before you go to work without me knowing
3) Smile at me when I am come into greet you in the morning
4) Send 2 dozen Christmas-decorated sugar cookies with an inch of icing
5) Grow me a flower

Yesterday was out first day back to the mail after being away for a week. I was antsy all morning waiting for the daily-deliverer-of-joy-and junk-mail to make his way down my little street. What might he have for me after being out of town for the first beloved, real week of the Christmas season?? We don't get too much mail down here yet so there was only a small bundle to sort through. At first glance there was nothing but the usual - coupons to Papa Johns, a Pottery Barn magazine, and an application to yet another credit card. But what to my wondering eye should appear....but a card sized envelope or two to bring me good cheer! I LOVE CHRISTMAS CARDS! I love to see how our friends have changed each year. I love to see the holiday stamps that only work this time of year. And I love to think of the time put in to the little piece of paper. You already know I love mail so the combo is just spectacular. Thank you to my Atlanta-in-Savannah friends and new Nashville family for making my first day back from vacation a true joy! I looked at your pictures all day long and they are the first to be added to my basket of cards for the year. I'm just happy to not have a real job these days. What would I do if I had to race home everyday to beat Brad to the mailbox?

Speaking of the B-man. He made the bed this morning before he left for work and without me even knowing. This seems medial but something inside of me just started jumping. I love a freshly made bed and I love that I didn't have to make it this morning. I've walked in the room this morning for no reason every 20 minutes just to make sure it was true. It's true! My bed is made and the room is that much more inviting. What could that boy be up to?

Whatever it is....his son was in on it too! Brooks played in his crib quietly this morning while I pretended like I was still on vacation. Then when I came into greet him he had saved the biggest, toothless grin I had ever seen! What is going on around here? It's not even my birthday!

But if it were my birthday I would be thrilled to receive these again. Oh my, oh my. One of my most favorite ladies in the world sent us a box of holiday sugar cookies iced with an inch of some of the best icing I have put in my mouth. I came in from a pretty challenging work out yesterday morning and happened upon what looked like a shoe ox on our front door. The only thing better than shoes on my doorstep is iced sugar cookies! Without hesitation or consideration for the calories I may have just burned - I ate 2 and maybe a few bites of a third. Iced sugar (absolute favorite) Christmas cookies (favorite season) delivered (I love things delivered.....mail, telegrams - since I get those often, packages, you name it) on my doorstep (another favorite - surprises) is truly one of the quickest ways to my heart and an easy way to truly feel that natural Christmas cheer that I look forward to every year.

To top it all off there is an 8 foot bush looking thing out my back window. Yesterday i noticed a little ball of pink from beneath the heavy limbs. Though it is December it looks like we are about to have a fully blooming flower bush in our back yard! I've never had my own flower bush! And though we are mere renters in this home - it feels like mine. I did pick a few just because I I said, I've never had my very own (sort of) yard to pick my very own (sort of) flowers from our very own bushes. I love fresh flowers especially ones I picked. They are scattered about the house right now and I feel a little pride every time I walk by one as if I had something to do with their existence. Oh, little flower bush. . . you, too, have a key to my heart this Christmas season.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brooks: the driver and stocking stuffer

Pinch me!

As I sit here in my pj's with the Today show in the background (because as you might note I never actually watch tv...just hear it) I am having to slap my cheeks to remember I am home in Savannah, Georgia and sadly, no longer in the Big City! We stood on that very corner that Meredith is in front of and swallowed a Magnolia Bakery cupcake whole! My waistline is still feeling the effects of such impromptu decisions as this one while my heart is aching to be back in the bustling city during this Christmas season with my groom!

As you may have guessed - we had a splendid trip! We ran into friends in the Subway station....who runs into a familiar face in New York? We do. We ate 3 cupcakes, 2 over sized brownies, and 4 cookies in the span of 72 hours. Who keeps track of the sweets consumed? I do. We drank pretty looking cappuccinos and people watched from a cafe window nearly 60% of the time. Who was wide awake the entire trip? I was. We walked atleast 10 miles each day in cowboy boots. Who wears cowboy boots in NYC? Only we did (this was very noticeable.) Not to add - I wore my vivid, blue long coat quite pridefully. Who stuck out like a sore thumb in the city that only wears black? That would be me. We held hands, and laughed, slept in (well, past our usual 6:30am with the Brooks-man around), we shopped, toured, walked some more, tried to act like natives, met friends for dinner and overall just had a wonderful 3 days away! Who is fully in the Christmas spirit and feeling quite rejuvenated? Me me me!

In conclusion, I have developed my only piece of advise to new parents. As soon as you feel comfortable leaving the little one - GO! I was so hesitant Wednesday as we drove away. What if he forgot about me? What if my mom gets tired of him after just one day? What if he is looking for me and I am not there - will he forever feel neglected and find himself in counseling at the age of 10? What if we like being away from him too much and don't want to come back? I had been through all the "what if's" in my head. Finally, Brad sequestered my phone and we were off. Admittedly, it took a good day and a half to fully let go and enjoy our time away, together but once I did I was like a kid on Christmas morning! We then tried to pack all of our "must do's while in NYC" in the remaining day and half. I am sure the mister would agree, we didn't really care if we got through that list - we just enjoyed having real conversation about anything and nothing all at the same time but not about a baby. I enjoyed being courted around the most magnificent city at Christmas time. Brad enjoyed leading our trip with the significant help of the handy dandy iphone (note: if I get around to posting pictures I will try to select the one or two that I captured where Brad wasn't using his iphone!) So, Go go go! Take some time for yourselves and go away! Brad and I agree that we would be better parents if we were to get away like this a few times throughout the year. Hold us to it! Oh, and kiss your mother today. We are sooooo lucky to have two amazing grandmama's to love on both Brooks and Amos while we were away. This trip would have been a disaster if I hadn't known our offspring weren't in the best of hands. Thank you grandmama's!

Now to go attack the daunting pile of stinky clothes worn all over the city. Back to reality.....

A few shots from our vacation:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Once again, I confess

I ate the milk chocolate Christmas trees from days two through five out of the advent calendar already. Isn't it considered bad luck to forget a day? Or is it worse to skip ahead and eat the days that you know you will be away? I'll take the consequences - those were the most scrumptious little chocolate's I've had this December.

Is it okay if I buy two more calendars today at the Fresh Market before we leave? That way there can be enough to share with the boys (or enough for a morning and afternoon treat for me!)

These streets will make you feel brand new....

These lights will inspire you. Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York.
Thank you, Alicia, for giving my husband a ballad to play on repeat throughout the house for the last 2 months since we booked our tickets to NYC. Actually, I think this song alone was the thing that pushed Brad to arrange our first getaway without the wee-est member of the family. What are we thinking? I am already assuming that we will be begging Delta to fly us home after one full day away from Brooks. I never wanted to be that mom...the one who wouldn't go anywhere out of the house once she added "mother" to her resume. But nor do I want to be the parents that drop their first born with the grandparents at the first mention of some time away (only because I never want to take advantage of any FREE help!) So before we even step foot on the plane I can say that I am proud of us for doing this. I am glad that we are prioritizing our marriage and time together, knowing that it is the best thing we can do for Brooks. Now, whether I'll actually be able to walk away from the one that has been with me every hour for the last 6 months....I'm not so sure. Even knowing that he'll be in the best of care....certainly better care than he gets at home is comforting but it still doesn't make it easy. Not to add, I have taken several comments this week from friends and strangers alike that go something like this, "Wow, you are leaving your baby overnight at such a young age. Good for you" which means the comm enters are thinking you are crazy....let's see how enjoyable this really is for y'all! {chuckle chuckle}

Anyway, our bags are packed and the Rockettes are waiting! I am just praying that I can actually enjoy myself and for the first time in 6 months - soak up some genuine time with Brad and without my favorite little man. If I can actually relax I think this will be the best thing for a woman's tattered soul since the creation of Nutella. How about this for luck, too, we just found out two are our favorite couples from our old supper club will be visiting the city as well and one of the couples is on our same flight! This is just an added bonus as we are missing our Atlanta friends like crazy! Some one is certainly watching over us...

If you live near my parents - check on them over the next few days. I can imagine that becoming a full time parent again after raising your last baby 20 years ago can be qutet exhausting. Don't worry Mimi and Pops, we'll bring you something real nice from New York. I have a feeling everyone will be very happy to see us when we actually get back to Atlanta!

Get ready, New York, here we come and we want to take in every Christmas festivity that you have to offer! Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York!