Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lights, Camera, Action!

Tomorrow is the big 0-1.  I handled my emotions by eating an entire family of teddy grahams.

Tonight we assembled his new little table and decorated with balloons.

In the living room I took down his play pen and replaced it with bookshelves and his new chair.

And my favorite plan for tomorrow morning's events is this drawer.  It normally houses our boring ol' toothbrushes and toothpaste and it's the first thing Jonah goes to investigate in the mornings.  I can't wait to see his reaction when instead of something to take off the sugar, there's something to put it on!!

Sigh.  I may need something stronger than graham cracker in the shape of a friendly bear.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What I've Learned in a Year

This preciousness is about to turn 1.  That means it's also almost the start of a new football season (we're not big new year's folks so apparently the new school year / Jonah's birthday / football season is our ringing in the auld anxiem or rather anxiety or whatever).

Here are some things I've learned.  I reiterate 'learned.'  These are not the most important aspects of parenting - they are simply things I didn't know before I was one (a parent that is - not one year old...although I didn't know them before then either).

1.  Parenting is really more about the parent's growth.  The baby's growth happens without sin-filled stumbling blocks.

2.  In the early days when poop is flying (yes, it flies) and you're running on no sleep (which is not just a colloquial phrase it turns out; it actually means "zero" in it's the next day and you haven't even tried laying down in bed) LOOK your partner in the EYES.  I discovered how easy it is to be in the zone of saving the world one diaper at a time, but in the midst of that just taking a split second to make eye contact with your mate can do wonders when that may be all you have in a world longing for dinners and movies.


4. Write it down.  You will, believe it or not, forget.  

5. Supplies you need but won't see on a registry suggestion list:  an external hard drive, WD-40 for squeaky doors, a car charger for your phone, lotion at every sink (you only think you wash your hands before you're an OCD mom), a steam vac if you have carpet, RESOLVE (it's the only thing that worked for me in getting out stains from baby clothes), and an Ergo backpack carrier.  They're expensive so we didn't get one.  Mistake.  You need an Ergo!  (Beware of imposters on eBay though!)

6.  You're still tired in a year.  Just get used to it.  This is why I have to go now and leave you thinking I've only learned 6 things in a year.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ode to Milo

I met Milo when I was 19 and spent my second date with Howard at his apartment.  He chewed my shoes and my purse and proceeded to do so every time I visited Howard thereafter.  This means for 3.5 years I didn't own anything without Milo bite marks.  

While I'm sure my mother in-law is appreciative of Milo's protectiveness, he also bothered Howard whenever he tried to work on his dissertation, Milo would lay across the book and flat out refuse to let Howard read it. 

We still own the nightstands he scratched up when he wasn't allowed to interrupt Howard's doctoral work, and I'm so glad now I didn't paint them this summer like I had intended, because they're a reminder of the fur person who left us this morning.

Milo was an eerily smart cat, and knew more about our family than we probably do.  He lived with Howard while we dated, and because even a year of allergy shots didn't improve the reactions he gave me, Milo selflessly went on a study abroad program to the Boerne ranch with Howard's parents and decided to make it a permanent move.  Thus, he knew both sets of the Boerne Shorts more than any fly on the wall ever will.

He was there while we courted and while Howard accomplished the great task that is a Ph.D.  He saw us through our ups of football and family fun and downs of loss and heartache.  He watched Karen and George become Oma and Opa.  

He was moody, but what gifted mind isn't prone to some drama?  If he were left alone, not allowed to go on vacation, he would take a good 24 hours before warming up to you again.  But once you were on his good side, it was sweet.

He purred like a race car.  He snuggled like a baby.  

He was superior to all other cats.  And he knew it. 

He was a wise, sweet soul always dressed for the occasion with both a tux and dignified manner.  He is Milo...of Otis and Milo.  And our family won't be the same without him. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Busy Bees Part 3

Continuing our recap of our time in Tulsa (I believe the proper term is Tulsey Time)...

After waking up still thinking about the best pizza we've ever had (eaten for dinner Friday night), we headed out for the Tulsa Zoo where we saw dinosaurs...

discovered a love of all things playground...

and rode the train!

Here's Grandpa waiting in line with Jo.  Jonah looks huge to me here!  Like the size of a 2 year old!  I know one thing's for sure.  I buy the next size up in shoes about every week!  Not really - but close enough.

We came home and crashed and took it easy.  I discovered the addictiveness that is QuizUp...

And we feasted on burgers and watermelon, and Nonni gave Jonah his first chocolate milk.  It was love at first sip.

Jonah was teething pretty badly so Howard ran out and bought him Sophie the Giraffe.  What a lifesaver!  Jonah loves her! (Is that emphatic enough or am I supposed to say "love, love, loves her?" ; )

We said bye to Uncle Greg...

and Howard and I left that afternoon to go on a date!!

We started with a macadamia nut café latte (that was Europe-worthy) and some reading time

I love love loved this Bible verse in my Louis Markos book:

"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter" (Proverbs 25:2).  What a great affirmation that searching is ok,  honored in fact, even when the complete answer may not be discoverable.  

I wish Howard and I had more time to go get coffee and read together.  It was one of my favorite moments of the trip.  The above picture is from the café we sat in - it's called Nordaggio's.  All their artwork is done in espresso!!  

After coffee we ate at Charleston's and had dessert at Freckles Frozen Custard.  It was such a wonderful evening.  

Howard, Nonni, and I took Jonah to LaFortune Park and Jonah was BESIDE himself with intense excitement.  It was serious business!!

Then Nonni and Jonah and I shopped and then took Jonah to Barnes and Noble where he could get some work done.

We had to head back home.  It was bittersweet because we love our home but we're having such a good time.  Also, home is a 12 hour car ride away. UGH.

Stopping to crawl (hotels are great for that) and play helped a lot.

We finally made it.  It was great to be home and see our sweet Cotton girl

What a great trip!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Busy Bees Part 2

We had non-stop BIG fun while in Tulsa.  


Stories from Nonni

A visit to the duck pond

My beanie baby obsession from the 90s was revived

My precious fourth grade teacher came to say hi to Jo and brought him a football!

We listened to jazz in the park and Jonah LOVED it.  There were dogs, blues, and dancing...outside!  What more could the boy need?!

Playing with a fun new toy Nonni and Grandpa brought back from London:

One of my closest friends is Stephanie and we got to meet her new baby, Chapman!  He is such a doll and Jonah was obsessed!!

After we ate Jonah played while Stephanie (and Chappy) and I talked.  It was the first time I could do that!  Jonah kept looking back at me and smiling.  He loved making friends and exploring.

He crashed in Nonni's arms when we got home

And woke up to Uncle Greg being here, which terrified him

Those Gingers.  Fear-inducing folk they are.

Stay tuned for Part 3!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Busy Bees Part 1

I just settled in for the night by washing my face with Jonah's Burt's Bees Baby Wash and not only does it smell amazing, but I think it's the best face wash I've ever used.  This post is not sponsored. I'm just really excited about my face's smell right now.

We've spent the weekend in Tulsa visiting my parents (Nonni and Grandpa) and my brother (Uncle Greg).  It's been jam packed with fun and even before we left we had exciting times!

We left for Tulsa on Wednesday, and unlike previous trips I packed the day before.  This was by far the easiest traveling we've done with Jonah!!  Well, let me rephrase that: this was the easiest PACKING we've done with him.  The 12 hour road trip was exhausting, as he is old enough to get bored but too young for movies.

I even had a 'helper' whilst packing.  He took my shoes out:

Climbed in:

And covered himself back up with my shoes.  You as not to be noticed:

And yes, thank you for noticing my awesome packing skills.  I rolled up each day's outfit and secured with a hair tie.  I can't believe how much room it saved!  Interwebnets for the win!

My MIL also sent me tips for painting nails from the Interwebnets.  I loved them.  These are my results after following several of the tips:

I did that during nap time, people!  And you know that's not long in my house!  (By the way - that ring is from Walmart.  $8!  It's my I-don't-care-what-happens-to-this-ring ring.  I bought it for white water rafting in Washington state a few summers ago but it comes in awfully handy when you gain weight to grow a baby and then also care for said baby.)

Start to finish, ready-to-touch-stuff-dry my at-home manicure was about a 10 minute process.  Here are the tips I tried and loved.  It sounds like a lot but it actually made the whole process much faster:

1. Line skin around nail bed with Vaseline.
2. Paint base coat on too half of nails only, then again over whole nail.
3. Paint one thin layer of colored paint.
4. Dip nails in ice water to set and dry (it doesn't mess them up at all - it's a quick-dry tip and it works!!)
5. Spray with non-stick cooking spray


Aren't those kind of crazy tips?!  But they work!  Here's the original link my MIL sent:

 Annnnnd now I feel like a valley girl for talking about nails for so long.  (Please see my last post on the book I'm reading.  It may help balance out this picture.  Like, seriously...K?!)

The night before we left we attended an Greg Abbott fundraiser and got to hang with 'the other Greg' (my brother):

And then we embarked on our trek to tour the play places of Texas and Oklahoma...

Or create our own in the back of the truck...

and spend the time in between pulling out Dollar Store prizes...

some of which were surprisingly challenging:

But what can you expect from a Valley Girl (or a pachycephalosaurus)?

Stay tuned for Busy Bees Part 2 on our adventures in Tulsa!