Tuesday, January 31, 2012

those sweet few hours...

it's amazing how your perspective changes after becoming a mom. i've talked with other working moms who feel the same way--there's just not much that we'll do to cut into those hours that we get with our children during the work week. 

there are many nights where i can't get out of the office fast enough. the clock is ticking before bedtime, and those two or so hours that we get are precious time. the huge smile that greets me at the door, getting the quick rundown on his day--when he slept, what he ate, how many outfits did we go through :) then it's simultaneous getting dinner on the table/getting davis fed, where more often than not we resort to a quick show on the ipad (or now, iphone) so that he'll stay in his highchair a little longer and eat a good dinner. justin and i tag team with eating, and then one of us will get his bath going while the other one finishes eating. it's like clockwork, people. 

then it's davis's favorite part of the day :)

he is quite the fan of bathtime!

i actually try to use this time to go over some animals and sounds. i'm slowly adding in learning facial features (eyes, nose, mouth, ears) and just for fun, i threw in some foam letters and numbers this weekend. this is my and davis's time together, and i'm so thankful that this year, his eczema isn't acting up as much and we can do daily baths. 

and then it's our favorite time of the day... holding davis while he drinks his milk (this is the last bottle left in our schedule--we've switched to sippy cups for the other ones before naps, but i don't know...i just want to keep this bottle for a little bit longer) and we all watch either nbc nightly news or wheel of fortune together.
(i'm a bit of a wheel of fortune fanatic. i have applied to be on the show and am keeping my fingers crossed that they might choose me because i will be 30 next year on their 30th year--one of their special categories they asked about. and i would totally win a ton of money cause i'm great at solving puzzles using cliche phrases, song titles, movie quotes and other things like that.)

and by the end of wheel of fortune, it's time for bed. three or four stories, teeth brushing, prayers and a few quiet moments of rocking. i treasure those last few minutes snuggling with him. the end cap to my day. i tuck him into his crib, and he usually rolls over and conks out (or fights it as long as he can until i walk out of the room--then immediately drops it.)

then the rest of the night continues. household chores, maybe stepping out for an errand or two, going for a run or workout dvd, and watching some tv or movies. until 10 or 10:30 rolls around and we crash into bed, just to start the whole process all over again.

but for those few sweet hours? totally worth it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

early birthday surprise

so i promised last week that i would share the latest addition to our technology family. let me preface this by sharing a little background information. i made the switch to a smart phone--a blackberry--a couple of years ago. once my contract was up, i switched networks to join justin on his plan and save some money. at that point, i got an android that was free with the new contract. it was just out on the market and had very few reviews, but we decided to go with it. a few months later, it was starting to act up and we went online to see if there were any suggestions. instead, we were met with tons of bad reviews and other frustrated owners who declared it a "lemon." justin has worked with it over the past few months, wiping it clean each time and loading on new software. and it would work for a while..and then start having bugs again. stalling out with applications, freezing up while i was trying to make a call, not letting me answer a call because it would freeze up, and just recently, letting me call others but they couldn't hear me (though i could hear them.) very nerve-wracking when i'm relying on that phone to coordinate davis's sitters or if i needed to make an emergency call. we called and talked to sprint, trying to find any possible way to get an upgrade or get out of  my contract cheaply...but no luck. we were stuck.

so here we are. my brother and sister-in-law upgraded to iPhones before the holidays, and i was immediately drawn to my brother's iPhone 4s for the camera. 8 mp, quick shutter, and an easy way to take, post and share photos with family. yes, we have our own cameras that we try to carry around with us--but it doesn't always happen and we certainly don't have the immediate option to upload photos straight to facebook or twitter. and honestly, my previous phone's camera took forever to capture a photo, which was hard with a toddler who is constantly on the move.

so my birthday is coming up and we had done our research about options for switching me over to a new network with an iPhone (4 or 4s, though justin knew my feelings about the camera on the 4s.) i had hoped we might be able to do it after my birthday, using some of the money i might get for my birthday to do it. between paying the early termination fee for the current phone, starting up the new contract and paying for the iPhone, it was going to be an expensive process and i had kinda accepted that it might not happen anytime soon.

and then, after davis's bedtime last wednesday night, justin picks up our small camera with video and starts filming....(umm...please don't pay attention to the state of our living room behind us. that was before our nightly "toy pick up.")

i love that he was so creative to do it this way, as it is not in our nature. we're the kind of couple that tells the other one, "hey honey, i'm buying this as my christmas present from you." not exactly exciting, but it works :) he had it all set up for me, with applications loaded, contacts synchronized, and ready to go. and to my complete relief...it just works. i can have tons of applications open and running, and it doesn't affect it at all. i am in LOVE with the instagram app and have used it over the weekend, capturing all the little moments that usually pass me by. you can keep up with my photos as they post to my twitter feed (over on the right hand of the blog) and i'm thinking about actually using twitter more often now, too.

i went running last night with it, getting to use a new c25k app that easily told me my mileage and how many minutes per mile i was doing using the GPS in the phone (12 and a half minutes a mile, in case you were wondering--not too shabby considering a lot of it was still walking.) no lags in the music, everything working together so seamlessly--plus i could even view my route on a map afterward. and don't even get me started about the apps that we've downloaded to keep davis entertained while we're waiting at a restaurant or he gets antsy while running errands.

so in short--the iPhone is exactly what i expected it to be. simple to use, features that fit easily into our technology-friendly lives, and a reliable phone that lets me make calls and be heard without any worries :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

nose in a book

oh, the stories i could tell about my love for reading. i was one of those children that always had a book with her. i would check out 20-30 books at time from the library, working through my favorite series one installment after another. on long car trips, i would spend hours reading away, pulling out the flashlight when it was too dark and laying down on the back seat to stretch out. i could even read while walking along behind my mom at the grocery store, keeping my eyes just above the top of the book so i could see her back and watch where i was going.

so it warms my heart and excites me to see my son showing a love for reading at an early age :)
i know that books may completely change as he grows up. less paper and printing, more of the nifty iPad books that he already enjoys :)
but i do hope that some stick around...
cause there's just nothing cuter
than a little nose in a book.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

the clicker

it's no secret that our house is seen as a technology-friendly place. we both have smart phones, a number of laptops, digital cameras, (surprisingly) some ancient iPods, and an iPad that is in constant use. it is primarily justin's, but if davis happens to see you with it....oh boy. get ready for several rounds of "peekaboo barn" and doodle pad. 

what's been so amusing to us is to see how he picks up on other things. he recently has become the hoarder of remote controls....

(which is no easy task in our living room. there are at least four or five remote controls to chose from, with the TV, receiver, bluray player, and our "smart remote" that controls all of it.)

this does make it fun when a remote goes missing, because it certainly doesn't walk away on its own. but then he genuinely tries to make something happen...

and occasionally he's helped us find functions that we didn't even know existed on our TV. well done, davis. well done.

how does your household embrace technology?

(and sneaky preview--there will be a post next week about the newest member of our technology family!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

remember the goldfish post last week?

 yeah, we don't learn.
but he's still cute.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

motivation for running

i know it seems like there's a theme to my posts lately. it's either all about davis or adding in my new focus on running and doing the couch to 5k program. and as much as i wish i could write about work or maybe other hobbies or interests i'm spending time on lately--honestly, this is where my head is. it's davis/family/homelife and then there's running. 30 or so minutes a few times a week where i get to check out and focus on the music playing and relieve some stress and breathing (when else do you REALLY focus on your breathing?) and doing something that feels good for my body.

the music i listen to while running has had a big impact on my motivation. i created a channel on pandora that goes off of hillsong united, jesus culture, david crowder and other Christian artists with a good beat. and i was never so thankful to have that when the intervals picked up to 3 minutes of running this week. j.j. heller carried me through that first three minute section, and i needed that rhythmic strum of the guitar to keep my feet going.

but the thing that i love about pandora is that it lets me rediscover songs i haven't heard lately or find some new ones by similar artists. and jon foreman has popped up several times over the last couple of weeks. i couldn't help but identify with some of his lyrics--lines from one of his old switchfoot songs--"this is your life. are you who you want to be?" and that became my mantra for the rest of the run. no, i'm not who i want to be. i want to do something about it. i want to keep running and lose this weight and feel more like myself and be a healthy mom for davis and have something athletic that i do just for me. and i made it through that run, ready to take on the next challenge.

last night, a new song popped up and i had to check the phone to see what it was. another jon foreman one, this coming from his solo album. "your love is strong." and as he sings through the Lord's prayer and the sermon on the mount in such relevant, relate-able terms--i got the energy to keep going and push through the knee pain i've been feeling recently (going to get fitted for running shoes this week to help with that.)

"so why should i worry? why should i freak out? God knows what i need. you know what i need. your love is strong..."

Monday, January 23, 2012

i heart faces:by the book!

 Photo Challenge Submission
so it's been a while since i've done an iheartfaces contest--but i had just taken a sweet series of photos from davis's bedtime routine and saw what this week's theme was. these fit the "by the book" theme perfectly and i couldn't pass up the opportunity to share my adorable boy and husband. our storytime is one of my favorite times of day, and i hope he learns to love books as much as we do.

join everyone else over at iheartfaces for other "by the book" entries this week!

video overload

it's been a while since i linked to any of our videos on here. so here are some sweet ones of davis in his element...playing, squealing, loving on his family.

he loved this silly time in his tent the other morning--so adorable to watch him "roll" around the room in it!

this one is from our visit to my grandparents and the new car track he got. we all got a laugh as we watched him try to catch the cars as they went around him!

here's another one from our visit, playing with my grandfather and showing off some of his new tricks!

and finally, a very common scene around our house in the evening. davis and pepper manage to wind each other up and wear each other out...justin said last night it will be interesting to see what happens once he gets stronger than her. but until then, he still has the ability to flop over and get pulled around just for fun :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

a day off

last week, i had the day off for MLK jr. day and sadly, justin did not. his office is small and only takes a few vacation days per year, and with all the big projects they have going on, he decided to work. so it was a mommy/davis day, which i love and try to soak it all up when those happen. we decided to spend the afternoon at our local sonic playground--there just in time for "happy hour." davis was thrilled to have some sand to play in--he loves the sandbox at his grandma's house, and we're contemplating getting a sandbox for our yard this spring since he seems to enjoy it so much!
he has also discovered the joy of tots, which he was happy to snack on as he walked around the playground and gave me big goofy grins.
still munching....
in between snack breaks, he (with my help) climbed up the small slide and rode down with me a couple of times. if we're there with both of us, one of us can stand at the top while the other catches him at the bottom. but when it's just me, we tackle the slides together :)
then it was time for a break to stare at the clouds...
and roll around in the sand! such a boy. 
hoping to have many more sonic afternoon trips in the future :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

how his brain works

davis has gotten to the point where he's not just playing with toys the way they're intended to be played with....
he's getting creative (and stubborn about doing it that way, but creative nonetheless.)
nevermind the fact that half of his "toys" are things like tupperware and hairbrushes and tubes of diaper cream and whatever else he can find that looks remotely interesting to carry around...
but he was quite proud of finding these new uses of his shopping cart. justin called this pose his "disc jokey turntable."

and then he found my rainboots, which were the perfect fit and complement to his outfit.
"i don't know...do you think they make my butt look big?"
"who cares? i can pull this look off. watch me strike my GQ pose."
love this little man so much.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

dress up and clean up

justin and i got a couple of hours to ourselves over the weekend, and we enjoyed a nice (non-kid) lunch out and ran some errands. we stopped by the local consignment store, "once upon a child," and picked up a few more good pieces that should carry davis through the rest of the winter into the spring. he's getting too big for some 12 month clothing but isn't in 18 month for everything (and can occasionally still wear a couple of pairs of 9 month pants--go figure.) so i got everything washed and had him all dressed up for church on sunday....

and he gave me the obligatory wide-mouthed grin!
(this one gives you a good idea of how many teeth he's got coming in--check out those molars! those bicuspids!)

after we got back from church and he had a nice nap, we got creative with playing inside and created a fort out of sheets and chairs and tv trays...

he had a blast!

we love getting to play with him and see him enjoy something new like this--so much fun for all of us!

one last picture i thought i'd throw in there--with all the teething, he's been iffy on his eating for us. so one night this weekend, he got an early bath and i decided to see if he'd eat while occupied in the tub. he often gets bored in his high chair and doesn't end up eating as much because he's ready to get down. but he was happy to finish his dinner the tub this night!
hope everyone's week is going well--ours has been super busy, but we are looking forward to a relaxing weekend. what are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

when you leave a toddler alone for too long....

you may come back to find he has emptied a bag on goldfish on the floor.

and he'll be excited about it!

and continue to empty the bag.
and because he looks so cute and happy doing it, you'll let him do it for a little bit longer....until the dog catches on and tries to "clean up" for you.

and that's how our weekend went :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

fully enjoying life

sorry the delay in posting. we have been living "in the moment" this weekend, which includes a lot of time with this adorable boy (who fully enjoyed his plate of spaghetti last friday night when we ate out) and not so much time planning and writing out blog posts.

but for the quiet weekend it was, we do have some cute photos to share, so i'll be back later this week with more!

in the meantime, some links that i enjoyed catching up on today...

this just spoke to me

i love the genuineness of this

remembering sweet tripp

Friday, January 13, 2012

back for round 3

for the past three years around this time, we have geared up for an important celebration...

jonah's EB auction!

i know many of my readers come over from patrice's blog, but just in case you don't know jonah or his amazing parents, click on over there. patrice and i have been friends since college, and though we don't see each other nearly as often as i would like to now, i so admire her, her writing, her transparency about her daily walk in her faith, the challenges she faces caring for jonah, and her true desire to make a difference here.

i also had the blessing of being there for jonah's birth and photographing that day. and i will always feel linked to him and his birth story because of that. such an awesome experience and something i will never forget.

jonah is an amazing little guy and we have loved watching him grow up and become such an energetic, funny little boy with a huge personality. he has also allowed thousands of readers to become educated on EB (epidermolysis bullosa) and led us to support other EB children, like bella, tripp, hope, leah and zach. click on the list that patrice has compiled under "eb sweeties" to find the blogs of other kids who are living with EB and their courageous stories of what they've overcome.

jonah's eb auction raises funds for debra, an organization that was created to support eb research and provide supplies, services and care for patients with eb and their families. we have raised thousands of dollars over the past two years to donate to debra and this year will hopefully be just as successful.

you can help with that! if you are interested in donating an item for the auction, please e-mail katie (auction coordinator extraordinaire) at jonahsebauction(at)gmail.com and let her know what you would like to contribute. this can be anything from a gift card, stationary, jewelry, a gift basket, a service of some sort, or even donating money to help with shipping for delivering the items.

i will be donating a photo session and probably one or two sets of custom personalized letters like i have in the past. but the options are endless! you can also limit the service or package to a certain area if you want to, so there is little or no travel required. we do have people bidding from across the nation, and it is amazing to see the results after just four days of bidding!

so please find a way to support the auction and e-mail katie to let her know how you can help. no gift or donation is too small, and it all goes to such a wonderful organization that is a lifeline for these families.

and on february 24th...get those bids ready and raise some money for debra!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

sticking to it

i had great intentions of running this past weekend when we were at the beach. but it didn't happen. time with the boy and sleep won out.

so i tried to get back on track this week. motivated by the neon green shirt (with reflective piping) that i ordered from target. as justin said when i left the house, "i doubt anyone will hit you with a car. they can't miss you in that."

and with david crowder band and jesus culture pumping on pandora, i finished up my first week of couch to 5k. eight more weeks to go!

(pepper wanted to come but after running with her last week, i realized that juggling a leash along with everything else only works half the time. so she only gets to come half the time.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

driving downeast

towards the end of the holiday season, we decided to set aside a weekend and go downeast to visit my grandparents (my dad's parents.) as we got closer to the weekend we had marked on the calendar, we were trying to coordinate the trip with my brother and his wife, who had to work the all-district band auditions on saturday before they could leave. i did my regular set of research on places we could stay, comparing prices and looking at our options while also taking into consideration davis's nap schedule and best times of day. and a few days before our trip, i posed a plan to justin--we would drive down on our own on friday at his bedtime, letting him sleep the whole trip. spend the night at one of our favorite ocean-front motels who were having fabulous off-season rates. wake up and get some beach time, then drive downeast during davis's morning nap (so he would sleep.) spend all day at my grandparents, then come back to the motel and spend the night. another beach morning and breakfast, then back home during morning nap. (this is such a clear insight into how we plan trips--coincide sleep with driving, and don't attempt anything important right before bedtime.)

and despite the feeling that we had thrown this together at the last minute, i felt confident about the trip. justin had been fighting a cold all week, though, and on friday, he had a fever that made me question whether or not we should take the trip in the first place. he was in an ill mood, i was afraid davis might catch it, and though he insisted that we keep our reservations and go on down, i was driving through vanceboro (about 45 minutes from our house) thinking, "if i turn around now, we can still sleep in our own beds tonight."

but we made it, justin got some heavy duty meds before we checked in to the hotel, and davis eventually went back to sleep without too much fussing (though he was NOT going to go down as long as we were up--one of the downsides of sharing a room with your kid.) and when we woke up in the morning, justin's fever had broken and we were treated to a beautiful sunrise...

and we were so glad we were there. davis and i went down to the empty beach, alone except for a few seagulls and the occasional walker. 

it was sad to see the nearby sheraton pier torn up from this fall's hurricane irene. the hotel itself has been closed since then for renovations and repairs. 

but the rest of the beach was perfect, ready for digging in the sand, watching sea gulls and checking out the big waves.

it hadn't been that long since we were at the beach--just since september, and davis was content to get back into the laid-back groove. with a forecast of mid-60 degree temperatures, we were enjoying our mild january morning and content to just sit back and relax.

ahhh...this is the life.

we eventually went inside and got ready for the day, heading out to find some coffee and stopping at one of the local parks. we actually ran into one of my former co-workers and her kids, who were visiting family in morehead city!
he loved digging and climbing on the big turtles :)

and everyone got a turn in the swings.
right next to the park was his own beachwear store--i took a picture of this sign before he was born, too :)
and as he started to wind down for the morning, we packed up the car and headed downeast. we have gotten into the habit of covering up his windows in the backseat, which helps immensely for getting him down for a nap.he was quickly out, and we picked up a pizza and drove around for a while, trying to extend his nap as long as possible. i loved this sign at one of our favorite stores, that had taken the month off after the holidays. they weren't closed, though--they are "shut!"
we made it to my grandparents' house and settled in, bringing with us davis's food, toys and books and a pack and play for napping later. we have to travel big with him :)

he made himself at home and got busy opening his Christmas present from them...

which was an awesome car and track set that kept him (and most of the adults) entertained for the rest of the afternoon.

he also enjoyed "playing" on the computer with grandaddy.

but soon we headed outside for some fresh air. and i loved the setting sunlight and overgrown garden so much that i had to grab my "big" camera for some shots.
he just smiles so naturally now for me! it's awesome to capture those moments.
my uncle says there's a picture of my dad or him close to this spot somewhere--would love to find it the next time we're there!
we also had a good time climbing in my grandaddy's boat and taking it for a pretend drive...

one day we'll have to take davis out on the water--he would love it so much.

eventually my brother and sister in law made it down, and we enjoyed a nice dinner of local shrimp and sides from the cafe up the road. we are so glad we got to visit with my grandparents and allow davis to experience a little bit of downeast life.
he took to it, as you can tell :)

we gave him a bath and let him toddle around his pajamas for a while--because there's nothing cuter than a 14 month old boy in footie pajamas. then we settled him into the carseat as we packed up once more and headed back to the motel for the night. 
stopping only to get a couple of pictures of the lights and "core sound Christmas trees"--made out of crab pots--at davis corner. he was already asleep, or we would've gotten him out to take a picture :)

sunday morning was uneventful, with another relaxing beach visit where we watched barley, alan and rachel's dog, fully enjoy the sand and surf. we packed up and got a big breakfast at one of the local family-run restaurants. and then just like that, it was back to reality. laundry, grocery trips, getting ready for the week.

as we were driving downeast on saturday morning, davis asleep in the back and watching the scenery change from the little towns to stretches of water, marshland and sky, justin asked me, "after everything we went through last night, this makes it worth it now, doesn't it?" and it did--it's always going to take some extra effort to get down there, but it is so worth it once we're there. hoping to make it back again sometime this spring before the mosquitoes carry us off!