Friday, April 18, 2014

Visit from the Cousins

Tuesday marked the end of a fabulous week-long visit from Darlene. She brought her cutie-patootie 6-month-old (who, in typical 3rd-child fashion, did not appear in any of my pictures) and 2-yr-old Aaron. He and Natalie were very natural cousins- constantly making one another shriek with laughter or else making one another cry. Natalie was usually the one crying. It was eye-opening: I didn't realize what a sissy she is! 

We went to costco (this counts as an unusual, exciting outing for me), checked out the dogwood festival (disc-catching dog demo, fried carnival food), got our nails done, played games... Darlene even took all the kids one rainy afternoon so I could shampoo the carpet!
We ate at Tom+Chee- a restaurant we saw on shark take that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. We each tried a few different ones. My favorite was the plain grilled cheese on a doughnut- it was shockingly delicious. 

LeAnn and Gabby came down from Wilmington for a few days to join in the fun. We finally went to the Atlanta zoo. It was great. Natalie's favorite exhibit? Oh, the water fountain :)

Aaron wisely kept his distance while Natalie got soaked

Looking at the elephant ('s butt)

I was impressed with how well Natalie took to Darlene. She can be shy of new adults, but with Darlene she was at ease in no time:

It was hard/impossible to get her to take a nap most days because of the excitement of company. Natalie is still in recovery from the lost sleep.

And she definitely misses having someone around who really "gets" her.

We had a lot of fun and I was very sad to see her leave. I enjoyed her visit so much that I forgot to be eagerly miserable over being pregnant still.

In the three days since she left, my determination to not be pregnant any more has exploded. On Tuesday, my midwife determined that the baby has moved down into the pelvis, which means that she is either going to be born soon or I am just going to be extremely uncomfortable until she is born. I can barely sleep at night, between the sharp pain from psd and having to pee every 15 minutes. I am also running out of clothes that fit now that my belly is super duper low. Blah. 

I have baked two kinds of bread, homemade pizza dough, seven-layer bars and bagels to try to pass the time. I have drunk half a gallon of raspberry leaf tea; taken half a bottle of evening primrose oil; ate 2 pineapples; bounce on an exercise ball continually; gone on a 2 mile walk; did 30 minutes at 160 strides/minute on an elliptical machine and did an hour yoga class to try and induce labor. So far, nothing :( Feeling like I am going to be pregnant forever. Must find more ways to pass the time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Potty Stickers

Natalie gets stickers when she uses the potty. She collects them on a chart and earns a mini reese's cup for every line of stickers she fills. When the chart is all full, we take off all the stickers and she gets to play with them. We find stickers all over the house, ourselves and embedded in the dog's fur for the next 3 days.The funny part- she gives us stickers when we go potty, too. Here, she puts another sticker on the bathroom door while Daddy is inside going pee.

She does interesting things when I'm not watching her, like this contemporary art installation made from the smoke detector, my phone and some cheerios. 

Continuing to improve my Indian food skills: some homemade paneer mahkani, cumin-infused rice and butter naan.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Natalie Pics

Went to a big consignment sale this weekend and found a few treasures. Natalie now has light-up shoes ($1.50! Barely worn!) and an Easter hat that she wants to wear all the time. And for the record, she's just going the extra mile and making a 2-rise cake ;)


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pilsbury biscuits? Who needs 'em!

I made breakfast biscuits for the first time today and they turned out awesome. Thank you, Betty, for another fabulous recipe. Here they are with sausage gravy. It was a fabulous breakfast, and only took like 30 minutes from turning on the oven to sitting down and eating.

We finished our downstairs bathroom. It cost a little more than we expected (more like $200 than $100, though some of that was on reusable painting supplies) and took a little longer to finish than we expected (6-8 weeks), but it looks nice and we are very pleased. The pictures make it hard to get a good idea of how the room really looks, but it's nice. Trust me. We got a cool, tree decal for the wall but unfortunately, it didn't adhere very well because of the wall texture and finish. It looks okay, but not fantastic. The wall color, we LOOOOOVE. It's just dark enough to be dramatic without making the space too small. The trim looks so nice and clean and the floating shelves over the toilet make it seem much more spacious and add some nice storage. We changed the light bulbs for some pricey-er ones that are supposed to be more "outdoor" in their light temperature, and it makes the space seem much more elegant. Now, when I'm feeling frustrated, I can go in there, sit on the toilet and pretend that we're fancy.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Baby Aquisitions

I've collected some free baby stuff from friends at church. There isn't anything that I really need, but we were pretty minimalist with what we got for Natalie because we spent the summer in Boston after she was born. So, she pretty much had no cool toys and wore the same 10 onsies so many times they are all faded gray and brown down the front. I really wished we had gotten a swing, but by the time we realized how much it could have helped, she was already getting too big for one. Plus, we would never have fit it in our car to and from Boston!
The swing I got from a church friend had no seat cover, so I bought a broken one on craigslist for $5 so that we can use the cover (since covers are $25 minimum on ebay/the replacement parts store). The added benefit: since this one is already broken, we can allow Natalie to climb on it without worrying about the motor, since she's quite a bit over the weight limit. She is pretty interested in the new toys. Hopefully she's not too jealous when she realizes they aren't for her.

She's over the weight limit for this one, too, but I don't worry about it as much. Parents who have these seem to love these. They take up so much space, but since it was free, I will have no reservations about getting rid of it once it has been outgrown. Maybe nephew Adam will still be young enough to enjoy it when he visits in April? Although, as Natalie illustrates here, there seems to be no age ceiling on the enjoyment factor...
We also got a newer carseat that is in better condition that Natalie's ever was and some little, little clothes. We didn't really buy Natalie any newborn clothes- she just wore shirts from the hospital mostly until she could wear the 3-6 month sizes- but now we're stocked. Fancy us.

A moment for reflection

Sammy went in for a dental cleaning on Thursday morning. He had to be dropped off at 8am and I was too scared of going across town in heavy morning traffic, so Micah kindly went in later that day so that he could drop off Sammy before heading to school. Sammy was super loopy when I picked him up that afternoon and spent the rest of the night asleep on our bed- he didn't even come out to bark when our friend came over to drop off her kids! I guess it takes a while to get over general anesthesia. Today he has been more himself. The sad part- they removed one of his bottom, front teeth because it was very loose. Not the best look for a dog with a severe underbite.  Oh, well. At least he can pull off that look better while we are living in the south here ;)
"Don't even THINK about changing the channel away from Animal Planet"

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Naughty Natalie

It's been a tough week and a half.
Natalie has decided that she's too cool for naps. Which would be fine, if she were just naturally outgrowing the need for naps. But, no. She still needs a nap in a terrible way. By the time Micah comes home (around 5 these days), she is in total meltdown mode over everything. E.g.:
Me: Natalie, please don't put your fork between your toes.
Natalie: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! *convulses, cries, hyperventilates and nearly falls out of highchair*
I've been doing everything I can think of- making sure she gets plenty of active play opportunities to wear her out, giving her a filling (and not too sugary) lunch beforehand to make sure she's not hungry, never skimping on the routine of reading books and singing. But she just won't settle down. A couple of times, after trying for hours to get her to go to sleep, I've just locked her in her room to let her cry. For a while she cries, but then she just whines and empties the contents of her dresser all over the room. Last time, she kept knocking on the door and calling, "Do you want to build a snowman?" Then she pooped in her naptime diaper and took it off... smearing it all over. Gross. So, no more of that. 

Good thing she's so frickin' cute. No matter how much I can't stand her, I can't easily throw her out either.

Strawberries and Nutella

Wearing Dad's helmet and gloves while riding her cafr

Climbing daddy while he tries to exercise

Cute dress from LeAnn

Rocking out, playing her favorite song

This was hilarious. I was playing some meditative music and she was terrified of the image on the TV screen.

Playing "this little piggy" with the penguin. Her version just involves saying "that piggy market" with each toe.