Thursday, June 27, 2013

Satisfied is not the same as settling.

I'm a terrible blogger. And not because I don't write often, but because once I get a chance to I can't think of anything to write about. All day I'll come up with things I want to remember or seem worth writing down and as soon as I sit down: poof! I'm left with this "durrrrr" and a blank screen.

Right now Ben is unsuccessfully trying to get Whit down for the night in our 78-degree house. Those things would be my fault. Today was my first day back as a mostly full-time employee and I may have turned the air off when we got up this morning. I honestly don't remember doing this, but it sounds like me. And since it was in the mid-90s... oh wait...

Okay sorry, Whit just dumped one of the dog's water bowls on himself. Then the cat escaped while trying to get the barking dogs inside. Where were we?

Right, I arrived home to a stifling house after working a full shift for the first time in over a year! At least work went well. When I was driving home I thought about life and how happy I was at that moment. And how 18 year old Ashley would be so disappointed, but she was young and foolish (and wild). I looked at the old barns and sprawling green pastures and thought, "but it feels so GOOD to work a full day, getting things done and brightening a few people's day, come home to my husband and baby, and just bake cheddar biscuits, dammit!" The cheddar biscuits were only okay.

Ben challenged me to a weight loss competition last week. So far I'm winning, but barely. And since I'm PMSing, I'm a little nervous. My weakness for carbs is getting worse. And it's too hot to run, or even walk for that matter. I tried to walk with Whit last night and he protested. Loudly. Anyway, I'm stoked I lost 5 lbs in one week. Weight Watchers is the bomb! One of the chicks from work has been doing it for a while now and lost 50 lbs. So when I started to plateau, I figured why not. The first couple of days are hard, and I'm not sure I could do it in the winter, but hey it's working so far.

Let's see, big things on our "To Done" list:

+ Paid off a major credit card. Huzzah!
+ Thought about buying Ben a car again.
+ Whit sort of took his first step. AH!

He keeps trying to walk without holding on to anything, but he hasn't stuck the landing yet. Supposedly he did last night, but I missed it. So it didn't really happen, right?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Our week

Yesterday Whit and I went to a family member's baby shower. Let's see it was for my step-father-in-law's niece? I just love that side of our family, they're always a hoot to be around and this month I'll get to see them twice. Another niece is getting married next week. They are what I hope our family can be one day: kind, accepting, fun and easygoing. Oh and big. There are five brothers and sisters, they each have 1-2 kids + spouses and almost all of them have at least one kid. Let's just say, we really should have had name tags at our wedding!

A couple of weeks ago I told work I was willing to go full time to help out. It feels like our office is such a mess sometimes it's very stressful... to me. I don't know if it's stressful to anyone else, but it feels like I work more doing part time hours than I would working full time. Friday they said okay and I start whenever I want. Of course now I don't want. Ever since they told me yes I've been thinking about how I'll hardly see Ben, it will cut out a lot of time with Whit, our house will be a continual mess again (which is why I went to part time in the first place) and nothing will ever get done. I'm hoping Ben and I are mature enough now that we can work something out that our house won't look wrecked all the time.

Last night Whit and I were eating supper (salmon, kale and cheese) and watching Dexter. And I started wondering at what age I need to wait until he's asleep to watch it. Right now Whit could care less that the TV is even on. He only looks up at it if I'm watching So You Think You Can Dance or baseball. So surely, he's not getting anything from it, right? Hmmm.

It's so nice to have your parenting validated. At the baby shower we were talking about babies sleeping in the bed with you and how hard it is to get them out when they're a little older. One of the kids, 5, just recently started sleeping in his own bed. And one of the other kids, 19, started sleeping in her own bed only a few years ago. Thankfully, Whit will only sleep in his bed and thinks ours is a trampoline. Then we talked about food. Whit was eating fruit and cheese off our plates and one of the older ladies was amazed and asked if he was a picky eater. I told her no, we hadn't found a food he disliked yet. She then said that one of her relatives was such a picky eater, but they think it's because he was started on solids so late. Add to that Whit has really taken to sippy cups of water this week and I am ecstatic. We're doing something right! Not that I had my doubts, but hearing it out loud makes you want to do a victory dance right then and there despite who would see it.

And my new favorite pajamas...


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy Ten Months!

At ten months Whit... wearing 12-18 month sized clothes. It depends on the item; he still has short legs, broad shoulders and a loooong torso. Poor kid can barely wear t-shirts that stay over his belly. He's in size 4 Cruisers now to a bit more success. to meet his cousin Logan for the first time this past weekend. And they loved seeing each other! Anytime they caught sight of one another they would flash a big smile. 

...can stand on his own for a long time! I don't think he realizes he's doing it though. It's usually when something is so interesting he forgets to hold on to the furniture. 

...and is thinking about walking! A few times this past week he will be standing, holding on to the ottoman, turn, let go, a  l  m  o  s  t  take a step, and sit down. 

...has started feeding the dogs his food. One night Whit was playing in the kitchen while I cooked and I handed him a piece of broccoli. He nibbled on it, held it out for Foster, Foster takes a bite, then he goes back to eating it. I just died laughing. I used to do the same thing with ice cream and our dogs when I was a kid. (And in the I-knew-it-wasn't-bad department, I heard recently about studies that said babies who are around dogs have fewer ear infections... win!)

...LOVES to greet people. While we were at a hotel this past weekend, every morning in the breakfast area Whit welcomed everyone who walked in with a "HEY!" (it sounds more like "AY!) and a hand in the air. 

...hates having his clothes changed. And if Ben's doing the changing Whit will start yelling "mam!"

...will actually stop doing something if I give him a warning "Nooo...." It's amazing being able to see what he's thinking. 

...tries to turn on the TV with the remote. Part of me finds this unbearably cute (he's a little adult!) and part of me finds this horrifying. He doesn't watch TV, and I want it to stay that way as long as possible. back to liking his stroller, thank goodness! But is still not a fan of riding in the car. I think he thinks we left him. He can hear us, but since he can't see us, we must be gone.

...has been doing a hilarious "cheese" face! He smiles real big, throws his chin up and closes his eyes. It's too cute. I'll have to find photographic evidence of it!

...occasionally waves. very helpful. If we're leaving a room, he'll turn the light out for me. If we're picking him up, he'll hold his arms out. And he shares his toys with whoever is around. He's constantly handing us things. 

...has taken up the pacifier again. I can't think of the last time he used one, but lately it's one of three things that are required for sleep. a fiend for avocado, pineapple, blueberries, cherries, cheese and eggs. Maybe that should just say "is a fiend for food" and that's what we've been feeding him lately. trying to feed himself with a spoon, but still no luck on sippy cups. He can drink out of them, but he refuses to hold them up to get anything out. I can't figure out what to do about this. 

...crawls laps around our house. We decided to babyproof the whole house and let him at it, and it really works for all of us. And this always being on the go is making his monthly pictures REALLY hard to take. For example:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My heart is full.

We're on our way to visit my family this week and stopped by my friends' place last night briefly. They're moving from Birmingham to Pittsburg at end of the month to start graduate school. And I haven't seen them in FOUR YEARS! So we had to visit.

It's blurry, but it still makes my heart happy. Whit couldn't get enough of Dustin and Stephen. And I think the feeling was mutual. :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Self-feeding FTW

Originally we jumped on the BLW bandwagon because Whit tried to feed himself at an early age. He was grabbing at his spoon, at our food and trying to chew everything he got. So I started him on puffs a little sooner than suggested, then gave him some overcooked broccoli to see how that went. Now, almost every meal is him feeding himself. We're still sort of following the structure the pediatrician recommended: cereal + fruit in the morning, protein, veg or fruit for lunch, and veg + cereal at night. Just replace those cereals with grains, and reduce their size a little. I'm not a carb-friendly person generally, so I just don't think about it that much. That said, lately I've been trying to get Whit to use a spoon by himself, so we've taken up the cereal again. It's something that doesn't stain when it ends up EVERYWHERE, and I know it won't kill the dogs when they help clean up.

He's slowly getting the hang of it.


It's funny, our battle over feeding lately has me convinced this kid is going to tell us when he's ready for change. A couple of weeks ago is when he started grabbing his spoon and not letting go. So I got him these Tommy Tippee spoons and some suction bottom bowls (the bowls aren't great at staying, but that may be thanks to his high chair's tray) to try out. I'll put a little cereal on his spoon, put the spoon in his hand and let him try. He's mostly got the concept down: put spoon in mouth. It takes him a while to get the food off the spoon and sometimes the spoon goes in his eye. After a while he gets aggravated and flings his spoon around and cereal goes flying. Yup, that would be my temper he's inherited.

But I have to say he's picking it up pretty quickly and I'm proud. I'm even prouder of how much different food he's eaten and likes! So far he hasn't met a food he hates. And I get a certain thrill from giving him something new, so it's keeping our horizons expanded around here.

Blueberries and provolone. Ben said it made his French side jealous.

Last night: avocado and spaghetti (for the first time) with homemade pasta sauce
 Of course he likes fruits and veggies. So far he's had: blueberries, strawberries, avocado, tomato, broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, banana, cantaloupe. Tomato was the only one he was unsure about. For grains we've tried quinoa, rice, various breads (usually from my plate when we're eating out), pancakes, and now pasta. I've just recently started testing out proteins, so he's only had chicken, boiled egg, and salmon. That's probably going to be the hardest part of keeping up with his appetite. I'm not home all the time and when during the week I barely have enough time to cook for the adults and sometimes we cheat with fast food. But I don't want that for Whit. I had been relying on his baby food purees, but now that he's refusing to eat those, I'll have to start planning our meals a little better. And possibly cooking on my off time. Or maybe if I could get "Dada" to start helping out...

First time he tried avocado. The kid could eat a whole one if I let him!

The absolute best thing about Whit feeding himself is when we go out to eat. I bring his place mat, we give him what would be okay off our plates and let him go to town. It's easy and it keeps us in check too, trying to order things that are healthier, low-fat, low-sodium. Or as much as you can in a restaurant these days.

Either wontons or bean sprouts from our pho restaurant.
Now if we could just get the hang of sippy cups...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Whit's headshots are in!

A couple weeks ago Whit and I went up to Nashville to meet my friend Lu of Skip to my Lu Studios to take pictures for Whit's baby headshots. And last week they came in the mail, oh it was like Christmas! 

Definitely getting this guy framed: 

I will admit it was a little tough. It's hard enough keeping a newly mobile baby still, much less in the middle of downtown Nashville with about a hundred people in cowboy hats walking by oohing and ahhing over him. Oh, and did I mention it was nearly 90 degrees and crazy humidity? Lu asked if I wanted any shots of us together, and I declined (which I regret now) because my makeup had long ago melted off and my clothes were getting soaked with sweat and slobber. Oh well, live and learn...

I adore his smile in this, but man look at those guns!
Speaking of live and learn, I did not learn how to get more smiles out of this little guy! Out of 100 shots or so, I bet only 10 of them had smiles. Mostly moody, wide-eyed pictures, which is a great look for him, it's just not his usual self. And yes, he even gave us the "look over your should like you have a secret" pose.

My second favorite:

We already sent off a couple of submission packets to agents in Nashville for him, so we'll see. And we've already had a friend of Ben's family ask if I was trying to relive my acting days. To which I would like to reply, 

A. My acting days are not over. In fact, one of the agents in town has open calls every few months and I think me and Whit both will be attending the next one.

B. Heck no! This is about college money, yo. Ben and I both agree this is no different than if Whit was 17 and working a part-time job. We only do this as long as it's fun for him and not stressful for us. And if he makes any money, great, into the college fund! 

C. Dang I grow cute babies! (I know, not a reply, but I had to point it out)

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Market

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. About a month ago my mother and I had a fairly intense fight and I'm slowly getting over it. My typical response when shit hits the fan is to run around being busy, then maybe most of it won't land on me. Honestly, I don't know what to do about it since there's been no resolution aside from just keep living life as well as I can. So, then, back to the blog...

So there's this group around here of Etsy types that get together once or twice a year and sell their wares. The sale used to be only around Christmas in a barn nearby, but this year I guess they had enough interest to do a summer one. And it was awesome! It was held at a local plantation-type house called Homestead Manor in Thompson's Station. I never realized how pretty that house and its grounds were until now. There's so many beautiful old trees that it was wonderful to be there, but almost impossible to take a decent picture!

There were all sorts of cool things. I honestly didn't think I would find a lot of things that would crank my tractor, since I'm not a huge burlap and chevron fan, but thankfully I was wrong. Not about the burlap and chevrons, there were a ton of those. But there was also a lot of architectural salvage, which I LURVE.

Seriously, I want to build a cottage around these shutters!

And there were actual artisans, thrifted stuff redone, and some new things I hadn't seen yet, but would actually like to own. Maybe we'll get a yard Yahtzee when Whit is a little older.

Now that's my kind of market!
I didn't take a picture of all my booty, but I did pretty well in the "finding stuff I didn't realize I needed until I saw it" category. I bought a few prints (geez, I really need to learn how to make my own), some hair ties (finally seeing what all the fuss was about), a summer infinity scarf, some earrings, and a plant stake. I really wanted some of those letters, but at $28 a piece, I'll pass. My favorite buy though:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Keeping it Real: Bathtime

Yup. Because sometimes there's too many dirty dishes and my back hurts too much to use the bath tub.