Monday, December 17, 2012

Make Something Monday: Christmas Canvas

I have all my Christmas decorations up except for the stockings. I have to whip out some adorable, homemade stockings for the whole fam in the next couple of days. You know, no big deal.

I did finish one of my Christmas projects, though. And since I hung them up today, and today just happens to be Monday, I thought it was a great time to revisit Make Something Monday!

This is a really easy project. I made a canvas for my SIL last year for Christmas, so I knew basically what I was doing. Last time I painted the canvas and then cut letters out of contact paper and painted over the whole thing a different color. The top color bled some and I ended up having to fix all the edges with a tiny paintbrush. There is a similar project floating around on pinterest that suggests using vinyl letters from a kit for science projects, etc. Doing the letters took forever last time, so I picked up a pack of the vinyl letters to try. The letters on the pinterest project bled too, which just bugs me, so I knew I needed to come up with a way to prevent that.

When I painted the stripe on the wall in Graham's room I painted over the tape with my base wall color first. That way anything that would bleed through the tape edge would be the base wall color. After that dried, I painted the stripe and the edge was perfectly sharp! I knew that concept would work here too. I painted the whole canvas white, taped off my star and stuck on my letters, painted over all edges white again, then spray painted the whole canvas blue. When it dried, I peeled off the tape/letters and voila!

They turned out just as I had hoped. That doesn't always happen.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

One Year Ago Today

Exactly one year ago today the G-man started walking! Since I'm feeling nostalgic this morning, I'm going to link back to my post on November 8, 2011. Enjoy!

Graham starts walking (or dribbling, actually).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mud on Your Face


Graham: What on your chin, Daddy? It's brown. It's mud.
Adam: Where?
G: (Feeling Adam's chin) It's mud on face.
A: (Realizing G-man is talking about his unshaved face) Where?
G: It's mud, Daddy.
G: Wash. Wash.
A: (Washing his face) Is that better?
G: I want mud on face.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


**Disclaimer: There are no pictures in this post. If anyone reads the whole thing, I'll be surprised, but it's mostly for me to remember by so it doesn't matter if anyone else reads it.**

Graham is really chatty.

Surprise, surprise.

I'm sure no one thought Adam and I would have a kid who likes to talk.

The more he talks, the more he says weird and funny things. I don't want to forget them, so I better write them down.

Lately, he uses the word "hard" a lot. One night he ran in circles from the kitchen to the living room to the dining room for quite a while. I was feeding the baby on the couch and Adam wasn't home, so he was just running and running all by himself. After several minutes, he paused and said, "Mommy, I chasing HARD!" I don't know if he was doing the chasing or if he was being chased but either way he was doing it hard.

He's really into Thomas the Tank Engine right now. Really into it. We talk about the different trains like they are real people. "Where Edward go?" "Gordon puff hard on tracks." "Percy hiding." In fact, we've been known to walk around the house calling their names when different trains are missing. It's like we think they might answer back. Graham has started singing the theme song at random times. I love it! It's so cute to hear his little voice sing, "They're two, they're four, they're six, they're eight..." I overheard G say, "James coming 'round the bend." Gotta love what kids learn from theme songs.

Yesterday I was nursing Adele on the couch and Graham was sitting next to me reading a story. (Actually, I was making up a story while flipping through the pages of a Thomas catalogue that Graham asks me to "read" at least once a day. I've started hiding the "Thomas book" because, let's be honest, there's only so many times you can "read" a catalogue.) Adele chose this as a good time to fill her diaper. Graham got a really concerned look on his face and said, "What happening in BeeDel's pants?" I cracked up. He didn't get it and asked the question again, "What happening in BeeDel's pants?" I told him she was pooping and he said, "She pooping hard."

He's really sweet with his sister. Multiple times a day he says, "I kiss BeeDel."

Graham asks to watch shows a lot. The kid loves TV. Most of the time I tell him no and he's started asking, "Why not watch (insert show)?" Then he smiles because he's just trying to wear me down. Sometimes he succeeds.

There was a time when G cried and cried when we left him in the church nursery. It was so bad that he would start sobbing as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. During this time I began talking about all the fun things about Sunday School. Now Graham loves going to church and looks forward to playing with certain toys and friends when he goes. Our church has a James train (James is the red engine) and now any time church is mentioned I hear, "I go (something that sort of resembles Sunday school) and play James."

More than once I've caught Graham repeating word for word an entire conversation Adam and I are having while we are having it. He's just quietly repeating our conversation to himself. Recently I caught him doing this to the waitress who was serving us at a restaurant. Weird kid.

In addition to Thomas, he also really likes Cars. He discovered a stuffed Lightening McQueen from Christmas two years ago that I had packed away in a trunk and was smitten at first sight. He calls it "Lightening Car." It's a pretty large stuffed car so sometimes Monkey rides on it, or a cup of milk, or even Thomas. It's super cute when he talks about "Tow Maner" who is Lightening Car's best friend. He has a duplo firetruck that has become "Tow Maner." And like the Thomas catalogue, we also "read" the Cars DVD case. Lightening Car races against Blue Car and Green Mustache Car (because I couldn't remember their names). How is that interesting?

Dancing is a favorite pastime at our house, especially in the last week. More than once I've overheard him say, "I want dance Daddy." I LOVE IT! His favorite dance to do--Gangam Style. Yes, he recognizes the song and does the dance surprisingly well. In fact, he's requested it a few times.

The kid loves rainbows. I bought a prism to hang in his window so the evening sun will make rainbows on his walls and ceiling. He calls them "name-o's." At first we thought he was referring to "Dingo was his name-o," which is a popular song at our house (yes, he says Dingo instead of Bingo--the Dingo got the baby!), but then we realized it was rainbow. A couple days ago we lay down on his floor to look at the rainbows on the ceiling and he said, "Name-o pretty, Mama." I died. Then I got sad because he's going to grow up and be a stinky teenager who will be too cool to comment on the beauty of rainbows on his ceiling while lying on the floor with his mom. (Oh gosh, now I'm tearing up. This mom stuff can be emotional.)

My picky eater is doing a little bit better. Now that he can communicate more, I can ask what he wants and this has led to much better eating at mealtime. He still won't eat veggies or casseroles or mac and cheese but he's more willing to let me put things on his plate. Usually if I ask him to try it, he responds with, "Bite it, Mom." I've tried telling him to bite things, but he just laughs and says, "No, no, no!"

A couple days ago we came home from the store and Adele was desperate to eat. It was beautiful day, but since I had to feed the baby, we couldn't play outside. Graham wouldn't be deterred and headed straight to the back yard. When I told him we had to come in right now he said, "I want shuck corn, Mama. I want shuck corn."

I decided Graham needed to experience finger painting. I was feeling guilty that I didn't do regular art  projects with him, so we tackled a canvas for Adele's room. I poured paint on a paper plate and told him to use his hands. Of course, he only used one hand and quickly concluded that finger painting was NOT for him. I kept urging him to try more, but he just stuck out his hand and begged me to "wipe." He's so much like his Dad when it comes to being messy.

Our summer was so hot that sometimes we went for walks at the mall just to get out of the house. As a result, our two year old son regularly asks, "I go mall?" Of course, he just wants to push buttons in the arcade and throw a penny in the fountain.

When he doesn't want to go to sleep he yells, "Wake up, Mama!" Then when you go into his room, he says, "I need medicine." Then he gets medicine in the form of a drink of water. Sometimes he points to the bird mobile hanging above the changing pad and says, "Anky bud." Can you guess what that means? Yep, Angry Birds. In addition to the angry birds, the light from the hallway shines onto the wall above the mobile in one spot. Apparently to a two year old boy it looks like fire. It took us weeks and weeks to figure out why he kept pointing and saying "fire."

My mom and I took the kids on a road trip to Iowa a few weeks ago. We stayed with my Aunt Ann and Uncle Denny. Graham immediately called Uncle Denny "Papa" and then "Papa Denny." It's adorable. If you ask him what Papa Denny does, he says, "Papa Denny watch the news."

G has just started asking "Can I go outside?" I love that his language is progressing so much, but I'm also a little sad that my boy is growing up so fast.

And last but not least, this afternoon he sat beside me on the couch, leaned over and said, "I yuh (love) you, Mama."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

To the Fair!

We ventured out in the cold this morning to check out the Tulsa State Fair. It was an adventure.

Here is a list of things that happened and things I learned at the fair:

1. Adele pretty much screamed for the whole first part. We were those people with the screaming baby. On the plus side, she still has that newborn-ish cry that isn't so loud. On the other hand, people get really nervous when a little baby is crying non-stop. They like to make comments. A knowing smile from someone who's been there is appreciated. A comment like, "You better stop pinching that baby," "I think someone's hungry," "Whoa, that baby's really crying," makes me want to hit the commenter in the face. I've been told to stop pinching my crying baby more than once. Who says that? And why? I know they're joking, but it's super annoying. Usually only older women make this comment and then hover around saying more annoying things. Once a lady said this to me and then asked to hold my crying infant. I wanted to yell at her, "Are you kidding me? I don't know you? Why in the world would I hand you my crying baby who you just accused me of pinching? Do you really think you could make this situation better?" Instead I just weakly smiled and said, "no thank you" before quickly walking away. Some people.

Anyway, back to the fair. Adele screamed a lot. Adam, who was pushing her in the stroller while I went into the petting zoo with G-man, took her out to hold her and found poopy leakage on her new pants. Yep, we had a major blowout. Lovely. I carried my screaming child through the rows of rabbit hutches to the bathroom, stripped off her pants and found that her diaper had leaked all the way down both legs AND up her back. After giving her a wipes-bath, changing her clothes, and trying to ward off the pinching accuser, Adele stopped crying. Whew!

2. I learned that I ALWAYS need to pack a plastic bag for dirty, blow-out clothes. Thankfully, Adam stuck one in at the last minute.

3. Adele refuses to take a bottle. We've tried and tried and tried with basically no success. Consequently, I've become much more willing to nurse her in public. It's not really my first choice, but sometimes you just have to pretend like you don't feel awkward. I learned to feign confidence when I was teaching. It's a skill that has served me well. So, I nursed my baby at a picnic table in the kid building at the Tulsa State Fair. The stroller served as a "shield" and, even though I was burning up, I left my jacket on in order to be more discreet. I probably should have ditched the jacket and covered up with a blanket, but then Adele gets sweaty and hot and doesn't want to eat. No one seemed to notice (hello, it was the kid zone and everyone else was pushing strollers and trying to wrangle their own kids), except for the random volunteer who felt the need to show me an email forward on her phone about breastfeeding in public. It was a funny (I use this term loosely) picture of a pig. I think she was being supportive, but maybe not. Apparently it was "make annoying comments" day at the fair.

4. I am thankful that Adele is a fast eater.

5. Graham is not scared of animals. I'm glad. He loved the petting zoo. I wish there had been a calf in there, but he had fun petting (and brushing) goats, pot-bellied pigs, an alpaca, a llama (who he almost poked directly in the eye), sheep, a few fawns (who has ever heard of deer in a petting zoo?), a donkey, and a wallaby (you know, like a mini-kangaroo). He was really gentle too. Having a sister has been good for G.

6. There was a mama and a baby wallaby. At one point the baby hopped over, crawled into his mama's pouch and totally disappeared. All you could see were his two, little front paws sticking out. It was a super cool animal moment.

7. I learned that my fair experience and Adam's fair experience growing up are totally different.

8. We briefly stopped into the hog barn where Graham watched some pigs coming down the main aisle on their way to the show ring. He called them horses. We need to spend a little more time looking at live animals instead of just pictures in our books. I'm a little distressed by this.

9. Fried oreos are, let's say, interesting. The taste is kind of good but the texture is a little too mushy for me. And yes, I could feel the years ticking off my life as I ingested a fried oreo.

10. Lots of people must buy hot tubs at fairs. I saw more hot tubs today than I have ever seen in my life.

11. The huge sandbox in the kid building is super fun for kiddos and super not-fun for parents. We opted out of that activity.

12. Graham really needs a pair of boots. The last time we tried some on he said "too tight" over and over. Maybe someday he'll want to wear a pair.

13. After the blow-out and public nursing, Adele was super happy and then fell asleep in the stroller. She slept the whole rest of our time at the fair. That made the fair a lot more fun.

14. I would much rather be at the fair when it's cold than when it's hot. Bundling up is so much easier than having sweaty kids to deal with.

15. Whoever decided to put a hand-washing station outside the petting zoo building was a genius!

16. I really like spending time with my family. Even though chasing a two year old can be exhausting and dealing with a screaming baby can be stressful, making family memories is worth it.

*Sorry there are no pics in this post. I brought my camera but it did not make it out of my purse. And I don't have an iphone, so no quick pics with that either.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Boy Meets Girl

There were two things Graham did when he met Adele for the first time.
1. Kiss her.
2. Ask to hold her.

My mommy heart melted and I just knew he was going to be completely infatuated with his new sister. He was going to want to teach her things and spend time just looking at her adorable little face.

Yeah, that lasted about one minute. Just long enough to take those few pictures. Then he did this:

That's right. Totally not interested. He was really into a cup of water with a straw and the carseat and my bed, though.

We brought girly-girl home and the G-man continued his general non-interest. Then one day we discovered him like this:
Yep, that's my boy awkwardly lying next to his sister in the basinet attachment of our pack-and-play. Did he smash her as he got into that awkward position? I hope not. Was it super sweet. Absolutely!

Then he did this:
That's a Graham version of a kiss.

After that he resumed his non-interest other than an occasional eye poke or "peek-in."

As time has gone on, however, G has taken a great interest in his little sister. He wants to lay next to her if she is on the floor. (Again with the awkwardness. He must be his father's son.)

He wants her to "hold it" and "play."

He went from calling her "baby" to "Baby Adele" to "BayDel" or "BeeDel." (I guess it's like his baby version of Brangelina.) He sometimes wants her to lay in bed with him after naptime. She's not always on board.

 One day he grabbed her feet and said, "Dance, BeeDel!"

He wants to know where she is and what she's doing. He gives her lots of kisses, which really just translates into smothering. And he said out of the blue last week, "I like BeeDel."

So maybe he's not completely enthralled by this new girl in his life, but Graham is certainly beginning to think she's pretty neat.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two Times the Fun

In the midst of waiting for Adele to make her appearance, G-man turned two. I didn't plan anything because we just weren't sure where we would be on his birthday. Little Miss took her sweet time, so all of a sudden, it was G's birthday and we didn't have any plans to celebrate.

My mom was here already, so she baked a cake.

We blew up some balloons leftover from last year's first-birthday-extravaganza.

A few friends came over.

BAM! Instant party!

Thankfully, we had planned ahead and gotten a few presents. Plus, Graham got some fun prizes in the mail from generous relatives.

Then, to make the birthday fun last even longer, we had another celebration when my dad, brother and sister-in-law came to meet Adele. (Originally, this was going to be the only party.)

We had saved a few presents, so Graham opened those.

My mom made another cake.

The balloons that hadn't popped were still floating around the living room.

Lucky Boy! Two parties for a two year old.

TWO! I love this boy more than I ever thought possible.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Girl

Adele Clara.

She's here.

Actually she's been here for two months.

Life is different and the same and wild and slow all at the same time. How does that happen? I don't know, but I do know that I love her.

I love her round face.

I love her WILD hair.

I love how she smells and how soft her skin is and the way her mouth turns down when she is about to cry. I love that one of her ears was smooshed at first and that she's finally getting some eyelashes that are long like her brother's. I love that she tries her hardest to laugh but no sound comes out. I love that she smiles all the time, even in the middle of the night or in the bathtub. I love that she can burp like a champ mainly because she eats super fast. I love that she looks to find her daddy when she hears his voice.

I love her.

She's beautiful and perfect.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Summer O' Fun

When Adam and I were considering the possibility of moving last spring, I was a little sad that G might miss out on some of the fun kid stuff Bartlesville has to offer in the summer. I know that sounds a little crazy, but there are a few things in this town that I truly, truly love and I wanted the G-man to enjoy them too.

I love the Pathfinder. It's beautiful; a slice of nature in the middle of town. I haven't taken any pictures this year, but last spring--oh my--it was my favorite place to be.

This spring, we've made a lot of trips to the Pathfinder too. It's the perfect place to take G-man for walks. He can run and explore and listen to the birds. Our neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks, so I feel so much better letting him have some freedom since there is no threat of cars. We don't usually go very far, but it's so much fun. We take turns yelling as we walk through the echo-y tunnel under the street. We take turns chasing each other. Graham feels the bark on the trees and stops to look at bugs on the path. We talk about the birds we hear and the squirrels we see. It's a perfect little outing. 

A couple weeks ago we ran into a couple ladies we knew who told us there were hundreds of butterflies at the bridge. 

What could be more fun for a toddler than hundreds of butterflies. BUT the bridge is a half mile from where we were starting our walk. That would mean a mile round trip and G's little legs certainly couldn't make it. I couldn't pass up this opportunity, though, so we made the trek. It was totally worth it. There were so many little butterflies that Graham just sat down on the path and watched them walk around. There were a bunch of them gathered around a damp spot, so we talked about how the butterflies were getting a drink. That prompted G-man to "share" some of his water by shaking his sippy cup upside down. It's was really cute. We stayed for quite a while just watching the butterflies. I tried to be brave when they flew all around us even though I was a little freaked out when they were swarming my head and landing on me. Graham really didn't like it when one landed on his leg, but he thought it was really neat when they landed on my feet. I secretly hoped that our long "rest" would mean that G-man would make the whole walk back. He didn't. I ended up carrying him most of the way. We were both sweaty by the time we got home, but it was just so much fun I wouldn't have traded it at all. 

At the very end of last summer we discovered the Splash Pad. It was OK, but since my little man didn't start walking until November, he didn't love it. Crawling on textured cement isn't very pleasant and getting sprayed in the face without hope of quick retreat just wasn't G's thing. But I knew this summer would be different. It's just starting to get hot, so when I heard the splash pad was open, I knew we needed to try it out again. 

Graham was thrilled to put on his swim suit and his sunglasses. He's such a cool kid. It definitely took him a while to warm up and the water was really cold, but pretty soon he was squealing with delight. He spent a lot of time standing on one of the ground spouts and letting the water spray out between his toes. I love what fascinates little kids.

I'm so thankful that Graham doesn't mind getting water in his face. That has made the splash pad a success the couple of times we've gone. What was not successful were the number of big kids running amok with no supervision or attention to the little guys trying to play too. They may steer clear once the pool opens, but we may just simulate the water sprays with our sprinkler at home instead. I was nervous most of the time that G would slip and fall or get run over by a 12 year old.

The crowning jewel of summer fun in Bartlesville is the Kiddie Park. Yep, that's what it's called. Kiddie Park. It's AWESOME! We've been lucky enough to have friends with kids as long as we've lived here, so we've made lots of trips to the Kiddie Park with them. In the 1950's, during the Baby Boom, lots of towns across America purchased Kiddie Park kits and built amusement parks for kids. There are only about 15 left in the country and one of them is in Bartlesville. It's geared for kids between ages one and five or six. The rides are small and slow and cheap. Since G didn't walk last summer, he didn't get to experience the wonder that is Kiddie Park. This year, though, he is at the perfect stage to have a taste of of the fun. It's open from 7-9pm and doesn't cost to get in. You buy tickets--25 cents each--to ride the rides and their catch phrase is "the last train ride is free." We didn't plan to stay that late, but since it's free to get in, you don't feel bad only riding a couple rides before heading home for bed.

We decided to go last night and Graham loved it. The evening was so pleasant. Kiddie Park was packed, but G waited in line patiently and wasn't scared at all. G-man only ended up doing three rides, which was the perfect amount, and we finished our trip with a family train ride. We spent less than $3 for the whole outing. Seriously, how great is that?

I know we would have found some gems no matter where we ended up living, but I'm glad we get to share Bartlesville's summer fun with Graham now that he's old enough. Let the summer o' fun begin!