Friday, August 30, 2013

It's True Love

Do any of you other moms find yourselves looking at pictures of your sweet baby or babies once they have gone to sleep at night? Well, I do. After we put B down, I find myself glued to my phone scrolling through random pictures I've taken of her. I suppose that's love. We just can't get enough of them. Lucky for me, a very special envelope was waiting in the mailbox when I got home last night. Baisden's official, professional 6 month pictures by the talented, sweet and gracious Ashlee Culverhouse. I have SO. Many. Favorites. Thought I'd share a few...

All photos by Ashlee Culverhouse

I fear being an "oversharer" and fully realize that I am way more into my baby than my readers probably are, but I'm not going to apologize! :) Ashlee, you did an incredible job, girlfriend!!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dining Room Brainstorm

Our dining room has been a work in progress for a while. I finally have a plan for the space so we are moving forward, however slow the pace may be. We are a very informal family and to be honest, I think we've used our dining room once. But, it is at our entry and I'm convinced that if it's finished, we will make better use of the space. It is by no means huge, but perfect for a dinner party of 6 or 8.

Above is a picture of the dining room before we moved in. The walls are Sherwin Williams Griffin and the wainscoting is Sherwin Williams Alabaster.

Below is my concept board for the room. Just like we did for the pagodas by Maggie, I'm using the rug as my main inspiration.

We have some blue willow china from Josh's family, and I'm thrilled because I've always loved this pattern but have never lived in a home with much blue. I thought it looked so great with the rug! Our dining room furniture is all antique and/or up-cycled so I wanted to update the look with elements like the mercury glass lamps with burlap shades and linen drapes with Greek key trim. Hopefully it will all work the way I'm thinking it will!

PS...I'm dying over One Kings Lane's Eastern Philosophy vintage shop today...they have a rug very similar to mine. I also spotted a teacup that we have from Josh's side and some very similar console tables like the one we have in our living room. (Wow, how different our living room looks now that we have a baby!)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

7 Months

7. Months. Old. I can't believe it as I type that.

Baisden is turning into such a little rascal. I think she has gotten her daddy's sass. It's very cute, and of course, keeps us giggling and enjoying every second with her. She is very active, gets bored easily and continues to be good at communicating her likes and dislikes. She is a great eater, although she has decreased her milk intake some this month. I suspect teething...we have yet to see one pop through but her gums definitely bother her. We are blessed with a child that loves to sleep (most nights we get about 12 hours).

Her mouth is usually open these days. I think it's her way of showing excitement. It's kind of hilarious and I can't help but smile. Especially since her mouth takes up like half of her round little face.

I am really enjoying my evenings with Baisden. I am usually home in time to feed her supper and then we go on a walk for fresh air. She has started to drop her evening nap, so we have lots of play time together. We play on the floor and she rolls and rolls, squirms and rocks. My favorite is when she kicks her legs. Reminds me of a penguin. She wants to move so badly. Judging by her rocking, I don't think it will be long.

The other day I put her in a chair to take a few pictures and she was trying to pull up on the arms of the chair. She will pull up on me with just a little assistance. She is strong!

She loves her Animals bath book and grunts when we get to the cow. But then she grunts again when we get to the pig at the end so I guess it is not on purpose. At least she is learning that they make noises.

She is eating thicker purees, Mum-Mums and grabbing at some chunks of food like avocado and banana. Girl loves some avocado! She has great hand-eye coordination. Feeding her purees is getting hard because she wants to do it and grabs the spoon, which makes things very difficult! Thank goodness a neighbor introduced us to Mum-Mums. I think I'll try yogurt soon too.

This girl loves to be naked. Without fail, every single bath is dramatic. She is happy as a lark until I lay her on the changing table to diaper her up and get her PJ's on. Her body tenses up, her back arches and she screams until she is fully clothed and has her Vitamin D dropper in her mouth. And it's a cry with no tears...staring me down, fussing at me with everything in her. She has some major lungs. I think she needs a microphone stat.

The other afternoon, we walked up to the park in our neighborhood and let her swing. It's something I had been wanting to do for a while and just hadn't gotten around to it. We should've gone sooner...she was in heaven! Mouth open the entire time.

Baisden continues to think Buster is the funniest thing around. When she is fussy, we call him over and all is well. Josh has started having her ride him and the giggling is contagious. Wherever B is, Buster is not far behind. We call him her shadow.

The only real challenge we are having (if you can even call it that) is blocked tear ducts. At our 6 month check up, the pediatrician referred us to an ophthalmologist and we went yesterday for a consultation. We learned that blocked tear ducts are very common (15% of babies have them) but that most cases clear on their own by around 4 months. If they don't clear by then, they likely will not clear on their own, with massage, warm compresses, etc. So they require a minor surgery. The doctor pressed so hard on her little face yesterday to see if he could open them up which made her scream bloody murder and in turn, made me cry. She will probably have to have the surgery but we are going to wait until she is closer to a year and be hopeful that there is still a chance they will clear on their own! I realize that we are very fortunate for the health of our child, and that this is really not a big deal at all.

It's been a fun 7 months with you along for the ride, Miss B!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Owl Art

Take a peek at the precious owls my mom is sketching for me. I'm in love. One of the last times J, B & I were in Brevard, we popped in this really cute home decor store. They had some beautiful owl prints in barn wood frames and Mom and I about died. Unfortunately, they were about $275 each. My mom decided she could take this project on...I'd say she did it!

Hobby Lobby has some great barn wood frames...and their open frames were 50% off a couple weekends ago so I got two 12" x 16" frames for $13 each. Jackpot! Will post the finished product once they are hung.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Most people say that Baisden looks just like Josh. I definitely see a lot of Josh in her, but please tell me that the below is not the spitting image of my B!! This is me at a year old. I'm proud some of my genes have pulled through, ha! :)

I can't wait to have Baisden photographed at a year old in this dress on this little children's sofa and compare pictures!

Friday, August 16, 2013

B the Blabbermouth

I think we have a chatty Cathy on our hands. We are hearing lots of noises these days. It's like B discovers she can make a certain sound and becomes obsessed with it.

Did you hear the toot at the end? Here is another. 

All kinds of baby things going on around here. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vanity Makeover Brainstorm

I've always had a thing for antiques. I think it's because I grew up in a house where they were always used, mixed in with newer pieces. I love having something that has been used by's like you've got a story right there at your fingertips. Ever since putting Baisden's nursery together, I've thought about starting some antique-y side projects. My mom distressed an antique children's dresser that we had had forever and I just fell in love with it all over again. You can read about Baisden's nursery here. I don't know what prompted me to do this, but a couple weeks ago, I got on Craigslist and did a search for "antique vanity." I swear it was meant to be...I found a beautiful dresser for a steal, and the woman literally lives 5 minutes away from me. 

She bought it from an antique market in Adairsville years ago. It is a 1920s or 30s piece that came from a Civil War even had a note taped underneath it. Everything is original except the center mirror, which was unfortunately broken in transit when the woman initially purchased it. The seller is in the process of updating her home. Ikea-style is what she told me she was going for, and I think we all agree that the above dresser and Ikea don't really mesh well together. Her loss, my gain.  I love to think about all of the different women that sat down at this vanity to powder their noses.

I've been really torn on how to update this piece. I want it to fit into a home of today without losing all of its character. Is it sacrilegious to paint it? The detail and lines of the piece are beautiful and part of me thinks they will show up more with a coat or two of something neutral and bright. I love the original hardware and think it disappears into the orange toned wood. And so, I went to Pinterest to see what they could offer me in the way of ideas...

I love the ivory tone and distressed style of the above pieces. The hardware really pops with this sort of treatment.

The above reminds me a lot of the one we have in B's nursery. I think I'll go a different route for the new one, but I do love this color.

And this blue gray is to die for! This piece is stunning and would be beautiful in any way, shape or form. The mirror detail is really something.

Then I stumbled across these two below. Love love love the wooden top...this may be a way to keep some of the original appeal of the piece. So, at the moment I'm thinking this is the thing to do.

All above photos from Pinterest.

So what would you do...refinish the piece and keep it as is, or add some paint? Decisions, decisions...whatever I end up doing, I'll post an "after" picture of it. Until then, it will sit in the corner of my garage and make me smile every time I pull in. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Mom Club

When you have a baby, you are immediately and without question inducted into the unofficial "Mom Club." It's crazy. It's like moms can spot each other from a mile away. Recognition is usually a glance in your direction as your child is screaming incessantly in the grocery store or a sympathizing grin as you exit a restaurant to change an enormous blowout. A look like, "I totally get you and what you're going through, honey." As a mom, we immediately have something to talk about, no matter our differences.

It is weird to compare motherhood to a car, but here it goes. The Mom Club reminds me a lot of the Jeep Wrangler Club. When I was 16, my mom bought a Jeep Wrangler. It was so cute, white body with a tan hard top and big tires, the Sahara edition. A teenager's dream and absolutely perfect for navigating those mountainous Western North Carolina roads. Sadly, my mom got it for herself and not for me. Occasionally, though, I would get to drive it. I found that I, all of a sudden, noticed a lot of Wranglers on the road. They seemed to be everywhere. (Of course, they were everywhere in the mountains.) And they all gave each other a head nod or a simple wave. Some sort of acknowledgment that indicated, hey...we are cool, we drive Jeeps too, welcome to the club. Very similar to the acknowledgment that moms give each other.

In Josh's pre-baby days, he was a member of a club too. The Motorcycle Club. Even without being a motorist myself, I have definitely noticed the presence of this one. The members flock together.

I love this. There should be more "clubs" to help strangers relate to one another and connect on what could be the one and only thing they have in common. I am a loud and proud member of the Mom Club.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Entry Hall

I'm starting to get back into some small house/decorating projects these days. I love a house project so much! We recently bit off our entry hall. We don't have much of a foyer in our house, as you can see below. This is the before picture, taken before we even moved in. One thing I love about our house is the smart use of square footage, and there's not a lot wasted at the entrance. That, however, makes for a challenge in creating a statement out of the entry.

The hallway is wide enough to be comfortable, but would be too cramped with a bench or table. So I set out in search of the perfect artwork to hang on the wall for a focal point. I love love love Chinoiserie accents, and stumbled into some precious pagodas painted by Maggie Griffin of Bellissimo and Bella. I knew that a series of these would fit the spot perfectly. Our dining room is immediately off of the entry and I wanted to pull from the jewel toned colors in that rug (my great grandmother's!) for the pagodas. I'm obsessed with this rug. It is so unusual and unique. 

My dad brought his handy dandy laser this weekend and we finally got around to hanging these precious little watercolors! So thrilled with how they turned out...I can't stop looking at them.

The pagodas screamed for bamboo frames, which I found for $12 each on Amazon. No lie. They are very attractive and do not look cheap in the least. I bought mats at Sam Flax, and ta da!

It is amazing what hanging things on the wall will do for a space. I am always hesitant out of fear of putting a hole in the wrong I recruit my mom, her great eye and my dad's "I can do anything" skills when they come visit. (They may stop coming so often!)

Above is our small entry table, and it works perfectly for our non-existent foyer. It is from Nadeau, which is my obsession. Such a great place to find quality yet reasonably priced wood furniture. 

I've got lots of other projects in the pipeline...dining room, Josh's office, our bathroom and seems like the list is never-ending!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What They Don't Tell You

It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting alone in my living room with a tiny baby that was staring me down and convincing me that I had no idea what I was doing. Josh had gone back to work, my mom and mother-in-law had left me alone with my emotional self and an itty bitty human being that depended on me for her every need. She couldn't tell me what was wrong or why she was crying. I had to guess, test and revise. I remember being super annoyed and thinking, "Why in the world didn't anyone tell me how hard this was going to be!" No one warned me about this. Not that it would have changed my mind, but still, a little heads up would have been nice. I quickly realized that you cannot prepare someone for parenthood. There is absolutely NO describing it. And it's true, you DO forget (very quickly) the intensity, pain and nerves associated with the end of pregnancy and with labor itself. You forget how hard those first several weeks at home with your new addition are. You forget how exhausted you feel after sleepless nights...and then when your baby finally sleeps, you can't because you are worried they are going to just all of a sudden stop breathing.

However, I think if someone could have shed light on a few different areas, it may have helped me more. Maybe they did and I didn't listen!

First, I wasn't prepared mentally (or physically for that matter) that I was going to be feeding my baby basically all day long for the first probably 8+ weeks. I knew babies needed to eat every 2-3 hours at first, but I didn't realize what that actually meant. Our feedings were challenging in the beginning...from start to finish, they were one and half hours. So then, 30 minutes later, it was time to feed again. I remember being stiff from sitting so long. I don't know what I thought feedings would be like but I can tell you that I didn't think I'd be feeding as much as I did. I remember looking at the very helpful "Total Baby" app and seeing that I had nursed for 8 hours one day. Ouch!

Second, no one tells you that your baby might be born starving. Mine was, at least. They tell you in the hospital that they are born with enough "stuff" or whatever to nourish them for 3 days. That may be true in theory, but in reality, they are hungry. Our bodies can't always adjust that quickly as first time moms. I had planned for Baisden not to take a bottle until she was 4 weeks old, but motherhood teaches you to throw said plans out the window. We were supplementing with a bottle and formula just a couple days in. I really beat myself up over it. Had I been prepped that this is VERY normal and that most babies do need supplementing in the early weeks and even throughout their infant life, it may not have been so personally traumatic for me.

Third, no one told me that even though nursing is the most natural thing you can do for your baby, it does not come naturally. And it hurts, very badly. Actually, someone did tell me this but I thought, hey I birthed a baby, this is going to be a breeze! I'm really, really glad that I stuck it out but it took weekly pep talks from a lactation consultant and sweet emails/calls/texts from encouraging friends in the same boat. But, it's not for everyone.

Fourth, no one told me my body wouldn't just bounce back. I figured I would be emotional and have to deal with some hormones, but weight? Didn't think it'd be a problem. I gained about 30 pounds with Baisden, right in line with what the doctor had recommended for me. I guess I just assumed it would all fall off on its own. But, it takes work. Like, you actually have to step up the pace and workout. And even then, things aren't completely put back in the right place. Ugh!

Anyway, I am sure there are some things I've already forgotten...I guess it's nature's way of prepping us for the road ahead.

Despite all of these tricky obstacles, parenthood is the most wonderful gift. There is something mesmerizing about watching them learn to do new things, however small and insignificant those things may seem. I've never really been a baby person (you know, one of those people that sees a baby and HAS to hold it), but my baby is, of course, just different. I could stare at her all day...watching those wheels in that tiny little head churn and churn. Observing and absorbing. But I like to be real, and parenthood is quite the adjustment. My mom always told me that being a parent is the hardest yet most rewarding job you will ever have...that truly couldn't be more spot on!