Monday, January 30, 2012

The Kitchen

Today was a day that we have been waiting about 9 years for (well I have been waiting, I'm not sure Judd was dying to do this, I've just finally worn him down). We started a remodel of our kitchen. We have been planning and dreaming for so long, it is hard to believe it is actually happening.

We bid farewell to the white tile floors that I've disliked from the moment we toured this house for the first time. I've continued to dislike them while caring for a black very hairy dog. The hatred has continued with two messy kids. They are never clean looking, they cracked in places, and have dirty grout. Every Spring and Summer I had to vacuum the floor almost every day to keep Jody's hair from taking over. I almost asked if I could swing the sledge hammer to take the first crack! The counters are white Formica, which runs up the walls as the back splash. The cabinets are solid oak that Judd, I and other family members painted when we moved in.

It is about 480 square feet of space that is getting new floors - hardwoods. We are getting new counter tops and new cabinet doors. All of the cabinet boxes will be repainted. We have a new dishwasher and range hood to be installed. We will get a new back splash. My mother-in-law is going to sew some new window treatments for us. I can hardly wait to see the finished result.

We spent most of Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon/evening getting everything out of the kitchen. This was quite a task. We have almost filled the garage and every horizontal space in the living room/dining room is covered in stuff. I'm fairly Type A when it comes to clutter and I'm hoping I can keep myself sane during this remodel. I'm starting to feel like I'm in an episode of Hoarders.

Trying to keep the kids out of the way is also going to be a challenge. We spend about 80% of our day in that kitchen area. To not have it is hard. We managed today by hanging out at the Himes residence for the afternoon. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit quieter and Max will be able to nap at home some.

By the end of the day today they had the entire floor out, the cabinet doors off, and the trash compactor out. The contractor had inspected the floor and will need to replace some sub floor and a joist - or something like that. I guess that will happen tomorrow. The painter will start painting the cabinets.








This lovely trash compactor will be replaced with a new cabinet and drawer. Whoo hoo for more storage!


Here is what it's looking like tonight - already looks better, huh?? :)

photo (4)

photo (3)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

15 months

I forgot how awesome this age is. While it has its challenges, this age is full of amazing developments. Max is really taking it all in these days. He tries to mimic us with new sounds, expressions, and movements. He has discovered books and loves to read. He is climbing like he's in training for the baby Olympics. He has finally figured out how to go down the stairs by himself - a big relief. From the time he wakes up until he goes to sleep, he is in constant motion. If all is quiet, there is a good chance I will find him here, one of his favorite climbing spots:


He LOVES to press the buttons. Unfortunately, the other day, he wrote some of his own code over mine. I need to do a better job of closing the computer when I'm done.

At 15 months:

Height: 32 3/8" - 88%
Weight:23 lb 12 oz - 65%
Head: 19 1/8" 91%

- He is still taking two naps a day. This seems to be working for us right now, so I don't intend to change it until he seems ready.
- Finally sleeping through the night most of the time!! He goes to bed right at 7 PM and is waking up anywhere between 5:45 and 6:15 AM. This is SUPER early, but I think I'll take that over being up a few times a night.
- Eating most everything. Getting a little more picky, but overall a good eater.
- Can say some words: "Dada", "Bye Bye" (which sounds a lot like "Dada" but he waves when he says it), "Ball", "Dog", "Woof Woof", "Choo Choo", MaMa (but not a lot), and "Shoe".
- Can communicate very well with actions and hands, by pointing, etc. - Pointing a lot!
- Still very much addicted to the pacifier. Also has his blankies that he loves. He walks around with them during the day. It is just about the cutest thing.

One of my favorite moments of the day with him is after I drop Charlotte off from school, I pull into the garage, get him out of his car seat and he is always very tired. We get his blankie and he usually holds it and leans his head against my shoulder. Then, I carry him slowly upstairs for his nap. Sometimes I just stand there and just hold him, breathing him in - he still has that sweet baby smell. He is usually so busy that these quiet moments are so precious.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Girl

Just a few of Charlotte. I feel like her face hasn't been on this blog in a while.




Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Window Prayer

Tonight Judd was out of town. I put on a movie for Charlotte while I put Max to bed. It was Veggie Tales - the one about being a Snoodle. To give a brief synopsis - a new Snoodle is "born" from a tower on every 4th Tuesday (or something like that). Each Snoodle has a pack on their back that holds things they can use. One little Snoodle is born and he is told he's not good at things in his pack, so he leaves Snoodleville to climb a mountain. At the top of the mountain he meets the person that made him. That person tells him he is wonderful and paints him a picture of how HE sees the little Snoodle - big, brave,awesome.

It is actually a great little story, all told in rhyme. (Is it sad that I get more out of a Veggie Tales than bible study sometimes?) The stories are simple and to the point. I was done putting Max to bed and was able to watch most of it with Charlotte.

She turned to me as the person that made the Snoodle is talking and says, "That's really God, you know." I thought, Wow, I'm really impressed that she got that. She understood that God makes you. God thinks you are wonderful.

We went upstairs after the movie to do the regular routine - teeth brushed, books picked out, snuggle in bed and read. Tonight she happened to pick two Golden Books - one about prayers and the other about God.

We finished reading them and she said, "Just a minute Mommy", and got out of bed. She went to her window and pulled back the curtain and blinds so she had her face pressed right up against the glass. All I could see was her little hand sticking out from behind the blinds. I heard her say, "Thank you God for everything. Thank you for my sweetest brother. Thank you for the birds and for worms. Thank you for the water of the world. Thank you God for everything." Then, she came back to her bed and climbed in. I tucked her in tightly and told her what a sweet girl she was. I kissed her good night.

There is something in this child that I can't quite explain. Some days I really feel that she is closer to God than most of us. I know it sounds strange, but she'll just say things, out of the blue, and I know that she just knows things. Just the other day we were riding in the car. Judd was driving. We were talking about something or other and she said, "Well, the more you talk to God the more you hear him." No lie. Those words came out of an almost 4 year old's mouth. It made me want to pray more. She just seems to get it.

I learn a lot from her. My faith grows through her. I wonder how normal it is for a parent's faith to grow with their children. Is it because children really are closer to God because it hasn't been that long since He held them? I'll never forget when my mom said to me, after she held Charlotte for the first time - "There's nothing quite like holding a newborn, so fresh from God."

It is these thoughts I wish I could hold more tightly through the day. When they are both screaming and crying, wanting this or that. Or, I am cleaning up the floor under the high chair for the 4th time that day. Or I'm being kicked and screamed at when I'm changing a diaper. Sometimes they are so demanding and selfish. Tonight God gave me the reminder that I needed - that these are His children that He has entrusted me with. Isn't it amazing what a little prayer from a little girl can make you think about?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I put Max to bed on Friday night and thought that he felt a little warm, but didn't worry too much about it. He has been getting a molar, and has had a cold, so I just figured it was something to go along with that. Saturday morning, however, he woke up and was a little cranky. Then, he took a REALLY long morning nap, like over 3 hours. Judd woke him up, took his temp, and it was over 103. I gave him some Tylenol, fed him a little yogurt and bananas, and he rallied. He played for a while, but then just wanted to cuddle. This is how he looked the rest of the afternoon - just cuddled up on a lap with his paci and blankie. This is NOT like Max at all.


After dinner, we took his temp again, still 103 - upwards of 104. So, we decided that I should take him up to the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Urgent Care. I got there, signed him in, and saw the wait time - 2.5 hours. Yikes. At this point it was his bedtime. I tried to find the quietest corner in the waiting room hoping that he would drift off to sleep until we were called back. Well, he sat there for a few minutes, but then saw all of the other children running around like chickens with their heads cut off and decided he wanted in on the party.

After an hour or so of constantly applying Purell to his hands and mine, we were called back. (so the wait time wasn't accurate.) They took his vitals. His temp was now 105. They handed me dose of Ibuprofen to give to him since he was screaming and thrashing about. I gave as much to him as I could, but he spit a lot of it out. They also gave me a baby hospital robe and told me to put that on him instead of his pajamas to try to cool him down. I was then sent back out into the waiting room until and exam room opened up. Now, his temp was high, but I knew this wasn't super serious. But, I hope none of you ever have to see your baby in a hospital gown.


We got an exam room and waited through the first part of The Little Mermaid. At this point, Max finally fell asleep in my arms. A WONDERFUL nurse practitioner came in and talked to us. She then checked his ear and found a pretty bad ear infection. She then checked his throat and saw a bunch of sores. She took a strep test and we then waited for the results. Max and I watched Ariel sing some songs and meet Price Eric, then found out that he indeed had strep throat. Yikes, an ear infection and strep throat. I felt so bad for my baby. (but remembered how much I love the Little Mermaid!)

We got our prescription for an antibiotic and headed on our way. I put Max to bed when we got home and Judd went out to get his medicine. We woke Max up when Judd got home and gave him a dose. This morning, he slept until a record breaking 8:30AM. He was a new kid.

His smile was back. His laugh was back. His appetite, not so much, but he was moving a lot more, and up to his usual monkey-self. Like climbing onto my desk chair.



Made it!


Hmm, now what? What is this thing that Mom pays attention to instead of me?


Oh yes, this is how I mess up all of her stuff.


By dinner tonight he was pretty much 100%. We are happy to have our Maxwell back.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pirate Max

Charlotte saw me do this and asked where "Pirate Charlotte" was. I said "Ballerina Charlotte" would be here soon. So, I guess I'll be doodling tonight while I watch TV.

Story time

Yesterday I took Max to his first story time at the library. This seems so simple, so mundane. But, it quickly became something really special for me. I realized on the way to the library that it was the first time I have taken Max to do something just for him, with just him.

I woke him up from his nap (what?? - crazy, I know), so I could quickly dress him and get him in the car. We headed over to the library, parked, and walked in. I didn't know what to expect from him. I didn't know if he would just sit in my lap and not leave my side, if he would be really into it, or if he would scream and cry and we would have to leave.

He did great. He clapped and "sang" and paid attention (kind of). He patted other kids on the head - one of his favorite things. He was a joy. Definitely the cutest one there (and that is a completely unbiased opinion). I loved every minute of it.

The kiddo doesn't get a whole lot of one on one attention. He sleeps for at least an hour when Charlotte is at school, then when he wakes up, I usually have cleaning to do, errands to run, or dinner to prep, etc. Sometimes I even have a work project and I'm trying to set him up with different toys so I can work. Then, when his sister is home, forget about it. I had both of them in my lap yesterday while I was reading baby books to Max. She never wants to be far from my side.

So, yesterday showed me that I really need to make some more time for this little guy. He is really starting to notice the world around him. He is pointing, jibber jabbering, and mimicking. While he can be exhausting to care for, he sure makes up for it in fun.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Holding Hands

I love it when we are driving around and I look back seat and they are holding hands. It happens without any sort of announcement. She isn't trying to get brownie points or have any ulterior motive. He simply reaches out for her and she reaches for him. I know that these moments will go away when they are older - and I know that there will be so many times when they can't stand to be in the same back seat together. But, these moments, the innocent loving sweet moments, I'll always remember and treasure in my heart.


D, E, F, G, & H






OK, so Max's book isn't quite in chronological order based on his age like Charlotte's was, but, I'm not letting that bother me. Maybe someone will need his first ice cream cone this weekend?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mr. Destructo

Nothing is safe these days.

He has now figured out how to push one of the little chairs over to the counter, climb onto it and grab whatever is in sight up there. It's pretty terrifying. He is into EVERYTHING - and fast. You can't take your eyes off of him for a minute. I don't remember Charlotte ever being this busy.


If you open the dish washer, he is pulling out plates, utensils, and cups - in a matter of seconds. If you open the refrigerator, he is pulling out everything he can reach - the other day dropping a jug of milk on his foot. If you open the pantry, he has pulled out and knocked over an entire box of cereal. You don't even want to know what happens if toilet seats are left open.


His favorite thing is to destroy whatever his sister is working on. If she has spent time setting up the perfect dollhouse campsite, he'll come through and destroy it in no time. If she is drawing at her desk, he runs by, snatches the paper, and runs away - giggling the whole time.


It is exhausting and amusing all at once. From what I've heard, this is just the warm up with little boys.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Our New Year's weekend started Friday. Judd stayed home from work and we decided to head to the zoo for some good 'ole family fun. It drizzled on us for the first few minutes, but cleared up towards the end of our visit. The animals were all super active - almost everyone came out to play as we walked by. The most amazing thing we saw was the gorilla babies. They were playing and riding on their mama's backs. We packed a lunch and stopped to eat it, then headed to the petting zoo, train, carousel, and playground. The kids were awesome - we had a really great time. I can't pin point any one thing that was truly special - but it was just one of those outings that I'll remember for a long time.






Saturday, I started my weekend project. I've been wanting to paint our dining room table for a while. I purchased some Annie Sloan chalk paint back in September, I think. So, Judd helped me move it down to the garage and I got started. We are really happy with how it is turning out. I was able to get 2 coats of paint on it, and a coat of wax. I just need to apply another coat or two of wax on the top and then it is finished. Hopefully it will hold up for longer than an hour with 2 kids running around it. In my haste I forgot to take a before picture, but the table was brown. (please ignore the disgusting garage in the background.)


I'm going to tackle the chairs and the matching hutch. I'm sure this entire project will be finished sometime in the beginning of 2013. :)

Saturday night we went over to the Himes residence. We fed the kiddos and got them all to bed by 8. Then the adults sat down and enjoyed a lovely dinner and played some games. Judd and I ended up leaving in time to ring in the New Year at home. We had a great time. I'm so happy that the kids will go to sleep over there so we have some time to hang out just adults.

Sunday and today have been a little rough. The kids have been driving us slightly crazy. Max is sick and doesn't seem to be turning the corner. Charlotte has been pretty whiny and ready for her schedule to resume. We have one more day before school starts back. Anyone want a play date tomorrow??

As far as resolutions this year, let's see....
1. Get Max's Alphabet Book done - I have D, E, F, G, & H - I just have to create the pages.
2. Get the 2011 blog book done. That will make 4 blog books! The past blog books are some of my most prized possessions. I LOVE them.
3. Fall back into love with my camera & the blog. I told Judd today that I was going to take January off from blogging. That I just needed a break. I think I've averaged 3 posts a week for 4 years on this blog. That is crazy to me. Judd talked me out of it. I guess I just think to myself - "No one will care about that" when the kids do something funny, crazy, bad, or loving. But, then I have to remind myself that it doesn't matter, because Judd and I will care and Charlotte and Max will care 10-15-20 years from now. I'm getting back to what I began with - this blog is for them, for Judd and I, and for the family and friends that want to follow what we're doing.
4. I've signed up to run the Publix Half Marathon in March. I'm locked in. I'm on week 2 of training and going strong. I'm looking forward to crossing that finish line.
5. We have started to eat better as family. The majority of what we are eating are whole foods. It all started when I was introduced to the book Cinch!: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches. It is a "diet" book, but I have treated it more like a lifestyle change. After being on the diet for 2 weeks, I felt SO good. Had so much energy. It was really amazing. So, we have started to incorporate a lot of the principles in our everyday diet. It's nothing weird, just different. A different way of thinking about food. I hope to continue that.

I think that's about it. I think that will keep me pretty busy.

2011 was a great year. 2012 promises to be awesome too. Judd starts a new job (yay! for promotions) tomorrow. We are going to redo our kitchen in some aspect. We are going to celebrate 10 years of marriage in Hawaii in June. Charlotte will turn 4, Max will turn 2. Can't wait to see what else it will bring!