Thursday, October 27

His Fourth Month {With Video}

Its time. I can't believe it has taken me this long to get a video of Jude up on the blog but I just reserected the Flip Video from the move and had George charge it up at work. I love the Flip Video but it isn't too compatable with my Mac. Oh well. On to the good stuff.


Jude is almost four months old, where has the time gone? Yes, I am posting this five days early but I typically post his monthly updates a few days late so I thought I would change it up a bit. Plus the World Series is on so I am bored out of my mind.


This month Jude has really come into his own, showing his sweet personality more and more. I'm not bragging, but this boy loves his Momma. The girls were really into me too while I was nursing them, but the way Jude looks at me is like something I've never quite experienced. It is precious. It is love and I feel the bond forming. Momma's boy for sure.


He is starting to notice his sisters more and more and follows them while they are performing their antics. The boy has constant entertainment.


Jude is trying his best to sit up and launches himself forward when sitting on our laps, keeping us on our toes. He still despises his car seat and eats more than I think possible at times. After finishing a "meal" he will chill out and then start rooting around again or begin to fuss. I always try a few tricks but usually just give him what he wants which is more milk. And he will consume another entire "meal". He eats. A lot. Such a growing boy.


I am running on a few hours of broken sleep lately. Poor guy caught his sisters' runny noses. It always seems to linger a little longer with him. Seeing a baby with a runny nose is so sad since they are predominant nose breathers and frustration is the result when they can't accomplish this. So he has been waking up a lot at night when he can't breath. I am just trying to hang in there until sleep returns, I know this will pass soon.


So without further ado, here is our little buddy, our stud muffin, the baby bruder, our most precious boy. But brace yourself because there is a whole lot of cuteness going on here.

Wednesday, October 26

Roses are Real

It's an odd thing moving into a space someone else has occupied. It is easy to inherit the most unintentional things, a cat's hair from deep in the shag(adelic) carpet, another's esthetic and scratches in the wood floor, or someone else's hair in the clogged drain (any volunteers to come fix that problem, I mean, I just can't). Yet somehow we made it all our own by just walking through the front door. 


At times, things are passed along you didn't even know you needed until you see them each morning at breakfast, and watch your girls lean on the window sill and gaze at them as the sun is setting through the glass each evening.  
I now cannot imagine my life without these flowers growing and showing off just outside the window. I wonder how they have managed to survived on their own for this long? Actually, they have thrived. So I guess that is what I will continue to do, leave them alone and let them do their thing, naturally, because they are really out doing themselves.
Though George isn't exactly the flower giving type (they just die is his philosophy, and I totally agree) he has now given me all the roses I could ever want, though I was never aware that I ever desired such a thing. Because we both know what I really dream of is a mango tree and bananas growing in my backyard for the pickin'. 
 But these little beauties will do the trick for now. Thanks babe!

Friday, October 21

Spooked

Since we now live in a neighborhood, I knew it was bound to happen. I guess I just didn't expect it so soon. So there we were Wednesday evening enjoying a nice family dinner when we heard the door, "Ding dong!"


George and I looked at each other curiously, wondering which of our three friends in Louisiana could be ringing our door bell this hour? George went answered the door but to his surprise, no one was there. He did catch a glimpse of a little girl running off in the distance though.


Great, they already don't like us is all I could think.


But when George looked down, he found a huge pumpkin full of Halloween goodies. He brought it in and set it on the table. We were all curious, especially Nyah. We dug through the bucket, found many treats, including candy (so obviously dinner was completely o-ver), but we also found a note and here is what it said:



***

You are the special friend we choose!

This trick or treat is just for you! Do you know who its from?

So by tomorrow, pick three friends and give them all a Halloween treat. You only have one day so hurry and leave the treat in a furry.

These are the things you need to do:

1. Make three copies of this letter and copy of the Phantom Ghost for each (a separate paper with a ghost drawn on).

2. Post the Phantom Ghost on your door until Halloween to ward off the Phantom Ghost from returning to haunt you and yours.

3. Take the letter, Phantom Ghost and treats and deliver them to three homes that do not have a Phantom Ghost posted on their door.

You have been SPOOKED! Guess who? 

***

So we got spooked. I'm not sure if this is typical neighborhood behavior because I haven't really dwelled in one in quite sometime but I think like it. What a great way to get into the holiday spirit, especially when kids are in the house. And as George and I found out last year, it is really a lot fun to just go ahead and join in your children's enthusiasm for the holidays. 


So what did we do last evening? Passed it on, of course. 
Just after dark, we got on our darkest clothes (only kidding), put some treats together and went out to spook some neighbors. Because I really can't think of better way to get to know the neighbors than the mature way, by ringing their door bells and running.
You might say we took our spooking duties pretty serious and sent our fastest girl to ring and run. Ny was pumped, and she did us proud. We didn't get caught once and had a lot of fun in the process.
The little buddy even participated, though he might have been the most spooked of all.
Do you and your want to get your spook on? Just click on the link below to download the easy to print instructions. Happy spooking!

Wednesday, October 19

Best Toy Ever

You know I am referring to a box, of course. 
She was on it before we could even remove the contents. And the moment the goods came out, she claimed it, moved it, and in true Elsa style, wanted to sit in it all alone, in silence with the lid closed, and for me to leave her the heck alone. I guess she's mediating or something. 


And this is me invading her privacy with my obnoxious camera. She can't escape. Sorry, Elsie.
It may look like she's smiling but that only because she has just yelled, "GO!" to me.
Boxes are such kid magnets, every time, without fail. So why do we even go there with other toys made of plastic and such (I am asking myself this very moment). 


Needless to say, I can't get her to come out. So if anyone needs Elsa, you know where to find her. In her box. But heed my warning- knock first.

Tuesday, October 18

A Science Experiment

If you ever want to get rid of tons of useless stuff in your life, just move. We don't even have much stuff but I can't tell how many trips to the Women's Coalition (of St. Croix) and Goodwill (of Indiana) I made in the process of our move. But the other great thing about moving is finding great old stuff that you haven't seen in a while. 


For me, this came in the form of some old silver jewelry. Nothing of any monetary value but worth everything to my heart. Gifts and old stuff, some from my favorite jewelry stores of all time, IB Design, Crucian Gold and I can't forget Nyah's first Cruzan hook bracelet from Sonya's. St. Croix really has some great jewelry stores. Check them out if you're in the market.


So I found all this old jewelry that hasn't been worn in ages and it was lifelessly dingy, some tarnished beyond recognition. I recently read about eco friendly silver cleaning technique on Lil Blue Boo (click here for tutorial). It looked easy enough so I decided to give it a try. 
And let me just add that I have payed my dues in the silver cleaning department. Many days of my youth were spent polishing silver with Nan with the stuff from the blue bottle, rags, and some elbow grease. And I of course loved every minute.
But this is a much easier way and if you haven't clicked on tutorial link above, I will give you the run down on the quick silver cleaning technique.


I started by lining a pan with aluminum foil. I added two cups of water and one tablespoon of baking soda (my ratio was off but it worked anyway) and turned up the heat. Oh yeah.
I stirred the baking soda until it dissolved. 


Once the concoction started to lightly bubble, I added the jewels one batch at a time and let them sit for about two minutes. The tarnish disappearing almost immediately as the chemical reaction did its thing. Immediate gratification is my friend.
I then grabbed the tongs and pulled the hot little guys out and admired the shininess. I did have to polish up a few of the pieces that had more textured surfaces but the tarnish came right off. 
So there you have it, two minutes to shiny silver.


Will I try this with the family silver? Highly doubtful. I think I will stick to the old fashion way. Plus, Nyah will totally be into it and she needs to be initiated.

Monday, October 17

A Dad Hair Do

It's their new nightly ritual. After getting pajamas on, George takes whatever contraption I have put in her hair out, runs his fingers through her hair and gives it a good shake. 
She loves it and giggles the entire time and by the end, her contagious presence usually draws the whole family in to join in the laughter... 
...and to check out the new awesome hair do.
After more of the nightly ritual, she finally lays her head down in her own room and in her own toddler bed with the comfort of her blankly and proceeds to sleep the night away. Alone. 

And I often find myself shaking my head because I just can't believe how old, independent and wildly awesome this little girls is. Everyone should be so lucky to have a little Elsa in their lives, to make their days (and nights) a little brighter.

Friday, October 14

The Neighbor(hood)

So here's the thing about the neighbors. They are...well, incredible. And I think they have personally taken it upon themselves to become our best friends and make us feel as welcome as possible in our new home of Louisiana. And for that, we are beyond thankful. 


I am not sure what we are used to or what we expected but the welcome and they way they have included us in everything is pretty awesome. We have always been close with our neighbors, or fellow condo livers, but those relationships grew over time. These southerners, well they were in our driveway, introducing themselves and welcoming us to the neighborhood during our first visit to the house, inviting us over, feeding us, and even mowed our lawn while we were away because we didn't have a lawn mower yet. 


And get this, they are even teaching our children manners. Yeah. Greatest neighbors ever. One of the men in particle won't let Nyah answer him without a, "Yes, Sir, " thrown in there and I am not even kidding. He didn't even ask George or I if this okay, he just corrects her repeatedly until she answers him properly. The look on her face is hilarious when the two of them go through this battle, and the sarcasm in her voice when she answers him, well, we have to work on that. 


I was warned by a friend (thanks Ali) about this sir and ma'am thing prior to arriving down south, but woah. George and I have discussed it and we are like, hey, if someone wants to teach our children manners, have at it. We personally don't feel the need to be addressed by sir or ma'am by our children, Mom and Dad work for us, but whatev, gotta make an effort to blend in. 


So I guess you could say we are loving the southern hospitality and neighborhood living, and we are doing our best to get used to the southern ways and fit in. And my favorite part of living in a neighborhood (besides the people, bike rides, walks, and school buses)? The quiet knock we heard on the door early Sunday morning to see if Nyah and Elsa could come out and play. 
I think we are going to be okay here.

Thursday, October 13

The Company You Keep

The game has changed. The dynamics have been jumbled, once again, and this is what I have been left with. 
We are adapting to life minus one and the whole new order and routine it brings to each of our lives. All day, everyday of the week its just the three of us eating together, playing together, cleaning together, sleeping and just hanging out. Together. 
I am thankful for the frequent mix up in structure of our lives because it allows me to get to know each of these little bundles of energy, curiosity and pure love even better, as individuals. Because they are as different with each other as they are without each other but equally perfect in every way.
Someday soon Elsa will venture from the nest, followed by Jude. Though my mind can hardly go there it really doesn't have to because I am learning that life is constantly changing and everything and everyone is evolving and everything will work perfectly when the time comes. Routines are really only that for a short moment. 
So for now, right here, in this moment in our lives I am going to enjoy every minute of these lovable siblings and kiss them and snuggle them and accomplish absolutely nothing but the important job they have of growing. And in that, we will have accomplished everything. 

Tuesday, October 11

Heirloom Art

My grandmother (Nan), is quite possible the best grandmother ever. I am not just saying that because I know she is reading, it is the honest truth. I am sure I have mentioned her on here before because she was slaving away and helping me with the kids and life every single day during our summer in Indiana. She has done everything for me in life, completely selflessly and with a smile. I am so glad my children get to have her in their lives because she is the bomb dig and definitely one of my favorite people. 


When I George and I got married, our gift from both of my grandmothers were family heirlooms. The perfect gift. Nan specifically wanted to give us her mother's (Nana) fine china. And as you might guess, we own absolutely nothing of that nature so I was pretty excited because I am a definite fan of the old. But being that we lived an ocean away, I wasn't really up for having the precious heirloom sent to us. So it sat in her cabinets until recently when we moved back to the continental United States.  


Right before we left for the great state of Louisiana, Nan invited me over and showed me the beautiful china and gave me a ton of kitchen supplies, which I know she could still use, but she gave to me anyway because she is just that kind. And among these items was a little tea towel that my great grandmother once used. I immediately fell in love and I knew I had to find a way to use it in my house. 


So, I decided to frame it up and hang it in my laundry room, which I am determined to make the happiest room in the house. And so far, each time I walk in, the tea towel puts a smile on my face just thinking of those hands which came before me that once touched it.


It was so easy to do. I simply cut a piece of card stock to fit an old frame I had. 
 Ironed the tea towel.
Then stretched it across a piece of card stock using staples. 


Finally, I backed it with white paper and whala, instant heirloom art.
And if you haven't yet notice, let me just fill you in. All of the walls in our house are the same color, which just happen to match the outside of our house too. I think I might actually like the color, in moderation, but I am not quite sure because I have never had the option. And yes, those are paper blinds. I'm working on it.

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