Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh, the weather outside is

Gorgeous! Yesterday Brad and I dreamed of today and how we would bundle up in our scarves and boots and sit three deep in the truck to stay warm as we travelled through the snow laden hills to cut down our Christmas tree for the season. We even decided not to take this whole journey yesterday because we were scantily clad in the 60 degree weather and that just didn't feel like Christmas. Well, today friends we are about to go sit on the dock in our red and green bathing suits to take a Christmas photo instead of living out our dream. Nonetheless, the Christmas tunes are on the ipod, the sliding glass doors are open and we are putting up our few Christmas decorations and our Charlie Brown tree! We love this time of year!

This will be our 3rd Christmas as married people. I love taking the decorations out of the two shopping bags (yes, I know, it's sad but I am sure we will start collecting more decor this year with Brooks around) and remembering the last two Christmas seasons together. Our first Christmas we bought some decorations with credit we had received from wedding gifts. We went on a chilly day with some coffee in hand and picked out our first perfect tree. Last year we had Amos the Famous Dog and he got to come along and sniff out the best Frazier fur. Brad and I are both pretty silly over Christmas. I love every single ounce of Christmas time.....cheesy music about buying mom some Christmas shoes, puffy sweaters, candy canes everywhere, silly Target commercials that started extra early this year, and your typical secret Santa game played at most Holiday gatherings. Oh wait, I don't like Alan Jackson. Brad loves Alan Jackson's Christmas album and I don't know why but I just do not like it for some reason. But other than that - I soak it all up! I love to find the perfect gift for my family. Last year my dad got a coffee mug from my brother that had Grumpy the dwarf on it and I don't think he liked it much....I'm not saying my dad is a grump but it just proves - at Christmas time you can give anyone any random gift and it will be received better than any other time of year. So today is a fun day for us. I am putting each of your Christmas cards on our coffee table so we can look back over the past 2 years and remember our first 2 Christmas' in Atlanta. By the way, just because we have moved doesn't mean you can delete me from your Christmas card list. Actually, I will be checking the mail everyday and expect twice the amount of cards this year just because of this post! I LOVE CHRISTMAS CARDS!!!

And on another note. I miss Atlanta. Brad and I both love Christmas in Atlanta in our old condo. It was truly the best season to be living on Peachtree. The mall traffic daily reminded us of all the happy spending that was going on at Phipps and Lenox. The Chihuly wreath in the Bluepointe building is one of my favorites at Christmas time because it seems to sparkle extra well. There is also that house on the corner of Peachtree Dunwoody and Winall Downs that decks their yard with nearly 40 blow up Christmas characters. I drove by this daily even if it wasn't in the way when we lived on Peachtree. I loved the Christmas parties, the ability to hop over to my parents to bake cookies or watch a cheesy Christmas movie, and the real Santa at Phipps plaza (the last two years we walked over there weekly to watch the real families with their real kids as they screamed on Santa's lap......crazy we could be that family this year??) I loved church at Buckhead Church leading up to the big Day! Oh, we loved it all......going to A Christmas Carol downtown, singing carols at the History Center's Yule tide celebration, and the greenery that hung from all of the mailboxes of the houses surrounding the country club. So, I write all of this not for sympathy but as a plea for you lucky Atlantans to do some of our favorite Christmas stuff with us in mind. You will thank us and maybe make some new traditions!

We are excited to spend our first Christmas season on our island. Brad kicked off the season today by reading Brooks The Night Before Christmas this morning. We think this will be a daily activity for the next 4 weeks! More so, there looks to be several festivals and Christmas parades and such down here and we expect to take advantage of all of them but mostly take advantage of our time together - once again with few distractions. I guess I will have no excuse for late Christmas cards this year! "Tis the season and I am so so glad it is!

Oh, and I forgot to mention - we'll be in New York for the lighting of the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree! How Christmasy is that? We are excited to be taking this little mini trip. We have both wanted to do this the last two years and what a better year than when you have a six month old who is attached to his mother and cries when she leaves the room! Seriously, he does that but we aren't worried. He'll be in good hands at Mimi and Pop's house in Marietta. Actually, I think he will be just fine. It will be me that will be texting my mom every hour for an update. Brad thinks he may have to sedate me to get me on the plane. Seriously, how early did you leave your baby overnight? Luckily Brooks is pretty easy so I think his grandparent's will enjoy the few days with him but I truly will be a basket case. Prayers welcomed.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving in Plains. Brooks enjoyed being rocked, held, played with, and sung to all day long. He loved the attention since he never gets any! It was such a relaxing trip and we are so thankful to have two amazing families to see over the Holidays! And we were quite thankful for the colder was beginning to look alot like Christmas in Southwest Georgia!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful for laughter

The little person and I both had one of those good belly laughs today. We had the kind of unrestricted chuckle that sort of comes from nowhere but once it's out it feels so good all over your body. The best part is that we actually got a double-doozie today (oh, what I'd do for a real double-doozie!) and it was completely unexpected. Brooks went to see Dr. Stone today for his 6 month appointment. He really likes going to see the doctor. He turns into quite the ladies man the moment he sees the happy women in their cute nurse attire. They hold him and flirt with him and make him feel like he is the only baby who has ever walked through their doors. I mean, they really like they don't seem to be pretending because they work at a pediatric office. Well, you may or may not know that with the 6 month appointment comes another heavy dose of vaccines. We can talk about our feelings about vaccines on another blog. It is truly torture to have to hold your little one as he gets jabbed in the legs but atleast at our pediatrician they make it as painless as possible. Lynn, the nurse came in and played with Brooks for probably 10 minutes before she actually began to explain what was about to happen. By that point Brooks was fixated on Lynn, the happy nurse. Immediately after she had administered the 3 shots in his thankfully chubby thighs she began blowing bubbles and laughing hysterically. You know what, Brooks began to laugh hysterically too - and so did I! She wasn't having to tickle him or anything she was just dancing around and blowing bubbles and Brooks and I left thinking shots were the coolest thing ever. I enjoyed laughing at Brooks as he belly laughed out loud.

We got home just in time to feed Brooks. As I was feeding him I was doing what every good mother should do. As I was starting the DVR to catch the beginning of the Ellen show Brooks looked up to see me smile and he began to smile. Well it was all over from there...Ellen played a new game on her show today called blindfolded musical chairs. The 5 women were blindfolded and when the music came on they had to each dance in a certain style - salsa, disco, ballet, etc. Then like the game goes - when the music went off the ladies had to find a chair. Oh my stinkin goodness. I think I literally wet my pants and so did Brooks. I hope I can find this later to post it because for some reason it was so amusing. So I am giggling with no reservation and Brooks, distracted from eating, is laughing at me laughing. I am convinced laughter is truly the best medicine for a gray day or really any day and I am thankful for the opportunity to giggle with the little guy all day long.

And in case you are on the edge of your seat wondering just how big the little guy now measures....he is 18 lbs and 14 ounces and I don't remember the height but he is in the 88% range. Bottom line - he is a beast. I am just glad his height is starting to catch up with his weight! Hopefully he's going to be tall like his Pops (my dad)!

Monday, November 23, 2009

6 months!

Gosh, this week all I feel like I am doing is confessing to you. I confess, the cookie pictured below in Brooks' 6 month picture was the object of my desires for nearly two weeks now. I am a cookie addict for sure with my favorites being iced sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. I feel like it is my duty to taste any of these subjects at any new place just to always have my gage on the best cookie around in case that piece of info is ever needed. Today we found it! Brooks and I found the thing which my heart desires here in Savannah....the perfect sugar cookie!

My birthday is less than 2 months away and for my birthday I am forgoing cake - I want a chocolate chip cookie from here and an iced sugar cookie from here. I didn't just happen to have this cookie laying around when we took photos today. No, I drove around town just to get this cookie just for this picture to disguise the fact that I just wanted to eat it once it served it's purpose. Luckily Brooks just wanted to crumble it to pieces and didn't mind that I ate the whole thing. Needless to say, we had a fun half birthday together and we talked about all of the fun the next 6 months hold.

P.S. - Brad says this picture looks like Brooks is showcasing his resume. "Hey, my name is Brooks. I am a stay at home baby. I roll and eat solids twice a day." {No, gooberhead! I add these little monthly reminders so I can remember what the little guy was up to when we look back through the photo album with the grandkids one day!} to Betsy. Is anyone there? just had to remind me that today my baby is 6 months old. Geez....I had been thinking about this half birthday for the past several weeks as it seems pretty monumental....I can no longer use the "I just had a baby" excuse for anything from locking my keys in the car to why I need a bigger size of pants to any unreasonable burst of tears at the grocery store when Publix is out of organic milk (true story). Nor is the little guy an infant anymore. Well, I guess he hasn't been an infant since 48 hours of life with the way he has multiplied his body weight. More so, in another short 6 months he will be a one year old. If you are reading this you are thinking..well, yeah, 6 months plus 6 months equals a year. Brilliant Betsy. But really, a one year old! I can see our lives with a baby but not the starts of a walking, sort of talking toddler! I won't get ahead of myself he is 6 months old and I can truly say today that I am finally used to this little life change that took over 6 months earlier. Thank goodness he is asleep so I can go decorate the house and bake him a greenbean/apple/butternut squash mixture with a candle and wash some sort of birthday suit for the little guy. I can only imagine what these next 6 months have in store at the rate he is changing everyday! Here is what Babycenter says is in store for us. Pictures to follow later once I actually get my act together!

Your 6-month-old's development: Week 1
Reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board
Last updated: February 2006

Rollin', rollin', rollin'

Your baby's stronger neck and arm muscles allow him to practice rolling over toward one side, a milestone that will probably awe and amuse you. Your baby might adopt rolling as his primary mode of ground transportation for a while, or he may skip it altogether and move on to sitting, lunging, and crawling. As long as your baby continues to gain new skills and shows interest in getting around and exploring his environment, don't worry.

Rolling over can be fun for your baby, but it can also be nerve-racking for you. Keep a hand on your baby during diaper changes, and never leave him unattended on a bed or any other elevated surface.
Your little social butterfly

At this age your baby not only tolerates attention from others, he'll often initiate it. Though you may soon notice the beginnings of stranger anxiety, your baby will probably still be fairly indiscriminate: Chances are anyone who approaches him with welcoming eyes or a grin delights him and becomes an instant friend. But don't worry — he still needs and craves lots of love and attention from you.

Your baby is also learning that his behaviors, both the ones you like and the ones you don't, engage you, so starting now (and for years to come) he'll do just about anything to get your attention. Right now almost everything he does is endearing, but as he gets older, he's more likely to get into mischief to provoke a reaction from you. Just don't forget to give him positive feedback when he's being good. It's a great way to start teaching right from wrong.

One thing will become clear: Your baby is beginning to expand his attention-getting repertoire to include more than crying. You may notice him wriggling, making noises, blowing "raspberries," and so on. Over the next three months, he'll develop a uniquely personal way of letting you know what he thinks, wants, and needs.
Dressed for success

As your baby starts becoming more active, he'll appreciate wearing comfy clothes. Opt for soft fabrics that won't chafe him as he's moving around. Loose, stretchy, and breathable clothing is also smart as it provides your energetic little one plenty of wiggle room.

Avoid clothes with rough or scratchy seams; long ties, buttons, or bows (could be a choking hazard); and anything else that gets in the way of your baby's sleeping, crawling, playing, or other regular activities.
In your baby's diaper

**And then there was some info about poopoo diapers and I thought I'd spare you of that if you in fact read this whole thing. Yay for 6 months!

Sitting up is so cool

This weekend we sat......

and sat.......

and sat and had a blast seeing Amos at eye level and mom's knees and the bottom of the couch. Oh the world of sitting is going to be sooo cool!

This was our second week in town and despite the yucky weather the weekend was a success. I bought Brooks a $10 car at a neighbors garage sale and we spent the better half of the weekend learning to drive. We also borrowed our neighbors bike with a baby seat to see what Brooks would think about a cruise around the island. He was happy to have his mama to block the wind and he was more glad to not have to do too much work after an exhausting weekend of sitting. Unfortunately for me - my legs feel like cement blocks stuck in the ground. Fun!

(And, yes, that is our yacht in the background. Rent your house and buy a yacht! Sounds like a stellar plan to me!)

Saturday night we had the most splendid meal yet in our new town at Cha Bella. Oh my....My lips are smacking just recalling the heaven in a bowl that I tasted. Shut your eyes and taste this.....butternut squash and pumpkin soup with crumbles of homemade ginger snaps and a dollop of mascapone (sp?) cheese. I can't come up with a word to relay the splendor my body felt as this liquid gold trickled down my throat. The best part was that Brooks for some strange reason was an angel. He sat patiently and just enjoyed that his mama and dad were enjoying themselves.

And because we had a babysitter cancellation we decided we were justified to spend too much money on dinner rather than having to pay the babysitter. That works right? Thank you oh babysitter for cancelling because I may not have tasted the last minute bowl of soup that I ordered. Does anyone have a recipe for this perfect fall concoction? Anyway, yesterday we tried a new church, IPC. We ran into two people that we knew so once again we rated the experience not on the preaching but on the fact that we saw a familiar face. Overall, we had a very enjoyable weekend together and that is just why we initially made this move - to be together with little distractions. I am grateful for this fall family weekend! (But admittedly I am feeling a little blue today as I want to be home sooooo badly...making cookies with mama and lil sister and beginning to decorate the house for Christmas. Mama told me she was watching Christmas movies in her bed yesterday afternoon and what I would have given to be snuggled up watching some old favorites with her. Hopefully we will stay busy this week and not realize that I am not home for the Holidays. Save me some cookie dough, girls!)
(Last years cookie baking marathon)
Here is our family photo last Thanksgiving. Brooks was one trimester old. My how things look different this year!

Amos enjoyed his early Christmas present (that he tore the zipper off of about 2 hours later) and his own personal turkey leg for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I confess

The baby is sleeping in the car and I am sitting in the garage ordering a pair of boots for Christmas online. I have found the one thing I want the most and as usual, I can't wait until Christmas. Really, I can't and not because I am impatient but because I have a popular shoe size so the retailers tell me I must buy shoes that I covet when I find them before they sell out or before they go on sale. Genius, aren't they. A good pair of boots and a unique jacket are the two things I don't feel bad purchasing anytime of the year. If you have a good pair of boots or a fun jacket you can walk around in a wind suit and still feel good. It seems every year this time either a pair of boots and/or a cute jacket makes it's way to the top of my wish list and it takes over 70% of my thoughts. I know this isn't healthy and I know it isn't about things but allow me to have one materialistic post a year okay? Luckily for Brad's paycheck, my mama already bought me a fabulous winter-white cropped jacket that I put on and model for myself just about everyday until it actually cools off enough to wear it around town. So, now it's just a pair of boots that are pulling on my heart strings. I just called Brad and told him, "that's it...I'll go back to work for these beauties."

And, yes, I said the baby was in the car while I was dreaming of the places my feet would journey in my new cognac boots. He fell asleep in the car this afternoon for the first genuine nap in 4 days and I wasn't about to wake him. I know it is illegal in a public place to leave a child in the car but in my own driveway with me right there and the air conditioning on it's okay, right? Maybe I shouldn't write that for the world to see but I had to confess. After a good 1:45 minute nap I went to go wake the sleeping baby and as I opened the door his big blue eyes popped open and he gave me the biggest grin as if to say thank you for letting me sleep mama. I needed that. Oh, and I think you'll look amazing in your new boots. You deserve them. Why thank you, darling. I'll let you sleep in the car more often.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And then there was silence {momentarily}

This is a post in 3 parts. I started this post yesterday morning but in the 30 hours since I've had some good little revelations. I was grateful to come check my email this afternoon and see my two attempts to post yesterday were still on my screen waiting for that divine moment when my head would clear. It's a little clearer now......

Part Uno.
After 3 failed attempts this {yesterday} morning the rolling, slobbering, mischievous baby has settled into the looks of a nap. There must have been an angel in his crib whispering sweet nothings to him and warning him of his mom's lurking breakdown if he didn't fall asleep. Today has just been one of those days in the life of a stay at home mom that seem to come around once every 17th day or so when there have been no breaks on the job. Even as I type that I don't believe that I am actually that mom....staying at home while the rest of the world is out conferencing, meeting, collaborating, negotiating, instructing, and serving in some monetarily rewarding way. I guess without a Suburban, PTA meetings, and, scheduled tennis matches while the kids are in school, I somehow don't yet feel like that woman. But by mid afternoon on a day of no naps I do feel like that woman - the same woman in the tennis skirt that has yet to brush her teeth or hair and can barely carry on a conversation because of the constant distraction of a little person tugging on her leg. Who am I, I beg???
Part deux. 3 hours later.
Okay, we're back. That little nap was just a ploy to get me to leave Brooks alone long enough to do his bathroom business only to then need me 6 minutes later. It is now 4:07 and the little guy has yet to shut his eyes all day. In lieu of falling to pieces I am resolving to the ever-educational Ellen show in the excersaucer and pretending for 15 minutes that I don't hear him begging for my attention. Luckily in the last hours we went for a walk around the island so things don't seem as hectic as they may have sounded had I actually finished the above post 3 hours ago.

Earlier I was going to share with you just how difficult this season of life has been. There - it's out. I am not needing any sympathy. Empathy rather. Someone to just say they've been here and it's okay. It's not necessarily the "mom" role that is getting to me though you would disagree if you were a fly on our wall and had heard me say the dreaded words to the 6 month old.......SHUT IT! I did. I told, scratch that, I begged (in a louder than usual voice) the baby to SHUT IT. Of course he didn't listen and actually only turned his voice up even louder just to show his disrespect for my wishes.

It is 50-50. The move wears on me on the days when Brooks needs me most. I guess I reason that his neediness (which I know is a beautiful thing) wouldn't be so draining were I back in my old town, doing things the old way. Really, I was just too non-stop in that old life to let one of Brooks' off days get to me. I know this isn't the case and I know that Atlanta and what she represents was a different season - and she had her good and bad days too but among my dark, wood-paneled walls, I start to feel just that....dark and wood-paneled; in need of some serious TLC.

Unfortunately for the house, the owners do not wish for their dark room to be made bright. Therefore, I stir all day attempting to brighten our 24:7 living space with colorful pillows, laughter (even if it's fake), music to dance to, and happy things on the television. I open the windows and burn yummy smelling candles to no avail. The clock in the room seems to follow me everywhere as if to remind me of how much time I spent in the dark room on any particular day. Sorry poor house.....theres not too much more TL I can offer! Fortunately for me personally, I can reap great benefits from a little TLC. Tonight {last night} I am going to the Savannah Yoga center to explore the world of Yoga. I probably shouldn't start with all of the professional hippies in the hot-yoga class but I am desperate. I am craving some time with people that know me and I figure it's a good way to get to know some people in a 90 degree room with other women standing on their head. Afterwards I plan to take it to the local coffee shop to people watch and make a few phone calls to some dear people who can make me feel like everything is just fine and that I am not really as alone as I feel. That's what good friends do. They take you back to your happiest place even if it was years ago and remind you of all the reasons why you are here and why God may be taking you through a particular season. Then tomorrow it is a new day and some things have to change. I can't let 17 days or more go by with no attention to my soul. These walls will swallow me if I do. I have to have a little structure to this lack of structure. I may know 4 people down here but I am going to begin tomorrow by stalking those 4 people until I can be known by someone and know someone truly. Somehow I have got to take back my days. Maybe this really is a little bit about control for me. Right now the baby is winning. I have little to no control over the events of the day and the baby is holding the reigns. Not tomorrow.
Part 3. Today.
Well, naps have officially left our vocabulary but things are much better today. I pleaded with God last night to please renew my energy and spirit today and geez have I ever had a prayer answered so rapidly! Luckily Brooks slept peacefully as I asked him to and we had one of our first truly uninterrupted nights in a long time. There was no dog to throw up on our bedroom carpet at 3 in the morning. There were no blinds in the baby's room that decided to fall in the middle of the night and arouse the little one. There were no accidental wake ups due to the new trick of rolling. There were 10+ hours of straight silence and finally I think God worked on me in that still silence. I woke up this morning at 6:10 and without thought I did what I used to do - I got out of bed. I opened the windows, started the coffee and my usual eggs. Then I did as I have been wanting to do for months - I sat down and I read and I thanked God for the apparent energy He gave me overnight. I can't tell you what it did for me to wake up and jump out of bed not because there was a little person crying but because there was silence and I wanted to soak it up! Even though we are now on day 2 of no naps, aka - no breaks for me, I feel much better about life today. I can feel my heart dreaming today about places I want to visit, cards I want to write, businesses I want to start - what have you - my heart is dreaming and that is how I know for sure that God has the reigns on my heart again and thankfully I have the reigns on our days again - even if it means no naps!

By the way.....hotyoga was quite entertaining. My nose was so runny that any downward movement caused me to gag and snort. That certainly didn't add to the serenity of the room. More so, the steamy room and my sweaty feet don't mix. I slid into a split at the mention of a warrior pose. I am not comfortable chanting. I was okay with the breathing and the pretzel like contortions. I felt connected to my body when I was fearing that my left hip was about to fall off but the chanting just didn't do much for me. Luckily the lights were out and no one saw me gawking at my fellow chanters. Overall, the class was a great way for me to give myself some much needed TLC. I even went by Atlanta Bread Company after and treated myself to a giant chocolate chip cookie. Next time I may just go for the cookie - that seems like the best TLC to me.

The end.

{BTW: Brooks is sitting up today without even turning him into a tripod! He is pretty much sitting on his own with just a tumble or two every now and then! Who can nap when you can sit up and look at Amos all day!}

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Things that we love

{Note the use of "we" again. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for me, I have loved this first one all by myself and have only genuinely offered to share once over the last 5 days.}

Fresh market yogurt covered Christmas tree pretzels. All it took was for me to overhear someone in a store as they told someone on their phone that they had bought some yogurt covered pretzels at the Fresh Market and without contemplation I found myself in the checkout aisle with .94 pounds of holiday bliss. My tummy says that because there are pretzels under the gooey stuff that these mini treasures are a good selection for my waistline. Don't be fooled oh tummy, there is nothing trim about these little trees. There are maybe 5 left. Does anyone out there think I have any remaining will power to zip up the bag, hide them in my fridge, and not touch them atleast until tomorrow? (And hope that the boy in my life helps himself to them tonight so I don't feel so greedy?)

Dinner parties with 5 babies or more. We met two more fun families last night. Last week there were 8 couples and 9 babies. This week there were three couples and 5 babies and honestly, these were our first real adventures with children and dinner time. Just because we have one rolling little guy doesn't mean we have truly experienced dinner time with kids. Last night Brad and I experienced the best free entertainment to date and we met some fun friends all the while. The entertainment involved a 20 month old mysteriously picking up a butchers knife and then innocently chucking it into the dining room table (luckily not the innocent arm of one of the mama's). It also involved 2 toddlers and a 4 year old and a push toy (and a very curious Brooks). And lastly it involved a game of throw the kid on the couch over the coffee table by the dads. Brad was very envious that Brooks wasn't yet of throwing age. Though we really did love the entertainment, we loved the company more. It really makes a difference in a new town when you start to feel like there are people you could spend time with and maybe even call for some butter! We are so grateful for these recent invitations to dine with new friends and the gazillion babies! Savannah is a fertile town for sure!

Art shows, children's book fairs and a sunny weekend. This weekend was fabulous for too many reasons to count. We walked to the local art show at the marina and though we saw nothing we would like to add to our not-yet-budding art collection - we loved the family outing! Even Amos behaved his best and licked all the legs of any neighbor who walked by. We also made it to the Savannah Children's book fair and we were treated to a few local books to add to Brooks' collection (thanks to our South Georgia grandparents!) We finished the weekend with a stroll through the Telfair arts fair. Now there were some fabulous finds at this event but Brooks was done with fairs and people and wouldn't let us even look at a price tag. This is what real weekends are supposed to look like I think. We had the windows open and the smell of fresh grass flew through the doorways all weekend long. I felt like I was 10 again!

Overnight visitors! We had our first set of overnight visitors this past weekend and we loved playing house in our house. There are several eye sores in this house so we just have to ask company to look past them but when you do you see a beautiful back yard with a perfect view of the water for morning coffee and one cozy room with the new furniture we purchased in the past months. It may not be a decorators heaven but it is cozy!. Our visitors brought us an antique dining room table so we can now host our 4 friends that we know for dinner! A dining room table sure does make this temporary home feel complete. And visitors sure do make this house and this city feel so much warmer so please give us a date and come play in the low country!

Rolling almost 6 month old babies. True story. Today I placed Brooks on the edge of the 9 by 12 foot rug in the ugly-wood-walled room. I left the room to change the laundry for 3 minutes. 12:47-12:50 I was gone. I walked back in the room and found the littlest person of the family on the opposite end of the 9 by 12 rug. I wish I had the camera ready. The best part is that there is a coffee table in the middle of the path which he rolled right through. Luckily his large head must be made of steel because it didn't seem to phase him as he rolled over the metal legs. So, I've learned my lesson and we can officially no longer leave the room unless Brooks is in a cage. Gosh, each month truly does get better and better! (If only he didn't want to practice rolling at night now! We are back to waking every few hours because he rolls out of room. This isn't so cute in the middle of the night.)

75 degree weather and sunny skies for days to come. I could get used to these fall temperatures. I am pulling my bathing suits back out!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekend in pictures

We strolled to the art show at the marina Saturday afternoon.

We read books with grandma and even went to book fair at Forsyth Park.

We listened to grandad's stories (he's a great story teller!)

And we're pooped. We hope you enjoyed your weekend too!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What we want to tell you today

{First, note that I often say "we." No, I'm the only one who is actually here typing but I live in a make believe world and in my make believe world this blog is a cohesive effort between me and the Mister of this house. If I were to come down from la la land I would admit that I don't even know if he reads this thing much less - collaborate. Anyway, the person I am has been molded by him a little so therefore he is included in my "we" when we write. Okay, no more explanations.}

2 of the 4 of us are not contagious says the doctor but we don't feel well. I am embarrassed to even say this because this is the 2nd episode of the "crud" as I like to call it - in 4 weeks! Embarrassing! Where did my little immunities go? Luckily, the little person seems to be about done with his crud so now he is taking care of me by waking me up in the middle of the night to check on me. So sweet already......
Warning - put down your breakfast before you read.
I spoke too soon. I did not earn my keep by merely making baby food on a rainy Tuesday. Today in the span of 8 minutes I fully earned my worth and I learned my lesson. Making the baby food is the easy part. Cleaning up the baby food is for professionals only. I have now scoured the internet trying to find someone to hire out for the job of cleaning up the baby food. Friends had told me that the consistency of a solid food diaper is drastically different than the sweet, innocent, #2 diapers of my previously sweet, innocent baby. I rolled my eyes and didn't think the little 18-pounder could really do enough in that body of his to produce anything more than the diapers we had experienced. I stand corrected. 18 pound-green bean-eating-humans stink and they are gross and there are no words that can describe our 8 minutes of horridness this morning. Let's just say I caught the mess before it creeped into his little baby hairs at the nape of his neck and he was immediately given a morning bath in order to be "destunk" from his mess. I am having to gear myself up for our next episode of green beans and apples in the pants!
There is an art fair at the marina this Saturday. I don't care if they are selling puff painted sweatshirts made by 7 year olds - we are going! I think it is quite splendid to get to walk to a marina (we didn't have one of those around the corner from us in Atlanta) in order to sip some local coffee and view art by local artists! Brad and I have wanted to purchase a painting while in Savannah that we can always have in our home no matter where we live. Hopefully, we can find something that we (seriously, "we" this time) agree on for our purchase. I insist on walking to the event so that means we'll be walking home with our treasure too. Had we a golf cart like most of our neighbors I may take the gold cart but absolutely no driving! Why am I so funny about this? I miss being able to walk places like we did when we lived on Peachtree so whether or not it is the smartest thing - I want to walk to the art fair. I like the idea of it and it makes a good story and that is how I make my decisions - will it make a good story? Watch it rain now.
Lastnight the 3 of us did something we haven't had to do in a very long time. I was invigorated as we drove the 2 blocks to the dinner party. I wasn't sure if we were busting someones birthday dinner of if the hosts even knew we were coming but we went anyway and I am glad we did. There were 7 couples, 8 babies, 2 babies on the way, and some amazing hamburgers. Brooks was the first baby to fall apart when he missed his bed time so unfortunately, we were the first to leave but nonetheless, it was really fun to actually walk into a room and not know but the one person who asked that we join her friends for a dinner in the neighborhood. Honestly, I have heard that this island is full of young people but until last night I would have called you a liar had you told me of these young people. Our first month here I have met every 80+ year old in Savannah because they all live here - right around me but I had yet to meet the youngsters. I was amazed last night to be surrounded by 6 other couples who all lived in a quarter mile vicinity. Brad and I had fun being the new people, too! I told them I was originally a blonde and that my mom is a famous country singer. Kidding. We didn't lie about too many things - just enough to make them like us. Kidding again. I really did have a great time last night and I was so grateful for the invitation. Am I allowed to say we might actually have friends on the island now after just 90 minutes over dinner? That's enough for me.....we have friends here!
Off to finish cleaning up the baby mess.......

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What I think about my mama's cooking.

What I think about my mama's cooking (and ability to mix fruits and veggies)

today continued

Because we seem to be chronicling any of today's events (you can tell I am DYING for some adult interaction) I am pleased to report to you that we did get out in our rain boots and venture to the hottest spot on the island. Wal-Mart. If I ever wondered where the people were - I found them. Anyway, this is what was overheard while looking for the baking soda. "Oooh, girl (one lady conversing to her other lady friend), look at that fat baby. He got some fat thighs. What's she feedin that chile? Burritos."

True story. No, we feed him green beans. They are fresh and I'll post a video of the live feeding soon. I did have to put some baked apples in the mixture just for a little more appeal. Day 1 of solid foods in the rain - fairly successful. Take 2 tomorrow.

And then the bottom fell out of the sky

Today felt like a day for playing house. If not just to entertain me for what looked to be yet another day inside these walls (yesterday we were without a car for the day) - then for the pleasure it might bring the mister, excuse me "master" of the house. He praised us last week for the clean house and the Christmas scent that he came home to and therefore, we (Brooks and I) are quite enticed to keep up the good behavior this week. It's amazing how far a little genuine praise can go?
Back to today.....The forecast had called for an 80% chance of rain today which if you ask me the word "chance" shouldn't follow "80%". All day today I have been wondering just what my new weather man was talking about. ...It's been mostly sunny with a chance of meatballs if chance of rain! Until 3 minutes ago when I thought the neighboring ocean had picked itself up and then released itself in our back yard. It's crazy to have water on two sides of your house and watch it rise and whip around when weather like this occurs. Anyway, I am glad the rain named Ida did come as I have sequestered myself and the little person in the house all day in order to do rainy day things and I would have hated to have wasted a day inside with no rain.

I'll admit, after a day like today I actually feel worth my $134k that this job claims to pay. After wearing Brooks out for 3 straight days he finally remembered what it felt like to take a nap. So while he napped this afternoon I earned my keep. I've made Brad some chili - perfect for a rainy night. I've made my in-laws (who we hope will be our first overnight visitors this weekend) and anyone else who cares to stop by some of Charlsie's cookies. She makes them better than I do but I love to make an attempt to come close to her cookies about once every other month. And finally, I did in fact make Brooks some green beans, carrots, and sweet potatoes (thanks, Emilie, for sharing!).

Chili looks a little more appetizing than the green bean cocktail (yes,pureed in my blender typically used for margaritas)?

This was truly fun today! I whistled while I worked, wore a cute apron, and enjoyed using my plentiful counter space and all of my fun kitchen tools. But.....I can't always promise I'll love this monster I've created. Now that I've made the first batch of baby food will I place unnecessary guilt on myself if I ever have to buy a jar of Gerber? Sure I know me! And just so you don't feel bad about yourself - consider my scenario. I live on an island. I don't have a real job to go to everyday. I get lost every time I get in my car. I don't know anyone better than I know the mailman so - you can conclude that in this season of life I should get off my booty and make my own baby food. Now, were our days to look even a smidgen like they did in our capitol city - I probably wouldn't have considered this little venture. (Side story - I got to take Brad to work this morning and as Brooks was coughing in his seat Brad asked if there was anything I could give him. I told him there was but I usually choose to not give him medicine right away. I'm not sure where this came from either as Dimatap was one of the 4 food groups when I grew up. Anyway, he continued to joke with Brooks the whole way to work...."Tough it out Brooks. I'm sorry you are having your leg amputated - no drugs for you! Awww, Brooks, you have a cavity, just learn how to focus your breathing- we don't use medicine around here." Isn't Brad quite the jokester?)

Like I said....we'll see how long this adventure lasts but for today I enjoyed playing a little Martha Stewart in the rain! What to do tomorrow if the rain looks to stay???? And what to do if you just realized that your recipe calls for baking soda and baking powder (don't they do the same thing?) and you only have the latter...and its monsooning outside...and you don't know your neighbors enough to ask a neighborly favor?

I see it's raining in the ATL

so here are a few pictures to turn those grey skies blue (from our short visit to Atlanta). Today we are spending a day making some fresh baby food. On the menu - green beans, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Brooks is 2 weeks shy of 6 months old and though I am not ready to have a solid-eating baby it is inevitable the the guy is ready for a real meal. He watches everything that goes in my mouth and gnaws on my chin like its a hot dog when I am holding him. More so, he'll be spending a few days with Mimi (the grandmother name for my mom that we are using this week) in December (while we head to NYC!) and I would hate for her to have to be the one to get him used to eating real food. Therefore, we are going to start this adventure slowly over the next few weeks. Is it cruel that I'm making him start with the green stuff? I hate lima beans to this day so you'd think I'd try a banana first but I'm hoping he bonds with the green stuff better than I did. Look for an update on our progress later. . .

Monday, November 9, 2009

Question for the audience?

When a previously well-napped baby decides one day that naps aren't cool anymore what do you do? And what if it is the 3rd day in a row? Oh, and if the mother of that formerly sweet, sleeping baby is sick because she caught the cold that the baby caught while in Atlanta visiting and she needs a nap (desperately) and said baby still refuses...then what does the mother do?


Once there is some resolution to this little predicament we'll have some better material for you.

Now off to tire baby for the 7th straight hour!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Heart change

I feel like I should title this thing as bluntly as I possibly can so when I need to look back in a few months to recall the time when my heart came alive I could easily find the words. Last week something happened and there is no exact science as to how it happened. I am so grateful that there is no precise conclusion because that proves to me that it is truly God's mercy and nothing more.

Our first month away, if you couldn't tell, I was faking a little bit of my contentment. Moving to a new town, no matter how far away you are, is always one of those defining moments in a young life, well in any life, and I just didn't want another defining moment right after the birth of our first child. Wasn't that defining enough? Not to add, the temporary death of any type of career had been all too defining and really, I was still technically a newlywed. My self-proclaimed positive attitude was really put to a test with this particular defining moment (the move) and honestly, in the first few weeks I didn't want to have anything to do with positive. I'm just so grateful the little man didn't really know what was going on as I would hate for him to remember his mommy in her pj's with a half worn smile.

But alas, something swooped in our window late last week and just pulled on my little heart strings and truly overnight I had a different opinion of the recent string of events. I hope when I read this in the future I can truly remember that this had not-a-thing to do with me because trust me, I didn't really even want to pray towards embracing this move. I can understand now how alcoholics or those suffering of an addiction of any kind - food, drugs, sex, what not - have to want to get better first. I'm not sure what kind of addiction you would label this but I surely didn't want to really be just seemed easier to remain stuck in my sea of negativity (such a harsh word when you actually write it). I knew deep down in these first weeks that though I didn't have the capacity to pray or really to even know what to pray that the Holy Spirit would intercede for me even through my sighs and occasional tears. This was the only thing I did know that “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26) Oh, I am so grateful that the Lord knows what I need more than I do. I need a heart change. I need something to remind me of the power of my little motto that I would previously cling to - that life isn't about me, it's about something so much bigger. I had always wanted to make sure I was part of that something bigger and once again I am back on board.

It was funny last Sunday that as we drove through Atlanta from our weekend in the mountains that something inside of me just wanted to keep driving ( I was supposed to spend a week in Atlanta). Oh don't worry, I miss Atlanta because I miss the deep relationships that we have formed. I miss really being known by dear friends who could probably see right through my little "act" for the first month in our new home. And yes, the shallow part of me misses the options and the opportunity in the big town-made-small that I called home for so many years. I think that I had had a taste of this change inside right before we left for a weekend away and I just wanted to get back to see if it was legit.

So Tuesday I put the little character down for an afternoon nap, rolled up my t-shirt to expose my perfectly white belly and I sat in a broken Adirondack chair on the dock. The sun slightly toasted my cheeks and I felt it for real - happy! It may have taken a month, or really, a year or so if you include the time it took to lose a job, spend a year looking for a meaningful one, to surprisingly learning that I was pregnant, to going through a little chaos with Brad's job - but it did happen. Though I am just now starting to feel the result of God's persistence in my life, I did know He was there and at work all along the way - even if I didn't know how to pray. (**Sidenote, I really did roll up my t-shirt like you did when you were in middle school or something and played dress up. Oh the beauty of a secluded dock in your back yard!) Don't get me wrong, it feels great to feel happy but that wasn't really what was missing. It was that deep down belief that all the dots do connect. That things do happen for a reason and that in fact, I am a part of a bigger story. Then, it is living a life that radiates this confidence. Having so recently been on both sides of this - I am assured again that it is much better on this side of the fence.

Here is one for sure thing that changed. On Tuesday I embraced my loneliness. That sounds so fluffy and idyllic but it is so true. I sat in my chair, with a book, a sweet tea, and some forgotten tunes on my ipod (oh, and the water in my backyard (that certainly helps)) and I was happy to be alone. I felt perfectly comfortable by myself. More so, I felt perfectly validated in my role as a wife and a mom. My first month in Savannah the opposite was true and crippled me. I felt so out of place without people to meet for lunch or a church and gym or whatever else to be invested. I couldn't accept that it was noble and worthwhile to just be the best mom I could be to Brooks and the best wife I could be to Brad. Thank goodness, this past Tuesday I knew that these two roles were the most important roles I will ever be given. I was okay that day not seeing anyone, not meeting anyone (other than Brad for lunch which is my favorite thing to do now), and not accomplishing anything more than 2 good naps, a sumptuous/healthy dinner and a load (or 4) of laundry. Oh, and I realized that my pleasure in these seemingly little things could be the most attractive thing about me if I let it be. And though I didn't do it for his accolades, Brad did notice and thought I was quite the heart breaker.

We are now in Atlanta for a few days. I am thankful to be here with a changed perspective. I am excited to enjoy the things I miss and see the friends and family I love without feeling sorry for myself and for our new season of life. Thank you, God, for knowing what is best for me and pursuing my heart despite my stubbornness. You are the ultimate Rescuer.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Don't you just love it!

Hey virtual amigos. I just had to share these blissful feelings that are swimming all though my veins (seems I've had many of those today...and it's only 3pm!). I just filled in our dry erase calendar as it is the second day of one of my favorite months. First, I love filling out forms and charts. Second, I love having plans on the calendar that excite me (a trip to NYC, Brad's family to visit, and yes, a dinner with a couple here in Savannah). Lastly, and this is huge, huge I tell you....the first day of November was on a Sunday! How perfect is that for my board of fun that greets us in the kitchen everyday? Oh, 'tis the little things my friends. I erased the board 3 times just to get to perfectly write the numbers in the boxes with "1" being in that first square. Don't you just love when things are in their right place? Shouldn't the "1" always be in the first spot? I would love to start each month this way.

Oh, and....

Brad and I are quite dorky about the holidays. I know it is early but I have my "Chistmas scent" roasting in the ring around the light bulb in the living room. Ahhh......I could do house chores all day with this smell lurking around the corners! Bring on the pumpkin seeds, mashed potatoes, dad's wassail, and our very own Frazier Fur! It's amazing what a little smell will do for the soul.

Traveling with baby

We left for Atlanta Thursday night just as the little person would have gone to bed for the night. This proved to be the best and only method for ideal travel. The angel slept right through Dublin, Macon, yucky McDonough, and then woke up just as the Atlanta skyline came into view. He was pretty giddy to be home and therefore babbled his way up I-75 until we arrived at my parents home. Perfect. We even went against our own rules and let him stay up and play for a little bit with Nana-Nise (we still don't know her grandma name yet). So, leg numero uno of our marathon weekend of travels proved to be a delightful little trip.

We leisurely woke up Friday morning to welcomed cooler temps than we had yet to experience in our new coastal town. Mama and Brooks and I strolled the hills of their neighborhood. Ahhhh......another welcomed detail - hills! I love hills in Atlanta. I love them while walking. I love them for sight seeing. I love the dimension they give to the neighborhoods. I love the hills and never thought I would miss them.
We made our way out of town with a stop at Willy's. Have you ever tried to eat a burrito in the car while in metro-Atlanta traffic? Do not attempt. Needless to say, Amos loved finding surprises of rice and cheese throughout the floor board as he made himself cozy for the next 3.5 hour drive to the mountains. Oh, and, we decided it was worth the move to not experience traffic at 11am on a Friday. Trip numero dos proved to be another joy. Brooks took a long afternoon nap all the way up 85 and 985 until we could actually see the rim of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Then I had to get a little creative with my tools for entertainment. Traveling with baby lesson number one - bring enough flashy, singing, annoying toys to distract baby whether or not they make you want to pull your hair out. Objects in your purse only work for about 7 minutes max. As we actually pulled into the mountain community where we were vacationing Brooks was playing with a plastic spoon and the paper from a Chick-Fil-A straw (not to worry grandma's out there...this was under my close watch). We'll call this segment of the trip improvisation.

Luckily in between trip 2 and trip 3 of the long weekend there was a nice, relaxing, juicy, action packed, tasty, adventurous weekend in the middle full of a babysitter, fly fishing, a little vino, a hike or 2, smores and many indoor and outdoor fires and amazing eats (see below). Whew......I have to take a breath just recounting all of the thrills of the weekend.

Look at the two mountaineers below. Brooks and his first friend, John Quincy are only 6 weeks apart. John Quincy taught Brooks how to be a man this weekend. I can't wait until they get to see each other next time and continue to learn the ways of the world with each other. By the way, if you are pregnant - find a friend to have a baby too because it makes it so much easier! It was truly the Lord that just dropped this couple in our lives at the perfect time!(And luckily there are several dear friends who have either laughed with us over the trials of being a new parent or are so encouraging whether they have children or not. We are truly blessed in the good friends department!) The added bonus of having these two boogers so close in age is now the little people are just starting to entertain each other and give the mama's and daddy's some welcomed adult conversation.

A little snapshot of our twisty-turvy hike/stroll through Bear Lake Reserve. This property was breathtaking! The time with good friends that know us was even more breathtaking.....what a treat!

And here is the stud who caught the sole fish on our day of fly fishing in the rain. He looks like he is lassoing a tornado but don't be fooled - the fish was no longer than his index finger. He looked good catching it and that is all that matters, right?

Yesterday after some coffee by the fire and a beautiful hike we had to say our goodbyes and head back down the state to our new "home." Brad asked me as we were going to sleep last night how much I would need to be paid to repeat the whole day. Without a thought I replied that there was no amount of money that would work. So, I'll spare you the minute by minute but let's just picture this....packed car, 5 month old who just wanted to be home in his bed and was tired of his plastic spoon and crumpled paper standing in as toys, a stinky dog, 422 miles, poopy diaper (like unthinkable kind of poopy), and a little sad wife who couldn't even look as we drove through downtown Atlanta. Poor Brad. I figured if I didn't look then I wasn't really driving right though my home town. A few lessons from this final stint of our long weekend. Baby Einstein on the iphone is a miracle from God - I am now a believer in the iphone. Brooks watched every 10 minute video available on the internet over and over until he was royally mad and joyfully let us know. Second, the dollar tree rocks! We made an hour-plus stop in Macon and spent half of our time finding treats for the road in the dollar tree. Everyone was happy for this hour. Lesson number 3 - when all else fails feed your baby even if it means he eats 4 times in 4 hours. I can't wonder why he is so chubby compared to his dapper, little friend John Quincy. Brooks is a hoss and is comforted only by milk when he is mad. I think Brad and I exchanged 12 words the whole 8 hours because we were so focused on keeping our sanity and trying to maintain some sense of quiet in the car. Overall, the little guy was a trooper but I doubt we will attempt anything longer than a 4 hour trip in one day from now on. Fortunately, the weekend was just splendid and well worth every scream, gag, grunt, tear and raging fit and I feel quite rejuvenated despite the chaos of the last phase of the trip.

A few more pictures of the little guys on this Halloween weekend.....