Monday, May 30, 2011

Trains, BBQ and a Little Project

I am pretty proud of myself for really crossing of items on my 10 in 10 weeks list and this weekend was no different as we knocked off two more by taking C to the Transportation Museum in Spencer and eating Lexington BBQ on the way home.

The Museum is an old train depot that now houses classic trains, cars, fire trucks and airplanes, aka a little boy's best adventure.
C l-o-v-e-d it.




After visiting the permanent displays, we paid $5 to go on a 20 minute train ride. You could choose between an air conditioned or open window car and we decided, despite the heat, to go for the full experience of open windows. Good choice for the little man, who spent the majority of the 20 minutes out the window.
And alternating facial expressions of pure joy and awe, especially when the whistles would blow.

So much love for these two. Sometimes its hard to believe there is going to be room in my heart for another addition, but my mom assures me there is, and apparently this is not an uncommon thought for a second time mom!
Our timing at the museum was just enough for a two year old attention span, and after an two hours, we were all ready to eat. My first review of Lexington BBQ is that it is not easy to find! But once we finally found the sign, and the massive amount of cars in the parking lot, we knew we were in the right place.
The service was friendly and quick and the food was pretty good. I didn't think it was to die for, but I'm glad we made the stop.
Hard to believe we only have 3 weekends in Winston left. And maybe this one was our last as just a threesome? Let's hope!

Switching gears, if you remember a while back, I took a class on how to applique. Unfortunately I hadn't played around with it anymore since then, but I got inspired today and made some little beach shirts for my nephews:


They aren't perfect, but I think they are pretty cute for just doing it free hand. Hopefully with a little more pratice, I can make some better ones.

If you are still reading, good for you, this is a long post! I'm almost done now, I just wanted to leave you with one last picture, simply because its cute. We had to rise C off in the sink today because he was such a mess after playing outside. He thought it was hilarious.
Hope you had a great weekend!

Happy Memorial Day

While you are enjoying a BBQ with friends, the unofficial start of summer, or just a nice day off, please remember why today is a holiday. Take a moment to say a prayer for those who have lost their lives serving and protecting our country. Remember their families and their sacrifice. Be thankful for those who answer the call to serve and with it undertake an enormous responsibility and risk.

Hope you have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day. Thank you to all our service members for allowing us to live in a free country!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Progress

Happy Friday Friends! A few updates from my list of things I need to do (but last week was not motivated to do):
1. Our NC house is rented, yay! In a fun twist, the family that is renting our house is moving here from California and they have a 1 year old son. It makes me happy to know that another young family will be occupying our home and I hope they love it, and Winston, as much as we did.
2. We secured our house in Cali. Double yay! It is the exact floor plan we were hoping for, in the neighborhood we wanted. And now I can stock up on fabric and furniture since I have a layout to work with. Isn't it cute? I think we will be happy there.
3. I bought some newborn diapers, a pack of onsies, and when my mom was here last week, we picked out a little boy and a little girl's outfit for her to go pick up once baby comes.
4. I washed the two windows in the dining room that drive me crazy when the sun sets and I can see the dirt from my couch. I'm agreeing with Kelly and Alysa and leaving the rest for the renters :)

In other news, we had a great visit from Kev's little brother Mike this week:
We took C to Krispy Kreme for the first time.
And spent Thursday afternoon at one of my most favorite places in Winston:


So now it is a nice long weekend with just our little family. I can't wait! I am also accepting any and all vibes to go into labor so I can enjoy a beer on Memorial Day :)

What are your Memorial Day Weekend plans?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Last Day

This morning was my last day at St. Leo's Catholic school. It is hard to believe that I have been working there for 3 years. Back in 2008, when we moved to Winston, I had big intentions of being a housewife and hopefully raising a family. Kev had just gotten home from Iraq and we had yet to live in the same city, so we decided me taking some time off would be a good thing. I had spent my first two years out of college as a high school English teacher and knew taking on a full time HS position would not leave me a lot of time for husband and eventually a baby. Well, after 3 weeks of housewifing, I realized I was a little bit bored, a lot a bit lonely and was overly tempted to just piddle around town spending money that I wasn't making. So when we went to register in our local parish, I inquired about subbing at the little Catholic School attached to it. I met with the principal and she actually told me they had a part time position open working in the library and after school care program. I had no experience with elementary aged children (nor did I really want any, I always only wanted to teach high school), but my yearning to get involved pushed me to say 'yes.' What a blessing it turned out to be.

Two weeks after I started at Leo's, I found out I was pregnant, but was excited I would have something to keep me occupied while waiting for our first baby. I loved the small, charming atmosphere of the school. I adored the love and gratitude elementary students are so willing to give (much unlike my high schoolers!) and in all honestly, I loved having something to do for a few hours a day, but no real responsibility once I left work, like planning or grading. At the end of my first year, I told them I wouldn't be back, that Kev and I agreed that I would stay home with the baby, but in July, they called and asked if I would be interested in being an assistant in Pre-K. The opportunity seemed too good to be true, especially when we found an affordable and awesome part time daycare program for C right across the street from our house.

Now, three years later, as I left school today with lots of hugs and well wishes, I thanked God for presenting this opportunity to me. I met so many wonderful and influential people. I learned so much about parenting that I would have never known. I looked forward to everyday in that classroom, watching those little minds learn and grasp concepts, make friends and work out conflicts. I learned a lot about the little boy I want Cullen to be and how I can achieve that through watching other parents interact with their little ones. I am grateful for the extra income it brought our family, but the flexibility it gave me to still be C's primary caregiver. I just couldn't have asked for anything more perfect.

So thank you to all my St. Leo's family and friends for making Winston that much harder to leave! Yall have been so wonderful to my family and me and I can't express enough how much working there has changed my life for the better.

Now, if only this baby would come...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Soaking Up the Sun

So after my wonderful date weekend with husband, we crossed off another 10 in 10 Weeks item off the list by soaking up some 90+ degree heat in the backyard with the little man on Sunday afternoon. Turns out the perfect remedy for that blazing heat was a good ol fashioned sprinkler.








What is your favorite way to beat the heat?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Date Weekend

So here's what happened: My mom came down last week to visit, play with C, and make me fried chicken (seriously, that was on the list of things I needed her to do). Somewhere in the midst of those two days, she and her grandson came up with a plan to escape to VA for the weekend. So after giving me these faces:
I relented and realized maybe a little weekend with just the husband would be a nice break before all the activity we have coming up. Friday morning, we loaded up baby boy for the 4 hour trip north to my parents' farm and decided to take a little trip of our own. For 3 years we had been hoping to make it down to the little town of Asheville, NC and Friday afternoon there was no moment better than the present. We packed a quick overnight bag and headed two and a half hours west. After checking into the hotel, we went downtown and followed the sound of drums until we found this:
Who doesn't love a good hippie drum circle? And who doesn't love this guy? And do you think he has a real job when he's not drum circling?
When we felt that my belly had been blessed with enough hippie rain dances, we found a place to sit, eat and people watch. The food was great, the people were, um, interesting and husband and I just had a great time chatting and laughing and not worrying about making it home in time for Cullen's bedtime! (Meanwhile, this is what C was up to.)

After a glorious night's sleep, Saturday morning we headed down to the Biltmore Village and had breakfast at the Corner Kitchen. O my yum.
We then decided since we were there, we might as well be good Americans and check out the Biltmore. You couldn't take pictures inside the house, but here are a few of my favorites from around the property.




A lot of walking, a few awkward comments from strangers about my due date and some antique stores later, we crossed the visit to Ashville/Biltmore off my 10 in 10 Weeks List and drove back over to Winston for a lazy Saturday night in. Sunday it was off to VA to meet my parents halfway and pick up baby boy, and enjoyed Sunday afternoon as a little family, but more on that tomorrow!

Hope your weekend was great!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Obsessing

Over this Furbish Studio chair:
Like to the point of designing my new dining room around it. Wouldn't a pair of them look fab at the heads of the table? Love the velvet, love the pillow, love the fabric on the back of the chair. I think I need them. I've never been one for the whole 'push present' situation, but do you think asking for chairs would be appropriate?

Baby Items

Since I have baby on the brain, and a lot of my friends are currently preggo with their first baby, I thought I would take today to share some of the baby things I couldn't live without, others I found unnecessary and some that just didn't work for me. I get questions often from my first time mom friends, so I'd figured a list to have on hand would be helpful! Plus, it gave me an excuse to post a bunch of pics of C as a teeny thing, and who doesn't love that?

Useful:
1. Onsies in sizes 0-12 months. Babies grow so fast. They also get dirty a lot. You can never have enough onsies and it was so nice that as baby grew, I knew I had a stash that would fit him.
2. Diapers
3. A pack-n-play. Great for traveling, great for keeping downstairs for a place for baby to sleep in as a little bit and then to play in as a bigger guy. But don't go crazy with all the attachments, they take up a lot of room and are mostly useless. We only used the changing pad attachment and C used to sleep in it when he was itty bitty.
4. Towels and Receiving Blankets. They are wonderful and useful, but you only need a few of each!
5. Bath Stuff. As in soap and a few toys. Maybe an infant tub, but even that isn't completely necessary.
6. Bottles, bowls, spoons, storage containers, sippy cups. Baby will need all these things before you know it.
7. A high chair. Another big expense that is nice to have already for when baby needs it. But again, all you need is something baby can sit and eat it, not one that rolls, strolls, reclines and can fly.
8. First Aid Kit. You'll be clipping finger nails in the first few weeks and will be very thankful you already have that thermometer the first time baby seems to have a fever.

Useless (or in less harsh terms: Unnecessary)
1. A video monitor. This will drive a new mom up the wall without her even knowing it. You need your sleep mommas, lay down, close your eyes and stop watching your baby breathe. It will be good for both of you in the long run. FYI- we never used a monitor at all. Trust me, C let us know when he needed something, plus not hearing his every sound allowed him to get himself back to sleep without me rushing into his room at every noise.
2. A Moses Basket. Yea, they are cute. Yea, I was really excited when I received one at my first baby shower. No, it was never used. Not one single time.

3. Wipe Warmer. Your baby can handle a cold wipe. Seriously.
4. A swing. They are big and bulky and most babies grow out of them very quickly. Plus, in my world, making the baby adaptable is very important and if he's always sleeping in a swing, he may not want to sleep in a crib (without the movement).
5. Travel System Stroller. We used the snap-n-go and infant car seat til C was about 8 months old, then switched to the umbrella stroller. One of the main things I learned as a Mom is that you need to be able to do things with one hand. Pulling the travel system out of the car is not one of those things.

6. Shopping Cart Cover. If you are that worried about germs, bring a wipe and run it across the seat and handle before you put the baby in. Otherwise, don't make life harder by hauling around a cover and trying to set it up while not letting your baby touch anything. If you plan on letting them play at a playground, then you might as well let them sit in a grocery cart (or on a Harley).
7. Bottle Warmer. You know what else warms bottles but doesn't take up room on your counter? Hot water.
8. 5.Overzealous baby proofing. You do not need to change your entire house just because a baby is coming. I still have glass coasters on the table, a wine rack that sits on the floor, a living room devoid of baby toys and cabinets that open without a key, code and screwdriver. Of course C pushed his limits to see what he could get into as a little guy, but now he doesn't mess with things he is not supposed to touch. It is never too early to teach a little accountability right?

Thought I needed...but didn't:
1. A Baby Bjorn/Baby Ergo ect: A lot of people loooove these but I hated mine. I think I tried it twice and felt pregnant and uncomfortable carrying C in it.
2. Nursing Cover. A blanket works just as well.
3. Bumbo Seat. We borrowed one from my sis in law and used it occasionally, but its not something I would go get myself and don't feel like I need for baby 2.
4. Boppy Pillow. I loved nursing and wanted to hold C myself, I found sitting him on a pillow really awkward. Although, we did use it when he was little to lay in.
5. Play yard, Jumperoo, Bouncy Seat and cradle chair. You don't need them all, but it is fun to have one or two. We ended up using the Jumperoo and bouncy seat a lot.
Overall though, it is important to remember, as my mom would say, this is all just stuff. All you really need is confidence, your natural maternal instinct, a husband that won't ask questions if he gets home one night and you exchange a crying baby for car keys, a few (too many) frantic phone calls to your mom, the grace of God and some good wine. I remember leaving the hospital with this little person thinking I would never figure out what he needs. When my mom told me "You'll be able to tell what his different cries mean", I looked at her like a crazy person. I wondered how I would know he had enough to eat if I was breastfeeding and couldn't gage the amount. I questioned (for 11 months) if he would ever sleep through the night. But before I knew it, I did learn that he had different cries, my body made exactly what he needed (which still blows my mind) and we finally got the courage to let him 'cry it out' (3 days later, he never woke up at night again. damn.) Having a baby is what we, as women, are biologically made to do. Remind yourself of that every now and again and you will be just fine.
To the other moms out there: Anything to add to this list that you couldn't live without? Or things that you rendered useless? I know everyone's 'must haves' are different!

To the non-moms or new-moms: Anything you are set on using or nervous about not working?