Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Cell Phone Dilemma

I'll be the first to admit that I'm guilty of too much cell phone use as I'm sure a lot of us are.  Like any other mom, I'm obsessed with taking pictures and videos of Lars.  I have a degree in photography so my love for taking pictures has followed me for a while. I'm constantly seeing things that I think would make a great photo and other times I think Lars is just too cute not take a photo and send to my family. At some point, I force myself to leave my phone on silent and in the car or in the kitchen and try to stop framing things in my head, freaking out about gorgeous lighting and just enjoy Lars being adorable and be ok with not capturing it. 

While the cell phone can be a complete and utter distraction, truthfully it allows us to spend more time together sometimes and visit with family. I don't generally have a lot of work from home....it's very rare but Bob on the other hand....that's all he has.  So instead of being held up in his office or meeting clients, he's able to hang out with us in the living room, outside or even on the weekends while we run around and he's able to take care a million things.  He's able to make calls, send emails and research.  Is it ideal?  No, of course not and it's not the case all of the time but when it is the case,  I'd rather have him there, intermittently taking care of things than not being there at all. 

Also, we live away from most of our family but through the magic of Facetime, Lars gets to chat with his cousins and grandparents.  He knows everybody and gets excited when we chat.  Although it will never compare to playing with his cousins or spending time with his grandparents, it's pretty amazing that we can all still stay connected!

The cellphone definitely has it's downfalls but without it, we would see a lot less of Bob, Lars wouldn't be able to talk with his cousins and grandparents, and my mom and mom -n-law wouldn't get their daily picture of Lars :) 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Forever Love

This past week we made a quick and unexpected trip to Lake Charles to visit my Maw Maw.  She's not doing well and we all wanted to make sure we got to see her and talk to her.  I wanted her to see Lars again and I wanted Lars to see her again.  I know neither will remember but I will remember.
this picture melts my heart.  Lars was telling maw maw that the bird goes tweet tweet and is red. he also kept touching her hand. 






I have something that a lot of people my age probably don't.  I have all 4 grandparents still around and still married! My grandparents on both sides have been married for oh, I'm not exactly sure but a good 65+ years. Up until this point they have all been pretty healthy and 'with it' and to have all 4 of them around to meet Lars was something I always thought would be really special and it has been!
he leaned in and told her that she was still the prettiest lady he's ever seen and that everyone was there because they loved her so much.  this is the kind of love that makes the world go round. 
my sister n law Jennifer heard him tell her, "i told you i was gonna love you until the day you died." whew...cue the waterworks. 

I've learned so much from my grandparents and I'm not saying that just because it seemed like the normal thing to say. They were a huge part of my life growing up.  My grandmothers made me the most beautiful handmade dresses for all occasions.  My Maw Maw took care of me when I was sick and couldn't go to school, she inspired me to play the piano and she always made the most perfect bun before bringing me to ballet. My Paw Paw on my mom's side is a real hoot.  He's been in a band for as long as I can remember and has always had musical instruments around that he would show us how to play.  My Paw Paw on my dad's side is the most gentle and sweet man you will ever meet.  He doesn't haven't a mean bone in his body and he always would sneak us extra cookies after Maw Maw said we had had enough.  My Grandmother on my mom's side instilled a passion for cooking and baking in me.  She always let me help cook and would sit me on the kitchen counter while she baked.  She also made the most delicious coffee milk and cinnamon toast!!! YUM

this photo wa taken by my cousin Dedie at my Maw Maw and Paw Paw's anniversary party.  I think it's lovely. 
my Maw Maw and Paw Paw couldn't make it to our wedding so a few weekends later we went to Lake Charles, got all dressed up and surprised them with a mini reception.
and i got to dance with Paw Paw Eric

I told Maw Maw that her necklace was pretty and she insisted I have it. 



Dancing with Paw Paw Harley at the wedding.  He's a way better dancer than me :)





















Monday, February 24, 2014

Lighting strikes

I was thinking about this story a few days ago and thought to myself, "why haven't I blogged about this?"  It's a pretty crazy story and solidified (for me at least) the saying, everything's gonna be alright (compliments of bob marley)

After Bob and I got engaged we made plans to move to Austin.  The move was going to be happening about 3 months before our wedding date on July 24, 2010.  We made several trip to Austin to look at venues, meet with all the appropriate people and also decide where we wanted to move. We picked The Barr Mansion for our wedding. It was the first place we looked at it and I was sold. It was perfect. It was rustic and intimate and we loved it.



After we arrived in Austin, most of the planning was already done.  It was a very small wedding and there wasn't a whole lot to be done.  Everything had gone so smoothly and much easier than I was expecting.  I actually really enjoyed the whole process and wasn't stressed about it at all.

Oh, how things were about to change!  One morning about two and a half weeks before our wedding, my phone woke me up about 9 AM (insert hysterical laugh because sleeping till 9 AM seems like another lifetime ago and a cruel joke).  It was my mom.  She said, "Hey, are you sitting down?"  I immediately thought someone had died.  Thinking back, it was a bit of a dramatic greeting mom.  I said yes and she said, "well Aunt Ann (who lives near Austin) was watching the early morning news and she saw where lighting struck the barn and it's completely burned to the ground."  I'm not gonna lie, I cried. I remember it was pouring down rain, lighting and thundering outside.  I know my mom felt awful she had to tell me but that's what moms do, right?  Here's the article about the fire.

This is the picture I saw on the news


I got off the phone with my mom and told Bob what had happened.  He was pretty shocked.  We just kind of sat around wondering what we were going to do.  We certainly could not change the date.  Everyone attending our wedding was traveling and everyone had already made travel plans.  It took me a while to get over the initial shock of it.  This happened on a Saturday and once I chilled out a bit, I thought of the brides who were suppose to get married there...THAT DAY! There was no denying that I was terribly upset and now completely overwhelmed and stressed about what to do, but like always, someone was definitely fighting a harder battle.

The Barr Mansion was offering couples a tent wedding in placement of the barn.  We went and checked it out and I knew immediately that the next 2 weeks were going to be pure chaos because the tent was not happening.  I stayed up for probably 24 hours straight calling and googling venue after venue in hopes that something would work out.  At the point where I could no longer keep my eyes opened, I made a pact with myself that I would google one more thing and then I was going to bed and that I would learn to be happy with the tent wedding. I remember exactly what I typed in.  I typed rustic barn wedding austin, tx.  I clicked on the first result.

It was this place.  It looked beautiful but I wasn't overly excited.  I had called probably a dozen places and no one was able to book it.  I left the site up and went to bed.  I called first thing in the morning and explained to nice southern guy on the phone what the story was.  He knew about The Barr Mansion.  He asked me when wedding was.  I told him less than 2 weeks.  He asked me how many people. I told him less than 50.  He said..............come check us out, we'd be happy to have your wedding here.  I about peed my pants.



I called Bob immediately and he met me there over lunch. It was perfectly perfect.  Dare I say more perfect than The Barr Mansion?  Yes! Absolutely.  It was the most gorgeous place I had ever seen.  And the sweet gal/event planner giving us the tour is now a lovely friend of mine.  Bonus! I scored a wedding venue and a friend!

All the people involved getting this together in 2 weeks were amazing! It was basically like starting from scratch but with only 2 weeks! It was crazy but with everyone's help it turned out be fun! The wedding was more than I could have ever imagined.  It was rustic and intimate and small and beautiful! I know it's just a venue but The Wild Onion holds a special place in my heart.  When I was completely overwhelmed and felt like just throwing my hands in the air, I found them and they so graciously helped me and it was the most gorgeous wedding.  It was perfect for us.  Funny how things happen like that.

Bob and I could have gotten married in our backyard with our friends and family and we would have had a good time.  It wasn't so much about the venue as it was about the time and effort put into the planning and finding this lovely place that fits so well and then it gets struck down....literally, it got struck down!  It was about finding a place to celebrate with people we love in a setting that fit our personalities. And The Wild Onion was a perfect fit.  I could not have asked for a more perfect setting.




this is just because I think it's wonderfully fantastic.  This was Bob's letter to me before the wedding. 








Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Menu

I've totally been slacking on the menus! Last week I completely forgot to post it.  Sometimes it gets to be Thursday and I wonder what the hell happened to the week.  I know you get it! I'm grocery shopping today and I will try my hardest to stick to the list and only the list but I can't guarantee it...sorry Bob!

This week:
Tempeh Cashew Noodles
Green Chili Enchiladas
Bob's Pizza
Black Bean Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
Vegetable Panini with Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup

Monday, February 17, 2014

Vaccines

"Is she really going to talk about vaccines? Is she crazy?" 

That's what I imagine y'all saying right about now. And the answer is yes, but probably not in the sense you think I am.  I'm not going to share with you where I stand on vaccines or how I stand or even if I stand.  I'm not going to tell you whether we chose to vaccinate or not because there's not a single part of me that wants to start any kind of mommy war. No ma'am. No thanks.  I'll pass.

What I will share with you is the fact that I think it's super important to be educated and knowledgeable about vaccines. I feel it's crucial to be informed and educated on vaccines whether you're for or against.

 If I'm going to vaccinate then I'm going to make damn sure I know exactly what's in each vaccine, what they are for, what their effective rate is and if there are any side effects.  If  I'm going to choose not to, well then I'm going to make sure I know the same information and be sound in my decision making.

This definitely involves asking a lot of questions so you should feel really comfortable and able to do so in your doctors office. Our pediatrician is fantastic.  He's funny and makes us feel comfortable and genuinely cares about Lars.  I could ask him a million questions and he would happily answer every one of them.  He's open minded and presents the facts to us but in the end he makes sure that we know it's our decision and we're the parents.  He doesn't make me feel like I'm taking up his time with questions and when I laugh and say, "I know I'm being THAT mom" he says, "I'm glad you're being THAT mom."

When I'm asking questions especially on vaccines I always compare it to when I go to buy over the counter medicine at Walgreens or CVS.   I go in, I look around for maybe some cold medicine, I kneel down (because it seems that the kid stuff is always on the bottom) and I look at each one, I check the back to make sure Lars can take it, I check the side effects, I see how often he can take it, I look for the dye free (because Lars got crazy hyper one time when I gave him some Tylenol that had dye in it), if my child were allergic to something I would double check to make sure it was safe, maybe I would even check with the pharmacist.  It's a process.  So, if I'm going to go through those motions for OTC meds, you can bet I'll be reading up on vaccines and asking a butt load of questions and not apologizing for it.  I find it harder to ask questions when I'm at the doctor for myself than for Lars.  When my Lars is involved, doc better sit down and get comfy cause crazy mama bear has entered the room.

I feel the only way to make an informed and smart decision for your family is to ask questions and educate yourself on the subject. In the end, we're all doing the best we can and we're making these decisions because we love our children more than we could ever begin to explain.  It's all so overwhelming and it's easy to get lost in all the hoop la.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Has 'I love you" become routine


I read an article the other day all about saying I love you and it got me thinking....do we (my little family) say it too much? Has it lost it's luster? Has it become insignificant and pushed around in the chaos of everyday?

My initial thought was, yeah it kind of does.  But then the more I thought about it the more I realized that it hasn't become insignificant or lost it's luster.  How do I know this? Well, because it's really important to us to say.  I know if I leave the house or Bob drops me off at work after lunch and I don't say it that I feel like something was missing.  I will text him or call him and say Hey, I love you.  Perhaps I over use it with Lars but I just don't think it's possible.

I tell Lars I love him a million times a day, sometimes 2 million.  I will literally say it over and over again and kiss his head while he's sitting on my lap in the mornings drinking his bottle.  I will sometimes say his name over and over again to get his attention while he's doing something and when he finally looks up at him after the 100th time of saying his name, I will whisper, I love you and he laughs.

Even in the midst of leaving in the morning when my full attention is on Lars and making sure I soak up every second of our time together (if you're a mom working out of the home you know what I mean) and maybe sometimes Bob gets looked over, I still make sure I sneak in a forehead kiss and always an I love you.

If someone challenged me to go a day without saying I love you, it would be an epic fail.  I'm completely ok with those 3 little words being over used and part of our everyday routine because even though it's a routine, we always mean it.  When I tell Lars I love him 10 times over....I mean it 10 times over.  When I'm rushing out the door and I quickly lay a kiss on Bob's forehead and say I love you, I mean it. When Bob calls and has to quickly get off the phone to run into court and says, hey gotta go, love you.  He means it.

In our little world, it can't be overused, it can't become insignificant or lost.  It's always present and I will never get tired of hearing it.

for lars, love is a Popsicle...it's that simple. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Honest Mom

There are loads of things that having a child has made me; tired, happy, aware, worried, emotional....but for me, there was nothing better than having a child to make me honest.  Now, I wasn't a liar before but when you don't have children it's easy to fool yourself and to have the preconceived notions about life. With a child I have had to own up to a lot.

The idea: I was going to breastfeed until my baby was 2 or 3 and it was going to be lovely

Honest Mom: Lars stopped breastfeeding much earlier than I had planned and I couldn't have been more relived because it was the hardest damn thing I've ever done.

The idea: I was going to cloth diaper

Honest Mom: I clothed diapered solidly for about 3 months using a variety of brands and thought they all sucked and after going back to work I realized I was tired of forgetting to wash them and seeing them mildew. I stopped. My life was easier.

The idea: Lars was going to sleep with us until he was ready to leave

Honest Mom: Lars was a terrible co-sleeper and moved to his crib at about 5.5 months. I felt extremely guilty but it was for the best

The idea: I wanted Lars and Bob to have the most special and wonderful father/son relationship

Honest Mom: Lars and Bob DO have an amazing bond and I love it so much but the first time Lars got a boo boo and cried and asked for Dada, my heart broke a little.  Also, the first night I heard him over the crying for dada, I teared up a bit.

The idea: I love all those adorable eco friendly, hippy baby outfits

Honest Mom: I just don't give a crap what Lars wears.  Most of his clothes are hand me downs from my nephew Maddox or items I've bought at a thrift shop.  I just can't justify spending a bunch of money on clothes he will stain and outgrow way to quickly.

The idea: I would never ever let my baby cry it out

Honest Mom: When Lars was about 8 months old we let him (reasonably) cry it out.

The idea: No pacifier

Honest Mom: Lars still sleeps with his binky and if you take it from him I will hurt you and he probably will too.

The idea: I would already have another baby or close to having another one

Honest Mom: I just not ready yet.

The idea: I would put Lars in daycare a few days a week at 2.

Honest Mom: I don't see the need to right now. Lars is so happy and social and doing just fine. And I'm ok not spending the extra money.

The idea: I wasn't going to turn Lars' carseat around until he was 2

Honest Mom: I turned his car seat around at Christmas. Lars was 20 months.  He was miserable rear facing and traveling back and fourth to Lake Charles several times with a miserable toddler seemed...well.....miserable.

Some of these may seem insignificant but they have all made me realize that the ideas I had of being a good mom may have not been in line with being an honest mom.

he loves nothing more in the world than playing in sand. 

my little cocoon

his 'cheese' smile

that face......my goodness. 

he's exploring and looking for animals



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Things

watching cartoons

This video that shows such grace and understanding between a mother and son.  

Really funny audition tapes of famous people


Bob would love this

Yes! Why is this so hard to abide by?

New Brewery in Dripping Springs, Twisted X


These counter stools. We desperately need some new counter height stools....these would look lovely


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Truthful Thursdays - Oil Pulling

Have you ever heard of it....oil pulling? I've been curious about it for a while and have read several articles on it.  Here's the wiki definition:

Oil pulling or oil swishing is a traditional folk remedy that involves swishing oil in the mouth. It is mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, where it is called Kavala Gandoosha or Kavala Graha. Ayurvedic literature describes oil pulling as capable of both improving oral health and treating systemic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or asthma.[1] While scientific evidence is lacking to support any systemic benefits of oil pulling, some studies have suggested that it may reduce oral plaque, halitosis, and gingivitis.[1][2][3][4][5] These studies all show that either chlorhexidine or oils can reduce plaque if included in a regular or routine oral healthcare program among those with high plaque scores and don't show that oils themselves improve scores, but rather that proper oral healthcare does.

Procedure[edit]

The practitioner rinses the mouth with approximately one tablespoon of oil for 15–20 minutes on an empty stomach (before eating/drinking) then spits it out[6] and washes the teeth, gums, tongue (softly) and palate thoroughly. Cold pressed (raw) oil is critical to the (alleged) effectiveness.Sesame oilsunflower oil, and coconut oil[7] are the most recommended. Oil pulling is usually recommended to be done first thing in the morning, followed by rinsing the mouth with (sea salt) salt water and then brushing the teeth in a normal, morning routine.

Basically, it's using oil (coconut oil seems to be favored in my findings) in place of toothpaste, letting it melt in your mouth and then swishing it around for 20 minutes...YES, 20 minutes.  That would be the hardest part for me.  That's a pretty long time.  

I am already a fan of coconut oil.  We use it a lot for various things. I cook with it, use it has a diaper cream, used it as nipple cream when breastfeeding, use it as moisturizer and when I ran out of the Toms toddler toothpaste I used it to brush Lars' teeth for a few nights.  I was unaware of oil pulling at the time but had heard it can be used for dental hygiene

Coconut oil is  antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and enzymatic properties which is why it is beloved by so many.  In addition to ridding your mouth of bacteria it has also been shown to help relieve sinus and throat congestion.  The benefits seems endless really.  I've read that it reduces tooth sensitivity, can improve and repair cavities, whitens teeth and can even reduce gum inflammation and help with gum disease. 



Truthfully, I'm determined to try it and report back.  I've listed a few sites that I've read over and over again that have inspired me to give this a whirl. 


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Plans for the master bath

We have 3 major house projects coming up and we've yet to decide which one we are going to tackle first.  My pick would be the master bath because it's a bit of mess right now and not very functional and I'm most excited about it but if I had to predict what would be next I'd lean towards the spare bathroom.

 The master bedroom and bathroom have been  last on the list for everything.  It's yet to get painted and therefore has yet to get new floors. It's just so much easier to worry about rooms that are more visible than a room that no one other than us really sees.

The master bath is pretty on par with how the kitchen looked before we gutted it.  It's completely functional and very indicative of  hill country homes but totally not our style and not super functional for a master bath. Right now, it's a mish mash of stuff to make it work.  The white ikea shelves are from Lars' nursery and I hung them up because there was no convenient place to store towels in the bathroom, the rugs are whatever was left over from what I didn't use in other rooms and the paint color.....oh lordy the paint color.  Let's not talk about that :)  But there are a couple of redeeming qualities about this bathroom.

1) The shower.  It has the great walk in tiled shower that is big and spacious and I've grown to really like it.
2) The giant window overlooking the front.  I actually had to take these pictures at night because this bathroom is flooded with natural light during the day and it was washing out all the pictures.




Plans for this bathroom are already made.  It will get a fresh coat of the Valspar Pale Bloom paint like the rest of the entire house and all the trim will be stained with this Safecoat walnut stain also like the rest of the house. Here are the plans for the new bathroom. 




bathroom


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