Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Big Backyard!

One little thing I have learned about being a stay-at-home-mom is that you hardly ever actually stay at home! We have had a full week so far and it's only day 3. Today we took a ride down to the Memphis Botanical Garden's new exhibit, My Big Backyard. It is a project designed to bring kids back into the outdoors. And WOW! What a great place for kids! Emily really loved it, especially the timber forest balance beam and the creek. We met some of our friends there and met some new friends too. Below are a few of our pictures from today. We will definitely be going back.

The "Flower Beds" SO cute! This is playhouse lane. One house had dress up clothes in it and the other had chalkboard walls that the kids could write all over.
A view from the tree house giving you a birds eye view of the meadow.
Emily in the tree house at the top of the slide. We did not go down this slide for the record. Maybe in a year or so.
Emily at her favorite exhibit of the day making her latest face. I don't know why but she keeps making this pucker face. I happen to love it.
Now this slide she actually went down. It was in Seedling Circle, a special area just for the smallest kids. She was very proud of herself.
Again, in Seedling Circle playing with the water toys. There was a small fountain where you could fill up a pail and then put it in a doggie bowl for this big bronze statue. Oh ya, and that is my girl standing all on her own, while holding a toy, long enough for me to let go and take a picture! Can you tell I'm proud.
Said statue. The Thunder Creek. There's a big pond at the end of the creek and a sheltered area that makes thunder sounds and flashes light like lightening. Very cool.
The big rocking chairs on the porch. They even had a lemonade stand.
My sweet girl posing for mommy on a tree stump.
On our way out I noticed these hammocks tucked away in the back. Emily was VERY tired, but we sat for a little bit and relaxed. Emily was not into taking pictures by this point.
Seriously mom, I just want to sleep!
Our view of the sky from the hammock.
And she was asleep before we got to the car. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Beginings

On January 5th, 2009 Emily started at Christian Kids Kindercare in her adorable Scottie Dog dress. We have moved from Infant A (6 weeks - 6 months old) up to Infant B (6 months - 1 year). She has had some wonderful teachers like Ms. Estelle and Ms. Marcy. On her first day she was 12 weeks old and hadn't even rolled over yet. Notice how still she is lying so still in the Boppy pillow. Now I can hardly keep her still long enough to finish an entire bottle before she off and exploring again. Tomorrow will be her last day at daycare and I am thrilled! Be sure to check tomorrow for pictures on her last day!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Look who's walking...almost!

Sunday night small group is good for the soul, and apparently good for learning new tricks. Every two weeks we get together with some good friends from CTR at the Samuel's house for some yummy food and good fellowship. The kids run around in a whirlwind of energy and Emily usually has her head on a constant swivel. This week however, she jumped in on the action. Ezra just turned 1 last week and got this new toy for his birthday. He was kind enough to let Emily borrow it tonight. I was amazed to see my sweet baby walking across the room on her own like a pro with just the help of the toy. I suggested to Dave that we get Emily one and he replied, "You'd better wait until Friday or she'll be walking before you retire next week." He's so right. So Saturday we'll be doing some shopping for Emily's own push toy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Very soon my life is about to change. I will go from spending 4 hours a day with my sweet baby girl (sad I know) to spending 12 hours a day with her! She is sleeping about 11-12 hours each night, praise the Lord! No longer will I be concerned with performance reports or reconciling monthly statements, but reading to my baby girl and cleaning up from lunch time. While I welcome this change with open arms I have been encouraged by those wise SAHMs who have come before me to STAY BUSY! Playdates are planned, the zoo pass has been purchased, and I already know that Thursday mornings at the Library is story time. But, over the past year being pregnant and then a very busy working Momma, things at the Castle have fallen by the wayside. So I have compiled a list of things to do around the house that should keep me busy for the next few months. And don't get me wrong, I am very much anticipating getting very little done, but hey, you have to have a plan!

  • Paint our monogram over our headboard
  • Paint the tree mural over the guest bedroom headboard
  • Paint white butterfly silhouettes on Emily's bedroom wall
  • Refinish the vanities in our master bath
  • Finally hang pictures and such on the bare walls in the guest bedroom
  • Re stuff our couch
  • Learn to sew and make curtains for our living room windows
  • Plant a vegetable garden. Tomatoes, basil, mint, cilantro, watermelon, etc. (This one's for you Caroline)
  • Winterize our backyard
  • Get Emily's scrapbook up to date
  • TBD
  • TBD
  • TBD
  • TBD (Because we all know this list will grow!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Damage Is Done

Let me begin by begging my sweet, handsome husband not to divorce me for what I am about to admit too. While debating what to do with my lunch break I recalled that Kohl's was running their special this week of 15% of anything in the store. Hmmmm... What to do? What to do?

As you can see, Kohl's prevailed. One more point for the evil marketing geniuses. In my defense, Emily's fall wardrobe was lacking. Most things in her 12 month section are summer dresses. Thanks to Carter's she now has an adorable brown velour sweatsuit, tan khakis with coordinating hot pink flower top, pink polka dot corduroy overalls, and a light pink fleece pant set with matching polka dot hooded vest. Ok, so the hot pink watermelon short outfit in the middle is not for the fall, but hey, it was only $4. I couldn't resist.

The sad part about this shopping trip was the overwhelming sense that Emily is so grown up. I mean, I couldn't even consider the soft, cuddly, sleepers because she is almost walking! Come this fall she can't wear anything with feet sewn in because she will need real shoes (unless of course she is actually sleeping!) My baby is almost a toddler!

Oh, by the way, Lawren, Leigh, I picked up a little something for your girls too! So Lawren, you'd better have a little girl!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Day In The Life

And she's off!

Toys go out to make room for baby. In and out, over and over again!

Helping Mommy in the kitchen.

So proud of herself for getting up there.

She is putting my impromptu childlock to shame.
I see a trip to Babies R Us in my future today.

And now she's stuck.

I love my life!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Have My Cake And Eat It Too!

I like to think of myself as a pretty good mom. Sure I make mistakes, but at least I try. As you may know my tiny peanut falls somewhere around the 10th percentile in weight for baby girls her age. Which is why it always cracks me up when people stop me to say, "Oh, she's getting so big!" I'm like, no you idiot, she's still tiny. She'll be 10 months old tomorrow and slept in a 6 month sleeper last night. Anyway, I digress. So in an effort to keep my child from looking like a starved, Ethiopian baby, I try to make her eat pretty regularly. This is sometimes a problem when she'd rather do... well... anything else. Seriously, is she my child? I wonder. Yesterday at daycare they said for lunch she devoured the broccoli florets, but hardly touched her mac 'n cheese?!?!?! See what I mean. SO, back to the point, last week when the turkey and peas was a no go for dinner and she'd hardly eaten anything I got the bright idea to feed her a cupcake. Sure it's junk, but hey, at least it's calories. Right? Well, as you can see, pink frosting or not, she was not happy. We're having a blood test next week to confirm that she is my daughter.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!

Leigh is having a baby! Hooray! Baby girl, Rowan Elizabeth Van Horn is expected to arrive September 26th. Last weekend we traveled to Nashville to shower Leigh and baby Rowan with some fun baby stuff. Below is me and Emily with Leigh.

Allow me to get on my soap box for a minute. I am blessed to have 5 sisters. Holy cow, you might think. I thought she only had one sister. By traditional means, sure, Alyssa is my real sister. But I have a sister-in-law (or as I like to refer to her, sister-by-choice) Holly, who was recently brave enough to marry my brother, Chris. Dave has one sister, Leigh and a step-sister, Leslie who might as well be his actual sister since they grew up together and are very much alike. Then he has a step brother, Aaron, who came with the package when his mom married Mike. A nice addition I like to think. So his wife Alexa becomes our step-sister-in-law. So to all my "sistas," Alyssa, Holly, Leigh, Leslie, and Alexa, I love you girls!

Leigh and Alexa out front of the beautiful hostess' home.
Susan (MeMaw) and Leigh in their coordinating outfits.
Alexa with Emily.
What a joy to find out that the woman hosting the baby shower had a 22 month old little boy! The hostess' house came equipped with a toy corner that was able to keep Emily happy (a.k.a. quiet) for the entirety of the shower. You can see her in Knox's chair looking for something to get into. And she found it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Come On Over!

If you remember correctly, when we first moved into our house the decor was so bad that white walls with prison issued sheets would have been an improvement. But by the time we got around to the guest bedroom I was so tired of painting that I just slapped something up there. Yellow was certainly a last minute call on my 57th trip to Home Depot. Now, over 2 years later, it was starting to bother me. As was the brass and oak ceiling fan that was older than I am. Not to mention the nice pink stain I managed to get on the white duvet cover from a drying sweater on the bed. I mean, really, why do they even make white duvet covers? So we now have a lovely blue room that is a little more calming. The photo collage was a bit busy for me. The problem is what to do with the two empty walls? I have an idea in my head for the wall over the head board. Dave thinks I may be aiming a little high, but I think I can do it. Unless any of my super creative, artistic friends (Ehem, Lawren) want to come help me!

So get off your tushes and come visit!

Monday, August 3, 2009


I have the best Mother-in-law ever! Seriously, I'm not just kissing up! For my birthday in May she gave me a gift certificate for a spa day at Blue River Canyon in Brentwood, TN. Now, before you go thinking she is completely selfless, let me tell you she is smarter than the average bear. Cashing in my present required a trip to Nashville for the weekend where she can spend some time with Emily, and of course me and Dave too! Also, the original intent was that she was going to go with me for the day and enjoy some rub-a-dub-dub of her very own. But, alas, the timing just didn't work out and I ended up going solo.

Saturday was a busy day in the good kind of way. You know, you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off, but everything you are doing is fun. The morning started out with a baby shower for Leigh and Baby Rowan (expected 9/26). Yummy food, fun party dresses, and lots of family and friends. Then we took all the loot back to Leigh and Dillon's new house. We got the grand tour and then spent some time hanging adorable baby girl clothes in the adorable pink nursery. Yeah!

Next on the agenda, spa day! I left Emily in very capable hands, actually, about 20 capable hands. Everyone was fighting over who gets to hold her next. I gracefully made my exit while the vultures descended. I spent the next 3 hours in an aromatherapy soak, getting a Swedish massage, and a European facial. Best of all, it was free, for me anyway, thanks to SuperMom!

After I drifted back to reality, I had to rush home to rinse the 10 gallons of lotion off and get ready for Dave's B-Day dinner. Chambless, party of 15 plus high chair invaded Shogun's in Franklin for some yummy Japanese cuisine. We took up 2 of those hibachi tables and played pass the baby. Emily was a trooper like usual. Thanks to all our family and friends for making the evening so great for Dave. We love you guys.