Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween in the Mountains

This past weekend, we loaded up the car and headed to visit my parents in Brevard, NC. Actually, I was packed into the back seat of the car, as we were traveling with lots of stuff, the baby and the two dogs. Funny that my enormous SUV doesn't feel so enormous anymore. I think we are going to have to invest in a car top carrier rig. Here come the Clampett's!

One plus to waking up prior to 6AM is catching the sunrise at my parent's house. Absolutely breathtaking. There sure is something special about going home. I just feel like I can relax, take a deep breath, enjoy the scenery and count on my mom for baby help and amazing food. I can check out of the hustle bustle of the city for a few minutes and boy is it refreshing!

On Saturday, we went into town (isn't that a hilarious saying? I never thought about it until I lived in town) for Brevard's Halloween Festival. It was chilly but beautiful. There was a stage of bluegrass music and Baisden was enamored. I don't know the name of this group below, but their practice session was so fun to listen to. The kids in this band are so talented.

We decided to dress Baisden as an Ole Miss cheerleader for the festival. It's not her "real" Halloween costume but it is very cute and kept her warm. We borrowed this (and a Carolina one) from a friend with twin girls. Can't wait to dress her up for a Carolina game!

She's a natural. I think Josh hopes that this is as close to cheer-leading as she gets :)

Before we left on Sunday, we hopped in the mule and drove through some property that neighbors my parent's. Sunday was glorious weather.

Since B loves the cow so much in her Animals bath book, we thought we would introduce her to some real cows. She wasn't too impressed. It does take a lot to impress this one.

Daddy's tosses can always muster a smile out of our serious girl.

Papa B navigated the mule with Josh in the front and Mom, B and I in the back. She loved it and I can almost hear her little voice yelling, "Faster, faster!"

Clapping is our thing so we had to get some of that in. We clap for lots of things these days!

We had a great time in the mountains and hope we can time a future visit with some snow!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

9 Months

We celebrate 9 months with Miss B today! Despite everyone's warnings, I don't think you fully realize how quickly time passes as a parent until you are right there in the smack dab middle of it. There are many days where I wish we could freeze time right in that very moment, bottle up all of the joy we have in our life and pull it out whenever we want. 

This was an interesting photo shoot to say the least. The girl is all over the map. We definitely had to revise our strategy of using the rocking chair based on the below.

And a couple more because I can't stop.

Baisden is her own little person. If I ever doubted that they came here with "it," I don't now. Although she is not the happy-go-lucky baby that so many people seem to have, she is an absolute delight. She is full of zest and energy, ready to move, move and move some more. 

She's a little piglet. Don't mess with the girl's food. As much as she loves food, she does not enjoy sitting still for it. She needs a toy or an extra spoon in her hands at all times in order to focus on eating. But when she eats, she eats. Black beans are a favorite these days. She is taking milk 4 times a day and eating solids 3 times a day. We've recently had to discontinue use of the high chair because she does her best to escape...she will turn around, stand up and look over her shoulder with a smirk. 

 With Maria (the woman who keeps us halfway sane!)
On that note, she is mobile. She is crawling all over the place (usually directly to Oliver's water bowl) and she must pull up, sit down, pull up, turn around and do it all over again one thousand times a day. The energy seems to be endless; Mama and Daddy desperately wish we had a small portion of this! She has stood several times alone, but only for a couple of seconds before toppling over. She will take a couple of steps while holding onto our hands.

She is clapping on demand, and we just cannot get enough. She holds her left hand still and moves her right hand. She must think we are weirdly obsessed with clapping as we ask her to do it quite frequently.

She is also shaking her head "no"...I'm sure that cuteness will fade soon but for the moment, it is absolutely adorable. She is a thumb sucker and rarely uses a paci anymore. The left thumb is preferable. She has two teeth and has done some biting but it seems to be curbed for now.

Whenever Buster and Oliver are around, she squeals. These high pitched noises usually frighten Oliver and excite Buster. Oliver has gotten mobbed on a couple of occasions and I think he's learning to keep a healthy distance from the crawling, unpredictable monster. Buster could not be any sweeter to this baby. We think he is watching us to make sure we are doing everything to his standards.

Grunting/growling is also common (no, not the dogs...Baisden). It sounds kind of like Darth Vader. I don't think there is any reason for it, other than the fact that she has discovered she can make the noise.

We've really been enjoying getting outside in the cooler weather. Baisden recently got a Radio Flyer tricycle and she is still trying to decide if she likes it. I love how she holds the handlebar. Something about that just cracks me up.

She isn't sleeping very well at the moment. It's not as bad as it was last month, but lately, she has decided that 5AM is her hour. This makes getting ready to go to work VERY challenging, I must say. I keep reading things about developmental milestones and that babies' sleeping patterns are interrupted when they are learning new things, so maybe this is what we are up against. It does suck (pardon my French) starting the day exhausted, but this too shall pass. And I'll miss it when it's gone. Or maybe I won't...

Lately, I've read some really good articles that have made me think more about life and what I want out of it for my family. There is nothing like being a parent to clarify what's important and what's just not. The trick of it (at least for me) is trying to get back to the basics in a world that is not at all basic. Two of my favorite posting in the New York Times called The Busy Trap. I also loved Ashlee Culverhouse's post about shelling peas. Such great reminders to live in the moment and be present.

With her helpful cousin, Parker!
Safety update...I still haven't seen a speed detector installed on my street, but the good news is that I recently learned that the city of Brookhaven does now have a budget to conduct speed studies and that ours is imminent. I'm so glad that all of our neighbors' efforts have not be in vain! You can read about the irresponsible speeders I've been harrassing here and here.

Baisden, you have made the last 9 months full of love, fun and adventure! It's an honor to be your mama.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Our First Pumpkin Patch

This weekend, we ventured to Burt's Farm in Dawsonville to, no, not buy pumpkins, but take pictures of our pumpkin with pumpkins. As soon as we pulled up, Josh had my plan all figured out. Ohhh...we just came to take pictures, didn't we? Yes, of course we did! I don't need to drive all the way to Dawsonville to buy pumpkins :) 

When we first pulled in to park, we thought we had stepped into a nightmare. We looked at each other and said out loud, "Oh no - this is awful!" There were so. many. people. I realize I live in Atlanta and all, but I grew up on a mountain...and sometimes I hold onto that mentality and grow frustrated with crowds. It was jam packed, but it really wasn't all that bad. And B just loved it!

We are very serious about this pumpkin patch.

First, we had to squeal at the enormous pumpkins...


And then kiss (or bite) them...

Next, we must pat them like drums...

And finally we'll be ready to pose for the camera.

She was very excited about them and wanted me to feel equally stoked.

And Daddy, you must be psyched too.

She was so excited she could hardly stand it.

Then we gently patted the pumpkin goodbye and headed back to the city.

Until next year!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Best Time of Year

It's fall, the best time of year ever! I'd rather decorate my house for fall than for any other season, even Christmas. There is just something about the crisp air, mums, pumpkins, and OK, I give

This year, I decided to keep my front porch simple but colorful. Luckily, my mom shared her GORGEOUS and enormous ferns from the beautiful Evans-Pittel wedding on Rich Mountain (coming in a future post). Josh may kill me but these babies are going in the basement for the winter. I'm not letting them go. The wreath is Pottery Barn, several seasons ago. The mums came from Whole Foods...I used some burlap to hide the plastic pots. I get these mums every fall, and they last a while. Just keep them watered...water from underneath because the blooms don't like to get wet! (They will brown.) The pumpkins are from Lucy's MUST, I repeat MUST, go in there and take a peek. The store looks incredibly beautiful and fall-like. 

This is a pretty cute little pumpkin too...she's not for sale! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stairway Gallery Wall

This stairway gallery wall has been on the house to-do list for a while now. I was just patiently awaiting the perfect pieces to make it all come together. And getting up the nerve to punch holes in the wall. I hate doing that.

I only had one disaster (and a mild panic attack) while hanging the pictures. What you can't see behind Buster's picture are several large gouges in the drywall. It was the first picture I hung, and like a moron, I didn't test for a stud before screwing in the anchor. Wouldn't you know that it was right on a stud and the anchor wouldn't budge. So, everything had to shift a tad. After that rookie mistake, I  trudged forward and now, I am ready to hang anything! Sans stud finder.

I used a combination of framed art, framed photographs (nevermind the sideways cross), mirrors and canvases. The frames and mirrors are from Target and Hobby Lobby. The wedding canvas was something I ordered right after we got our wedding pictures (by Rachel Barker), and the canvases of Baisden (newborn by Melissa Tuck and 6 month by Ashlee Culverhouse) were done by my friend Amelia at MyPix2. She is AMAZING! MyPix2 offers canvases as well as prints in a variety of sizes and on any kind of paper you can imagine. Check out their new web site and you may just see a familiar face :) Also, in celebration of the new site, they are offering 40% off through October 27th with the code MYPIX240. Really cool because they are donating 5% of the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Eastern North Carolina. Canvases are a great way to make a huge impact on a wall, and they are sort of all-in-one since no frame is necessary. I'm partial to black and white.

And my fur babies! The above sketches are, of course, from Via&Co. They make me smile.

The easiest way to go about organizing a gallery wall is to get a roll of brown paper (or cheap wrapping paper), trace your artwork, cut out the shapes and play around. This wall was pretty challenging for me...I tend to think more in grids, not random patterns so I had to start this project, walk away and return a couple of times.

First I played with the layout on the floor. This was the longest part of the process. After tracing the pieces and cutting them out, I taped them on the wall. So glad I did this because I really had to adjust the rise of the stairs are fairly steep and I wanted the gallery to mimic that. 

Then I started hammering away...or jacking up the wall a little!

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Powder Room

Remember the owl sketches I posted about here? These precious owls are now matted, framed and hung in our downstairs bathroom. I think they work perfectly!

These are going to be available soon on my mom's Etsy shop!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

8 Months

And another month has passed (I'm a little late on this one due to my camera being in the shop)! This wild child is 8 months old. Baisden is such bright light in our lives...she is spunky, high energy, opinionated, loving, determined, focused, intense and, of course, precious.

Very difficult to get a photograph this month, as she is on the move.

B eats like it's her job. We've introduced eggs, chicken and ground beef this month. She will pretty much eat it all and only gets frustrated if I try to take the spoon out of her kung-fu grip. The spoon holding desire is a challenge because she thinks she can feed herself, but clearly the coordination to get the food on the spoon is not there yet. We actually played tug-of-war over the spoon the other day. We've started doing more chunks and have had minimal gagging, thank goodness. Yo-baby yogurt (especially banana and blueberry) is a home run. Her milk intake is a bit down, but I think this is exactly what's supposed to happen as she fills her tummy with more food. Teething affects this as well.

We have graduated from the baby bath to the regular tub for bath time. We have a happy camper. She can play so much more effectively now that she isn't in the baby tub. I considered buying a bath chair but the one I liked was $75 and that seemed like a waste for something she would only use for a couple of months. Using the big bath is a little nerve racking since I've got a climbing monkey on my hands.

We often get into giggle matches. We laugh, B laughs, we chuckle, she reciprocates. We say she's silly, she squeals, we laugh harder, and so does she. It'll make a heart melt.

Baby Genius nursery rhymes are a staple in our household these days. Particularly Baby Boost Nursery Rhyme #25. Unfortunately, it is only 10 minutes long. I actually caught myself singing John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt the other morning in the shower. She likes the songs in this specific show, with the exception of "Sleep Baby Sleep." It shows little kids putting their baby dolls to bed and without fail, Baisden cries every time it comes on, forcing me to fast forward through the 30 second segment. She actually starts fussing at the end of "A Tisket A Tasket" because it comes right before the dreaded "Sleep Baby Sleep" to make sure I have my finger on the remote.

We've wrestled with nighttime sleep this month. Big time. About every other night she fusses on and off for as long as we will let her. Teething started the interrupted nights. And then getting some time with mama in the wee hours turned into a routine so we are working on breaking it.

I've now learned to change a diaper frontwards, sideways and backwards. As soon as I get this child down to change her diaper, she flips from back to front, bottom straight up in the air. She grabs the side of the changing table with an unbelievable grip. I cannot believe an 18-ish pound thing can be so forceful!

She isn't crawling yet, but has no problem getting where she wants to go. She rolls over and over, sits up, then back on the tummy before returning to all fours. She will lay with her belly on the ground and push with one leg, pull with the opposite elbow. She is pulling up on things left and right. She is mostly successful and is so proud when she can get onto those feet. I wonder if she won't just be a furniture cruiser.

I finally spy a tiny, sharp tooth. Her front right one was barely visible underneath those puffy gums one day and the next, it had broken through. She bit my shoulder the other day!

We've taken up swinging in the back yard...this is such a nice activity when we need to buy a little time during those witching hours. Hotty Toddy.

By far the most thrilling development this month has been clear eyes! I am 95% certain the blocked tear ducts are no longer. Several days after our traumatic visit to the eye doctor, I noticed her right eye seemed much less weepy and cruddy. Baisden actually bruised from the force of the massage the doctor performed. So, much to my displeasure, I started mashing the heck out of the other eye. Poor baby. This was not an enjoyable time of day for either of us. Ultimately, I had been instructed to do the massaging incorrectly. Both the pediatrician and countless YouTube videos I watched lead me in the wrong direction. Once the ophthalmologist explained the anatomy of the eye, and that the clog is usually closer to the base of the nose, it all started making more sense. I had only been massaging in the very corner of the eye. Not down along the nasal bone, forcing pressure down to hopefully pop that blockage right out. Well, after a couple weeks of working on that left eye, it seemed to produce less and less gunk and today, I can say with quite a bit of confidence that I'm pretty sure we knocked it out!

Mama bear is still alive and well. Just patiently impatiently awaiting word from the city of Brookhaven on when they will conduct a speed study on our street. You can read about my speeding rant here. With the help of other neighbors, we got the signatures needed to qualify for the study. Of course, I was held to a deadline to turn in the paperwork and they offer none in return due to lack of funding. Of. Course. So, until then, you can find me perfecting my evil eye while yelling at speeders to slow the heck down. Anyway...

Baisden's spirit makes us smile from the inside out. Happy 8 months, big girl!