Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Mash-Up

While I have a few minutes to myself, let me share with you some fragmented thoughts and then I must clean up after the 25 pound tornado that just swept through my home.


I'm taking a parenting class and learned a trick for when you need to transition your kids - colored sand timers.  They're made by Lakeshore Learning but I wanted to try and make them for much less, and success!  This project cost me under $10 and Jonah now gets himself ready to go on time, every time.

This is the face that encourages me during a jog.  Sigh.  I need to figure out how to make a sand timer that pauses time.

I scored this scarf today at the DOLLAR STORE!  (But when you ask me, I'm going to say it's from Nordstrom.) I rediscovered the dollar store and bought Jonah some new books for the bathtub, shampoo, and a calendar for our nanny to record his diaper changes, sleep, etc. this school year.  Amazing!  And this is the part where I annoy myself.  I can't simply walk in, buy, and walk out.  No.  I have to create a whole project for myself wherein I plan Jonah's 2nd birthday party from Pinterest, but execute with Dollar Store.  I have over a year.  I can do it!!

Now see those unfolded baby clothes on the chair?!  I gotta get busy while I have the chance!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Temporary Locale

Our sweet Elijah made sure Howard and I understood the temporality of life here in a fallen world.  He made sure we didn't think this was all life had to offer and that we had to make the best of it, but that if we really asked it to, Life would make the best of us.  "Seek and you will find," we are told.  We live beyond this short world.  Things fall apart.  Then they get put back together again.  It's that second step we hold onto.  It ends.  And it gets to begin again.  A regeneration.  A righting.  What power there is in that hope. It's not a wish.  It's a looking forward.  It's a longing.  That's what hope is - a holding onto the coming of a promise.  Life is coming.  He is coming.

Thus, we can be brave, because we cannot be eternally harmed.  We are passersby, and we might as well step up in strength while we're in town.  What else have we got to do?


Sunday, July 13, 2014


Here's what we've been up to lately...

Greeting Cotton in the mornings
 Playing outside (we just tell him be home for dinner)
 Cleaning out closets (I found the planner I used in college.  Look at Thursday, March 25th, 2004...  Howard's and my first date!)
Learning great hymns.  I think they are so important and so powerful.

 Watching Papa mow
 Nonni came for the Matisse exhibit...and to feed Jonah mango sorbet
 Trying to take 10 month photos
 This pretty much sums it up.  I think he was free falling off the chair.  I truly believe he watched the monkeys at the zoo swing from branch to branch and filed that away because now he just LEAPS from one surface to...who knows?!  I'm always like WHAT'S THE PLAN JO?!  THE MONKEYS FIND A BRANCH FIRST AND THEN JUMP!!
 Picking the best peaches of our lives
 Marching in the neighborhood 4th of July Parade
 Visiting Great Gape's and attending my great Uncle Jim's funeral in Abilene.  He was an amazing man and it was so neat to hear the wonderful eulogies at his service.  He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from OU and taught at ACU.  So much like Howard.
 Testing the theory of gravity.  I think we've run enough trials we can start calling it a fact.  You're welcome, Science.
 Visiting the San Antonio Botanical gardens.  Jonah loved playing inside the Overland Gourd.
 He loves gears and levers and straps and buckles.
 Are these not the sweetest chubby little dimples-for-knuckles hands you've ever seen??
 I love Jonah.  He acts all serious and you start picturing him as a little adult going to work and being all grown up and then he shoves something in his mouth or he drools a waterfall.
 Explaining how it works to me.
 The Botanical Gardens have great hammocks.
 I'm not going to be cheesy and say that they came with some pretty great boys, too.  But they came with some pretty great boys, too.

 After the gardens we ate at Olmos Pharmacy.  Jonah came in on the scale at a whopping 25 pounds.  I think he was proud.
 We sat at the counter until we were strawberry malt comatose and then headed back home to a secret town which has been floating around the internet on Top 10 lists for places for families to live.  It's supposed to be a secret and it's supposed to have gates so no one else can come here.  It's perfect like it is and no, you're not welcome.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 Months!

So my child turned 10 months several days ago, or maybe weeks...I'm not really sure...but I'm just now sitting down to blog about it.  In the 30 something culture (yes, I'm a part of that.  I know.  It's like I'm the mom now or something) to fall behind on blogging is a ghastly FAUX PAS!  QUELLE horreure!!  Because gosh darn it, if our children lead undocumented lives or our houses aren't photo-ready with every surface smothered in a good dosing of chalkboard paint then what kind of country are we LIVING IN?!

Well lemme fail ya one more time.  I have no idea how long my child is, and only a pretty good guess of how much he weighs.  And I took good photos of him in our typical chair but I'm pretty comfortable here on the couch with my phone and feel it's fairly important I stay put.  So here go some pretty Pinterest-unworthy stats:

At 10 Months Jonah...
-weighs a lot...maybe 24 or 25 pounds
-is really tall...seriously about half my height when standing
-has hair living in survival mode
-has 4.5 teeth.  None are gold (shoot!)
-still has pudgy wudgy squeezable rolls everywhere
-is looking older and more toddlerish

-is into everything...climbing the stairs, pulling up and walking along the couch, discovers things we did not know could be interesting or dangerous (yesterday he ate some crusted dish detergent from inside the dish washer door...I just told him he has one free pass if I ever need to wash his mouth out with soap...)

-eats anything available or offered and prefers to hold and bite from the whole Megillah, not torn up baby bites.  I have been photographing his meals and aspire one day to do a post on this stage of eating.  We're in between purées and 'real' table foods and it's been a little tricky to navigate.  Hopefully the meals we've come up with will help someone else too!  Look for that post soon.

Back to Jonah (ha - I'm proofing this post and I just caught that we never really left Jonah did we?  So those are the categories of my mind...Jonah and Jonah).  He...

-says Mama a lot but Howard doesn't think so.  I'm not really sure how we line up on deep and complex theological issues but we can't seem to see eye to eye on this FACT.
-also chimes in with "plah blah" for "problem" when we sing "Ol' Jo Short," he goes "Ah ah ah" in a high pitched voice when we ask what a duck says, anytime someone says "show me" he flexes his muscles (even if he person said "show me how you wave buh-bye"), and he loves to clap 
-gives me the best wet slobbery kisses and when we have a family hug and Howard pats me on the back, Jonah starts patting me too.  

-LOVES watching little boys play.  He goes into some sort of trance / study mode and everything around him goes quiet and gets zoned out as he focuses all his learning on how exactly you run from one spot to the next or plan to shoot a water gun, or throw a football, or debate the score of water basketball (he logs most of his observation hours at the pool).

-thinks it's hilarious when I speak French, so that's going great
-turns the pages of his books and loves to sit and read alone or with us. His favorites are Pat the Bunny, Baby's First Photo Bible, Chicka Chicka ABC, Skip's Big Day, In My Nest, Jamberry, and Brown Bear Brown Bear.  We work in others, but these we are sure to read multiple times every day.  He also likes magazines and newspapers.

-naps 30 minutes in the morning and, with help, a little over an hour in the afternoon.   I am beyond exhausted and am learning how to live and function in society as a crazy person.
-uses his left arm to tell us where he wants to go. Opa is the best person at indulging Jonah's requests.  They just walk around Opa's property and wherever Jonah points (well, he's not's more of a bear claw kind of point... )that's where they go.  This goes on for at least a half hour at a time and only stops when someone interrupts them.
-has a favorite spot...the duck creek
-loves getting out and running errands and being on the go.  He tilts his head and smiles at strangers.

-plays hard and cracks up when we chase or tickle him
-initiates peek-a-boo with doors or furniture 

-drinks from a sippy cup with a thick straw
-knows prime numbers and PEMDAS
-is calmed when we sing "Amazing Grace"
-adores our cat, Cotton (who is so patient and sweet with him)

Jonah, I love how jovial you are.  You are so comfortable with yourself and just chuckle and shake your big fat belly all day long.  I think you'd make a great Santa Claus someday.  I so appreciate how rarely you cry, and when you do - like today when you were teething or when you fell and busted your lip a little, it really rattles me. You are changing so much and we hardly recognize you compared to the little, tiny, fragile thing we brought home from the hospital not that long ago (seriously - what 40 weeks ago?!).

(Photo by Nikki Peterson /

Jonah, if you gain nothing else from this post tonight as you check your blogs from your crib before you sleep, know this:

I love you because you are my child. I love you because you are your Papa's child.  I love you because you are God's child.  And I really love who you are.  I mean you are so fun to be around and you already display so many personality traits I wish I had!!  You are even-keeled, alert and interested in people, jolly, and in general simply an old soul.  It is such a priveledge to be your mama.  I used to think it wasn't that important what you DO when you grow up but moreso who you'll BE.  Well, I have to say.  I'm so excited to see what you do.  I guess that's how wonderfully you've got the BE part nailed down.

Please don't change too much.  You can either make me eat my words or enable me to be really annoying because I'm so proud of you.

I don't want to eat these words.  I want to be annoying.  Thank you, son.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!

We've been busy bees around here!  We are full into summer and are loving making the most of it!  Howard has been super busy lately so Jonah and I are finding lots of ways to knock things off our summer bucket list.

We picked peaches in Fredericksburg yesterday and shopped and had lunch at the Peach Tree afterward.  Jonah was SO good and even made delightful luncheon conversation with me at the table.  All the old people in Peach Tree thought he was an absolute dear.  I was so proud of my chubby little date!

Later that day we decorated his stroller for the neighborhood bike parade!

I may not be a pageant mom but I'm definitely a parade mom because I got really into this.

Jonah was not so into the party blowers.

(See the box in the background?!  Yeah. That's because we don't have a SHIPPING ROOM!)

With his bad haircut he's already stressed.  Anything could put him over the edge right now.

We had a blast at the parade!

Jonah didn't win any prizes but he clapped for everyone who did, which made me one very proud mama.  (Even though he probably thought we were all clapping for him.  Eh.  Minor detail.)

In other news, I have started school year shopping and this came for Jonah yesterday.  Sigh.  It just melted me and Howard.  Jonah will be going to preschool two days a week next year, so I decided to move him from a diaper bag to a little backpack and lunch pail.  So little and so precious!  I almost included this with his birthday presents from us, but ultimately landed in a place of respect for Back to School and the celebration it should be all on its own.  August 28 will be just Jonah and no school supplies.  I feel we dodged a bullet there.  #momsave

I have also started Christmas shopping, a project I call Christmas in July and one that I've never done before but I hope will become an annual event.  The fall semester is SO SO SO busy and even without a baby it is very stressful to wind up the semester and do Christmas at the same time. I want to be able to focus on hot chocolate and Christmas movies and pajamas and Santa, not shopping and stressing and planning and budgeting.  So, I'm taking the time I have now in July to get it DONE!!

I've designated a shelf in our closet for just this project and my goal is to have it stocked with wrapped Christmas gifts for everyone on my list, including white elephant stuff!  The only thing I won't do now are cookie jars.  Call me OCD but I can already feel the stress lifting.  I am so excited to have this done!  Plus, by December I'll probably forget what I bought everyone so it will make it even more fun!  I've enjoyed having the time to pick out gifts (and the time to make returns and adjustments when they don't work!). 

Lastly,  Jesus was actually born in July.  I've always wanted to celebrate his real birth month and don't always feel the spirit of it in December when it's so forced and not even correct.  This has been such a fun way for me to incorporate an accurate celebration of it into our year!!

Next week I'll update you on the saga that is our dining room table.  For now, I'll say that the outpouring of community support on Facebook has been touching.  Who knew our table was so loved???!!??!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!::;;)))))))

Happy 4th y'all.  I also hope all you non-Texans can find a pleasant way to spend the day...