Wednesday, March 28, 2012


G has a buddy. They've been friends since the womb. They didn't know they were friends at that point, but their moms knew it. We've been pushing them to play together since they were born.

For a long time they just looked at each other and blinked. Then G, because he's a few months older, started poking J's blinking eyes.

It caused a little friction in their relationship, but they seemed to work through it. Especially since their mom's were more diligent to keep them more contained.

Eventually, J started poking back. That evened the playing field. 

At G's birthday party, J launched an escape. It's amazing how they communicated so well despite not being able to talk.

After a while they started playing beside each other. 

G's eye poking turned into ball throwing. Unfortunately for J, the G-man is pretty accurate throwing a ball and made a habit of hitting J in the head as many times as he could before one of the parents confiscated all the balls.

But J was about to have an advantage. Walking. 

G finally caught up and life started to get more and more fun for these two best friends. In fact, they transitioned from playing beside each other, to playing with each other. 

A world of fun unfolded for the two buddies when they discovered how to play together. But they don't just play together. Oh no. They look forward to it. G races to the front door when he hears that J is coming over. They squeal and run toward each other when they meet up at church or the park. 

These two boys sure have come a long way from this:

To this:

It's fun to have a best friend.

(On a sidenote, J's mom wrote a post about this special friendship too. We didn't plan to write about it at the same time, but I guess when your kiddos are this much fun together, you just can't help it. Visit her site for some more BFF cuteness from this week.) 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Make Something Monday: Paint by Number

It's that time again. Make Something Monday. Remember when I had a bunch of things lined up to share in this "regular" blog installment? Then remember when I dropped off the face of the earth and never posted any of them? Well, I'm back. At least today.

Quite a while ago I saw this blog post about turning a thrift store picture into a paint-by-number masterpiece. Paint by number is that kitschy, vintagey, fun kind of art that adds a little surprise to an otherwise more sophisticated collection. (Ok, let's be honest, I don't have a sophisticated art collection, but I do have a collection, and I thought something quirky would be fun. You know, as if I needed more quirky in my house because the bird print chair and zebra lampshade isn't enough.)

I've mentioned before that I frequent a thrift store called Tuesday House and I knew the frame section would be the perfect place to look for a floral print that might be good for a paint-by-number transformation. Sure enough, I scored this little beauty for $0.50. I thought that was a good amount to pay for something that may or may not turn out.

A sweet little picture, right? It's a print or transfer on a board and I kind of liked it as it was. It's important to like what you start with, at least a little bit. I had to mix a lot of the colors myself, and I was definitely winging it, but I think it turned out pretty well. I didn't do anything to the background for a couple reasons: 1. I wasn't really sure how to tackle it--the whole thing or just parts? 2. Painting around all the flowers, leaves, etc. was way too much work. 3. I thought the shadow might look too overpowering and dark if I made it a solid color.

Ta-da! Sketchy drawing transformed into paint-by-number!

The original picture had a smooth and shiny finish but most of my craft paint is not glossy, so my last step was to do a quick coating of Modge Podge over the whole thing to create an even glossy finish. I used a wider brush that would leave brush strokes too. I thought that would give it some character and subtle texture. You can't see any of that in the photo, but you can see it up close. 

Overall, this was an easy project that I could do here and there. It gave me a good creative outlet without  being a major undertaking. Here's another shot of the final product, just for fun. 

Now I just need to find a place to hang this lovely work of art. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jibber-Jabber continued...

Graham just said a word that I forgot.


It sounds like kinky, which I know could get us into trouble, but it's stinky. He says it in reference to dirty diapers. And Adam after he was nearly sprayed by a skunk last night after youth group. Apparently direct spray contact is not required for one to smell skunky, I mean "kinky."


G-man has become quite the talker these days. Of course, he's not forming sentences or having understandable conversations with us, but he's super chatty and saying lots of new words. We seem to be in some kind of learning boom right now, so I want to make a list of his words so I don't forget.

He's been saying Daddy and Mommy for quite a while. Of course, Daddy came first and is somewhat of an obsession. I love that he loves his Dad, but we were having wailing and gnashing of teeth every time Adam even went into the garage or got out of the car to pump gas. Seriously? It got a little annoying. That seems to have calmed down (thankfully), but I still get a daily run down of all the things in our house that belong to Daddy.

*point to sweatshirt, "Daddy."
*point to t-shirt while I'm folding laundry, "Daddy."
*point to Adam's closet, "Daddy."
*point to driveway where Adam parks, "Daddy."
*point to random beat up pick-up parked on the street, "Daddy." "Yes, Daddy drives a truck."

You get the idea. He does it for Mommy's stuff too, so I can't totally complain. And really, it's pretty amazing how he knows which clothes are each of ours. He even likes to point out our different articles of clothing in the laundry hamper. Weird. Sweet, but weird.

He, of course, says ball. Behind Daddy, that was his first word. He uses the word ball to describe any type of ball, anything with an OU logo (he shouted "BALL" one day at Lowe's when an elderly man drove by on his scooter because there was an OU sticker on the side), round fruit like oranges or grapefruit, sports equipment like basketball hoops in driveways or football helmets, sports related video game logos like EA sports (he "plays" FIFA soccer with Adam on the playstation), anything that says ESPN, and the TV. In fact, lately he's been totally enthralled during diaper changes with two of the card stock ad inserts from Sports Illustrated because they have the NFL logo (sporting a football) on them. He's also become really interested in Sports Illustrated because there is a ball on almost every page. One afternoon while Adam I were at the dining room table, we realized G had been sitting in a chair in the living room "reading" SI for almost 15 mins. The kid loves sports. Surprise. Surprise.

He also loves stars. Before Christmas he chose a Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star book for us to read over and over and over. He started to point out the big star on each page, then one day he started saying the word star as he pointed. Since it was Christmas-time we heard the word star a lot! They were everywhere! He's added moon to the mix since it easily goes with stars. At first he said moon without the O's. It was possibly the cutest thing I've ever heard. "Mn." I made him say it repeatedly, which is what probably led to him learning to say it correctly. Bummer. It's lots of fun when we're outside at night and can look at the real moon and stars.

But enough of the long descriptions. This is mostly a list for myself. I just want to remember all that he's learning to say.
--G can do the animal sounds for cow, puppy, chicken, horse, duck, sheep, lion, owl, pig, elephant, monkey and kitty. Some of them are hit and miss, but he's getting more consistent.
--He can actually say kitty, puppy, cow, duck (sort of), goose, and bird. For a long time all animals were kitties. He would point to a cow and say, "Kitty. Papa." And I would respond with, "Yes, Papa has cows." We don't have a cat, so I'm not really sure where that came from.
--Graham says Papa (my dad), Bryce, Mel which sounds like Mo, Jordan (usually minus the "a," it must be a vowel thing), and Emma. We have tried to teach him Amy for Adam's sister but now he just associates her with the puppy at her house and says that instead. He refuses to say Grandma. When we ask him to say Grandma he just replies with, "and Papa." He doesn't say his own name either, so it must be the "gr" sound.
--Papa is associated with lots of things in the same way ball is connected with lots of things. Anytime we see cows, a barn, pasture ground, tractors, 4-wheelers or motorcycles (I guess they're similar), horses, and EIEIO since we changed the Old MacDonald to be "my Papa has a farm." It's really funny that he has connected all these things with my dad. We definitely didn't teach him to point out the window at a pasture and say, "Papa."
--He calls the slide a "whee."
--All liquids for drinking are juice. Cups are juice too.
--G can point out a lot of body parts: eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, cheek, ears, hair, tummy, fingers, hands, arms, legs, feet, chin, and forehead (the last two are new as of yesterday). He can only say nose, eyes, and sometimes mouth, though.
--"Morse" is more.
--He's finally signing the word please instead of freaking out and demanding things. He's even said it a few times. Now we have to work on thank you.
--He asks for a "nana" and cheese but those are the only foods he knows by name. After we had spaghetti the other night he repeated noodles, sauce and meat. I posted that video last time if you missed it.
--G-man says shoes, which encompass shoes, slippers and socks. He loves shoes. He likes to wear shoes, try on Adam's shoes, carry around shoes in the store...We had to leave a sporting goods store recently because the combination of balls and shoes was just too much. Yes, there was crying when we left.
--He says "night-night." It's sweet.
--He sometimes says go. "Go, go, go!"
--Graham will throw out a random, "guys" every now and then. This words shows up most often when he sees a group of teenage boys.
--We worked on baby a lot at Christmastime, but he never said it. Then one day a few weeks ago, he just blurted it out. He calls most of his friends baby and any pictures of babies that he sees. And sometimes, if I'm lucky, he will point to my belly and say baby. He has no idea that there is really a baby in there but he's heard us talk about it. Little does he know how much "baby" is going to change his life in a few months.
--One of Graham's favorite books is Dr. Seuss ABC. It was one of my favorites too, so I didn't dissuade him from loving it. Of course, now I can recite it word for word from memory because we have read it so much, but it's still a fun book. Since we read it so often, G has learned to recognize some letters. Obviously at this point (he's only 20 months) we're not learning our alphabet or "teaching our baby to read," but I'm happy to practice what he's picked up on his own. Yay for another little English lover in the house! Right now he recognizes B, P, T, O, Y, Z (notice the similar sounds of most of those letters). He knows D but calls it "Dono" which could be Donald or donut since both of those words show up on the D page. He also knows F but just makes an F-ish sound trying to say "Fiffer feffer feff" which is the wacky animal on that page. Sometime he says C, but not often. Oh and sometimes V. He doesn't say V, but he plugs his ear when he sees it since "Vera Violet Vinn is very, very, very awful on her violin." (We plug our ears when we read that page.)
--His first sentence was "shoot the ball." He hasn't said it since. He does say shoot, especially when basketball is on TV.
--He just started saying cars.
--He also just started saying balloon, well "boon."
--He doesn't say I love you, but if we say "I love" he follows with "ooo."
--G sometimes throws out a bye-bye, but usually just waves or blows kisses.
--He says home and keys.
--He loves to sing. At Christmas he adopted Silent Night as his favorite song because he got a book that played the music when he pushed the star. You can imagine what a hit that was. It's now the song we use to calm him if he won't go to sleep and if we're lucky he will sing a little..."Night night, O-y night."
--This week he learned green. Following the trend he leaves out a letter. The "r." So it's "geen." A "geen bood" (green bird) is my favorite.
--Graham has started "reading" aloud to us from books, junk mail, and magazines. It's not just a description of the pictures, either. He often chooses pages that are mostly text. Funny kid.

I think that's it right now. It's kind of a long list, which is fun, but I'm sure I left something off. G just started repeating things that we ask him to say which opens up a whole new world of language. I love it! I'm so thankful to be able to spend time teaching him new things. There are those days...hello, yesterday...that I want to escape for a while, but it's still worth it to hear him say "geen bood."