Feb 27, 2012

New niece!

This weekend we took a very quick trip up to Asheville. It's only a 3-hour drive, so I have NO idea why we don't go more often. The mountains to me are home. I didn't grow up there. But I did go to college there, met Kevin there, and spent 4 very important years of my life there. And now it's home. When I go back I breathe in deep and it makes me feel at ease. When I graduated from college, my first interview was here near Charlotte, and I got offered the job and took it without researching the area. I wish, wish, wish I had searched harder to find a job back "home". I only hope that someday (sooner rather than later) the stars will align so that my little family can relocate. For now, though, quick trips are what holds me over.

BUT! The reason for this weekend's trip was my sister-in-law's new baby girl! Alice Grace was born February 2nd, and we waited a few weeks to give them time to settle in to life with a new baby. It's their first, and Adelaide's 3rd cousin, but the only other girl. They are only 13 months apart, so I can't wait to see what life brings them.




It already seems Adelaide and Alice have a deep connection. Obviously Adelaide barely paid mind to the little baby during our visit, but they both seem to share the same temperament and gas problems (sorry Meaghann and Paul!). And Alice, apparently, is a derivitive of the name Adelaide... something they did not know until after they came home from the hospital.



I got to hold Alice for a few minutes, and oh! I forgot how tiny newborns are (and she wasn't a tiny newborn at all! 9 1/2 pounds!) She smelled like milk and her hair was so silky smooth and she was just a lump in my arms. I loved it (and missed it).

Even though they were the ones with a newborn, Meag and Paul played perfect hosts: serving us delicious kale/quinoa soup that even Adelaide loved, delicious oven-warmed bread, and not allowing me to clean anything other than sweeping their floors. How amazing are they? I love those people. Family. They fill my soul with warmth. I feel so connected to them, and wish we lived closer... I want many playdates in our futures!



Anyhow, we were back home at an amazing 9:45 Sunday morning. I felt so accomplished yesterday! A 3-hour drive under our belt, grocery shopping before we even got home, all the laundry got done, kitchen stayed clean (!), playing out on the deck, and I even got to snuggle with Kevin during a movie after Adelaide went to bed (Contagion - not really a snuggle movie, but worked fine for us!).

Here's hoping for more amazing weekends to come. Full of family, love, babies, warm weather, and good food.

Feb 20, 2012

Watching the world.

Watching the geese at Freedom Park

Sometimes I watch Adelaide watching the world and I wonder what it's like to see everything for the first time. I know everyone has this experience growing up, but somewhere along the way we forget to look with fresh eyes at the world around us. Things become so mundane and normal and we don't notice the small wonders among the hustle and bustle of daily life.


Until you have a kid. Then geese are so cool. These quacking floating things in the water. And then all of a sudden they open their wings and can you imagine the amazement Adelaide must feel when she's been studying these creatures and suddenly they're so different looking?


She watched them so intently. And I had to get down on her level to see with her eyes the world around her. The park was so full of people due to the wonderful 65-degree weather. Lots of people with their kids and babies and dogs. "Dah! Dah!" Lots of pointing and staring at the dogs. There was even a HUGE great dane that towered over her as he passed. Kids throwing crackers at the geese and she just stared at them snapping up the treats.


We ran into friends, Kevin drummed a little (a lot), she danced, and we played in the cool/warm weather. It was such an invigorating stretch of time. I was reluctant to go at first because this park is a good half-hour from home and it was nearing naptime. But Adelaide slept in the car the way there and then another half-hour while I caught up on some reading. So it ended up being a refreshing day out with my little family.

I should grab those opportunities when I can!

Feb 16, 2012

Our Valentine's Day (cute lunches, and baby valentine art!)

Last year: this and this.

Happy belated Valentine's Day. What a difference a year makes. Last year I was home with a sweet little babe and got to do something super crafty and call it a day. This year, I had to fit in the craftiness (which I did, of course!) and cute Valentine's stuff among the usual day-to-day work, work prep, cleaning, and crazy-baby.

Firstly, here's what I whipped up for Adelaide for her big Valentine's day lunch. I'm so super inspired by this blog, but I have to wait until little miss is older for her to be able to appreciate the time and effort and inspiration it would take to make lunches like that for her. But cutting a slice of whole wheat bread (she's never had white) into hearts? Sure! Quartering some on-hand red grapes? Yep! And throwing in mashed potatoes even though they in no way tie into Valentine's Day because I knew that's the one thing of the whole lunch she'd probably eat? Definitely!


And last week, her teacher asked if I wanted to take part in a Valentine's exchange. I said sure! An excuse to help Adelaide create her first batch of sweet love notes? Yes, please! Again, this is something I can't wait until she's older for, because I have SO many ideas of adorable handmade valentines to do with her (thank you, Pinterest!).

Since Adelaide loves finger painting, it was a natural decision to use that skill to paint some V-day hearts. I cut some little hearts from white paper, and gave her a lid of red paint and a lid of blue paint. It was AMAZING to watch her. Before, and even just her last session which was about 6 weeks ago, she'd just smear her hands around and think it was pretty cool to make a smudgy mess. NOW, she actually PICKED UP the paint and PLACED IT ON THE PAPER. It was so cool. Of course, my art teacher side swelled with pride!





After they dried, I glued them to corresponding sheets of construction paper, used funky scissors to cut a border, and wrote a special note on the back. I made sure to give her two teachers the cutest hearts (well, after I claimed a couple (a few?) for myself and her scrapbook!).





Tada! I thought they were super cute. I was able to make 10 of them (after they dried) while watching the Bachelor this week. Well, those, and 14 little hearts in which I wrote 14 things I loved about the hubs. On Valentine's morning, while he was in the bathroom, Adelaide and I ran around the house and hid them in various places. He loved finding them all around the house! And I got some special-made hair sticks that he turned on his lathe, and a foot rub!

It was a pretty awesome Valentine's Day. I could have done without the full day of work, but it was great nonetheless!

Feb 13, 2012

Three Things.

Life is crazy. Crrraazzzyyy. I have so many things to catch up on, but I'm choosing only 5 to gab on about. In no particular order:

1. Despite my "resolution" to stop eating so much junk food, my addiction to M&Ms, Sprite, and chips got a bit out of control the first month or so of the year. SO. Kevin and I have decided to challenge ourselves, TOGETHER (which is a big deal, makes it so much easier to be held accountable, you know?) to be junk food FREE for at least the next 2 weeks to detox our bodies of all the sugar and hopefully begin to retrain our tastebuds to turn towards the healthy stuff more than the junk.

Yesterday was our first day, and we did good! I made some homemade ranch for our baby carrots (never buying the bottled stuff again!), a nice healthy dinner, and lots of water! Felt good to be on track again for the first time in a long time. The trick now is keeping junk-free during work. That's my weakness - the vending machine candy and Sprites. Being sleepy means craving the sweets.

2. Adelaide has been SICK! It sucks, too. She's had a cough for the better part of a week. Wednesday and Thursday nights were the worst of it. She'll wake up coughing in the middle of the night and often start crying because it upsets her so. :( It makes this mama sad. And sleepy. We debated taking her to the doctor, but decided against it because there's nothing they could really do anyway unless she had a fever. Which she didn't/doesn't. That would indicate an infection, and they'd then give antibiotics. But no fever means no doctor for us for this issue. So lots of homeopathic "Vapor-Rub" on the chest and feet, lots of fluids, and lots of steam treatments. Turn the shower on as hot as it can get, plop the girl on the bathroom counter (heat/steam rises) and play with mama's jewelry box. :) She's getting better, thank goodness! More steam treatments tonight.

3. My sister in law had a precious baby girl! Alice Grace came on February 2nd, and she's just over 13 months younger than Adelaide. I can't wait to have them grow up together. I can see them playing in the woods, digging in the dirt, searching for fairies and sharing secrets. Or maybe I'm totally wrong. Maybe they'll be in tutus with play makeup, creating cheers and listening to their version of Selena Gomez. I'm really hoping for the first setup, though I know they are who they are, already. I'll love them however they turn out!

So that's it for now. More later, I hope, as long as little miss can get to feeling better and quit throwing tantrums and wearing this mama out. Oh, I didn't mention the tantrums? Yeah, that's a whole boatload of FUN.