Saturday, June 29, 2013

Weekend at home

We decided to skip the trip to Nashville and stay home this weekend for Lizzy to get better or at least be sick at home in more familiar surroundings.

I think she's well now.

Actually I think she's at the point where she's better but has become accustomed to the special treatment of being sick.

Like CapriSun whenever and wherever she chooses.

We really enjoyed Kelsey's visit and had fun with KarKar and CJ at our halfway point CFA.

The good news is that Jay invited CJ to his birthday party while we were there, which until this point he has absolutely refused to talk about. I am just planning a very small party for family and a few friends Jay sees frequently and his favorite food. I am looking forward to it! I hope Jay is still on board with everything in a few weeks!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Even the best laid plans...

...are no match for the stomach bug.

I just feel like I need to post this because the last few days have been so busy I might forget what we've been doing.

Sunday morning Lizzy woke with the symptoms of the dreaded stomach virus right before we were to go meet Charles, Mimi, Kelsey and CJ to pick up Kelsey for the week. I tried to get Lizzy to rally, but just as we got in the car, another "wave" hit and cancelled the trip for her.

Joseph and Jay took our place and picked up Kelsey and brought her to our house in time for lunch with the West/Myers crew.

I served Miss Daisy's Turkey Divan, some fresh fruit, corn and green beans all from our local produce stand and Macaroni and Cheese, of course. I also made an angel food cake with pineapple which was good, but super sweet.

Lizzy seemed to rally and spent the rest of Sunday without incident so it was easy for me to send Joseph on his way to head to the gulf for some snapper fishing while we prepared for a fun time with Kelsey.

It rained almost all day Monday, so my plan for the zoo was a wash out. We did take Kelsey to our new Target with the elevator and escalator which was super impressive, then home for some painting, snacking, pool time, a trip to the post office to mail some letters to CJ, out to dinner at Milo's, then to the park and out for ice cream! Whew!!

Tuesday we just played around the house then Kelsey and I had a girls day with lunch at Taziki's and some shopping at the Summit.

We had BIG plans for a full day at the gym and pool with friends today, then again, just as we were ready to hop in the car this morning--Lizzy is sick again.

This time her symptoms were much worse and she seemed absolutely miserable. Jay and Kelsey spent quite a bit of quality time together today away from the little sick crying baby. I hope they had fun.  Honestly, today is/was such a blur. I just know I've never felt sorrier for one of my kids than I was for sweet Lizzy today. I just pray that its over now and that no one else gets whatever she had.

So, despite my big plans this week has been sort of flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants. We've had fun with Kelsey here, even if there have been lots of breaks for extra baths and time to tend to Lizzy.

I have no idea whether we'll make it to Nashville or just meet someone halfway tomorrow to drop Kelsey off. I can't imagine taking care of my sick kids while out of town. I'm just super tired tonight, but need to do ten thousand things because I certainly don't know what kind of surprises tomorrow has in store! I would love a Diet Coke right about now to get things done, but we've stopped buying them and I'm too tired to go out and get some. Perhaps I'll spike my water with some extra lemons and see if that put some pep in my step?!?!

Here's hoping for a smooth rest-of-the-week WITHOUT ANY PLANS! :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Quickly, really

It late and I'm in the midst of knocking out a few more must-do to-do's tonight but wanted to take a break to browse the blogs  post a few quick things before we get into a very busy week ahead. 

I'm driving to our halfway stop in the morning with the kiddos to meet Charles and Mimi for a bit and pick up Kelsey to bring her for a visit this week while CJ and Karla sleep in a tent at Boy Scout Camp. We have a fun few days planned here, then the kids and I will head to Nashville at the end of the week to deliver Kelsey and spend a few nights with Mimi.

Then-boom, it's July.

So here are a few updates before the real fun begins--

1. We've all become water junkies and I'm really happy about it. Here's what my water looks like these days....

Lemon, strawberries and blueberries. Jay takes his the same way. Roll Tide.

2. I am really looking forward to our Sunday Supper this week for a couple of reasons-
    a. Kelsey will be here
    b. I am using a great recipe from my favorite cookbook
    c. I found a new dessert to try and I am eager to see how it turns out!

3. I've been to the vet a total of 3 times since last Friday. Twice with both kids. Gus is fine but has some very minor eye and ear things requiring drops 3 times a day. We also changed his food and he wasn't consulted first, so he's acting too-good-for-it most days. AND I bathed him today. Just wanted to put that out there. He's a high-maintenance beast these days which was NOT in my summer plan. But, we do love him so!

4. Just in case you were wondering this is what our gorgeous marble island looked like at 10 p.m. on Saturday night. 

(Just to prove that it does not always look as pristine as it does in these pictures.)

5. It seems as if Jay's awesome nap time is slipping away as we approach birthday #3. There have been fits. There have been hour and a half long struggles before he is finally asleep. There have been potty breaks and cups and stories and songs and every excuse in the book. There has NOT been a lot of time for me to do things like laundry (thus the pic above). Since there really is no way to guarantee what nap time is going to be like these days, I feel like there is an adjustment coming to my daily routine. Again. 

6. In case you missed it, Lizzy walked this week. This is still rocking my world. 

7. We went to a birthday party today and Lizzy was taller than several other boys and girls who are all almost 2 or have just turned 2. I was amazed. 

8. I have a zillion other things to do tonight--including breaking a mess of beans and getting the rest of lunch ready. 

Here we go!!

P.S. I taught Jay what a "mess of beans" is while we were at the produce stand this week. He laughed the whole way home. So did I. :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

And we're walking...{15 Months}

Lizzy's first steps came this afternoon after her 15 month checkup! 15 months and 2 days she's off and walking! (Shoutout to Dr. Malone who completely called it--he said at our visit this morning that if I left her alone in a room and walked out that she would walk to follow me. Well, I left Lizzy in the playroom and went down the hall to check on Jay who was refusing to getting ready to nap, when I came out of his room Lizzy was standing, smiling in the doorway of the playroom and started toddling down the hall to me.)

She walked down the hall 3 more times for Jay and I before I thought to grab a camera!

Her checkup went great and she is-
33 inches
25 pounds and 12 ounces
above 90th percentile in head/height/weight

She's gained a few pounds since her last visit and got a good report from the doctor.

She's wearing mostly 24 month and 2T (mostly just swimsuits and PJs) which are a tad big, but fit better than her 18 month clothes right now. Size 5 diapers and size 5 or 6 shoes fit best.

She wakes around 7, sometimes taking a morning nap from 10-11, (I always wake her by 11) and another from 2:30-4, sometimes just waiting and taking one nap starting around 1:30 and lasting until 4:30. Down for the night a little after 8.

She's quiet when Jay is around, but if he's ever gone or sleeping while she's awake she turns into a jabber box. This week she's really started "talking" more and is doing more animal sounds and trying to say more names. She will say eat, more and drink as well.

She blows kisses, knows where her tummy is and still counts the stairs all day long.

She's also taken to crawling up stairs and counting as she does it then stopping on the 3rd or 4th and saying "No ma'am" she'll also just sit on the first step and say "sit, sit,sit" over and over.

She loves to be outside and says swing and slide. I can only imagine that she'll love being outside even more as her walking gives way to running.

She's still such a sweet little happy child. That is unless you are a childcare provider at our gym or church. In which case you only see what a joy she is when I return to pick her up. Things are better, but at 15 months we are still not over the mommy's-gone-meltdown.

She's trying more foods but still eats very very few fruits and veggies. I see a glimmer of hope that this will change soon--she ate some cantaloupe this week and tolerated a strawberry with honey on it today. Cross your fingers for us!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day and these funny faces

Another pretty laid-back weekend around the West house.

We celebrated Father's Day by having the Dede and Papa, Jenn, Sean, Weston and Davis and Sean's parents for dinner yesterday.

The boys played in the pool for about an hour before dinner and had a blast, then all ate great--so I feel like that was an "Ah-ha" moment by having them play and swim before dinner instead of trying to force feed three squirmy little fellas who just want to hurry up and get outside.

We served a great dinner of Grilled Salmon, I roasted squash, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onions in the oven, as always made mac-n-cheese (and a few chicken nuggets for the under 30 crowd), a yummy huge salad and I picked up a low-carb cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory and made some brownies for dessert.

Today we were at the "exercise place" as Jay calls it, bright and early then off to Whole Foods then home for snack, back to the gym for some pool time before storms come in this afternoon.

Check out this little sun-kissed sister!

Lizzy certainly has my complexion and is turning into a little brown biscuit.

Jay of course favors Joseph in the complexion department and is still a silly little turkey!

Lizzy is officially 15 months old now and goes for her check-up tomorrow. I think she's grown a ton, but we'll see what the doc says.

We're just about a month from Jay's 3rd birthday and he is currently boycotting any plans for a party or even having a birthday all-together.

Let's hope he comes around soon!

Friday, June 14, 2013

New House- Kitchen and More

I snapped a few pictures during naptime today and I'll let them do most of the talking.

You'll see we went with white-on-white-white for the kitchen. If you have a white kitchen or want a white kitchen or appreciate the love/like relationship with white marble countertops this is a good read about life with white marble.

Living with Marble Counertops, a cautionary tale

And now for the pictures....

 My favorite part might be the sink in the bay window.
This window was part of the original house and is on the only wall we left standing during the deconstruction. We (Joseph) raised it and made it the main sink. It was a great decision. 

Off of the kitchen is the mudroom which opens to the laundry room.
 I love the slate floors and Joseph made the hook rack and key holder from wood from an old barn. He is talented.

Happy Weekend! Gus will be napping in the mudroom if you need him!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wet weekend

Thanks for your concern "after the fall", typing that makes "the fall" seem so much more dramatic than it actually was, but I appreciate your chuckles and sympathy nonetheless.

Just to follow-up some major soreness and bruises showed up late to the party on Saturday morning leaving me to wonder exactly how I crash landed because the bruised and sore places are not at all connected to one another nor symmetrical.

But, the rest of the weekend was without incident, so I'll call it a win.

We didn't do anything grand on Saturday..I took the kids to the park, ran to the grocery for the 4th or 5th time this week.

We skipped church due to Lizzy's runny-nosed-ness. I just can't be the one to bring a sickie to the nursery to potentially bring illness to little babies or the sweet ladies in the nursery who work so hard to keep Lizzy happy despite her desire to scream like a banshee for an hour.

I am now convinced that her nose is related to yet more teething, so there's that.

Joseph and Jay were playing outside with the hose around lunchtime and it was so hot that Joseph got online and told me he was buying a kiddie pool to pick up at the store after lunch. As Joseph backed out of the driveway it started to rain....and he came home with this.

Yes, it is as big and above-ground-pool-like as you think it is.

It never stopped raining for the remainder of the day, but he still set it up and ran a series of 4 hoses to it to fill 'er up. Jay, Weston and Davis just HAD TO get in....then we forced their little Popsicle-selves out and even had to thaw Davis out in a warm shower.

We also hosted the West/Myers gang for dinner of burgers (grilled in the rain), potato salad, baked beans, Mac-n-cheese and strawberry pound cake. Which was delish.

And now we're off headed into another fun-filled week of Summer with no real plans, but I believe it will include lots of pool time either at either the gym or in our new kiddie pool or both.

Father's Day is upn us and despite the six-zillion "Father's Day gift guides" on tv and online I have no inkling about what to get Joseph this year. I'm sure we'll come up with something that he'll appreciate.

Today (Tuesday) the pool was warm enough for Jay to enjoy for a few minutes before naptime.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Digging for the Joy on a crazy Friday

Sooo. Today's one of those days when I'm digging down deep for the Joy because you see, sometimes you have to work for it.

I should have known that today was going to be a hum-dinger at 6:04 this morning. Jay woke up and started coming down the steps at 6:03, I instantly sprang up to get him and went up the first few steps to remind him to hold on to the rail and other things mothers do when their nearly-three year-olds are sleepily walking down stairs. When he got to me I picked him up and backed down the step. (singular)

Then went flying backwards into the pre-dawn abyss of nothingness that follows when you don't realize that you've actually walked up three steps and only step down one before thinking you're on solid ground.

In some sort of mid-air-ninja move I swung Jay around so I would hit the ground first, and boy did I. Flat on my back staring at the ceiling with 45 pounds of Jay on my chest, I prayed that we were both okay. Jay was scared, but not hurt at all since he landed on a cushion (ME). Once I got to my feet I was shocked and thankful to realize that I, too, was fine and dandy.

Thank you, Jesus for protecting us. And thank you for ibuprofen.

With a start like that, I should have expected some of the drama that has followed--all ups and downs--

1. Jay couldn't get dressed to go to the gym because his socks were too soft. A too-soft-sock-meltdown. That's a first. I didn't realize we had traded our son for Goldilocks.

2. We did make it to the gym and Lizzy didn't shed a single tear or whine or whimper for a second when I dropped them in the child care room. I'm thrilled!

3. Leaving the gym, everyone in good spirits Jay: "Look, there's something on the window!"
Me: "What is it?"
Jay: "SNOT!! I put it there, okay! Here's some more!"
Me: "Here, Buddy, let's use a tissue."
Jay: "No, I don't need one, 'dis why God gave us windows."
Umm, no sir. I believe you are mistaken.

4. I can officially declare we are done with Pull-Ups for Jay! (except when he's asleep, as insurance)

5. Lizzy is working hard to medal in mess-making. Her new event is cracker smash--this involves smashing all crackers, cookies, biscuits by slamming her cup down on them on the marble as violently and quickly as possible.

6. I've swept the kitchen 3 times so far today and only served breakfast and a snack. Good times.

7. To celebrate being done with Pull-ups and an attempt to keep the kitchen floors relatively clean for more than 45 minutes I took the kids to CFA to celebrate. Then had to run through a sideways rain apocalypse to get to the car. Bless your heart, Mr. CFA manager who carried his umbrella over us in an attempt to shield mother and two kids from the rain. But you see, I have 2 kids and we were in the rain which just led to all 4 of us being completely soaked, but I do appreciate your effort. Truly I do.

8. Its naptime now and I am off to Windex the interior windows of my car and prepare for whatever is coming my way when the kids wake up.

Because who in the world knows that that will be.
Certainly not me.

8b. I may or may not also be praying for God to keep filling my cup with Joy as I seem to have been overcome by a bewildering day. I'm so glad he never grows weary of filling my cup.

8c. I've also just started reading A little Salty to cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson. It's helping keep the Joy flowing as the tide rises.

9. At some point today, this happened, too.

that's furniture felt. I have no explanation.

Happy Weekend!!

**Late Night Edit**I saw this 5 on Friday link-up just now. After posting a list-like post today, I thought I'd go ahead and link up. My list is more than 5 things, but thanks for stopping by! All of our days are certainly not this wacky. Some are wilder...and occasionally less bonkers!**

Check out other 5 on Fridays by clicking the link above!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

All about New House

I've gotten a few questions lately about "New House" and I've realized I never really documented the transformation from the house we bought last May...

and it's different phases of deconstruction shortly thereafter..

and the "New House" that emerged...

And here we are today...(literally)

We bought the original house in May of 2012 after about 6 months of looking in this area. We drove by March 14, came in on March 15 made an offer that day. We signed the contract within 2 hours, went to dinner and had Lizzy on the next morning. 'Cause we like to do things the easy way....

We closed in May, started work in June and moved in the first week of October. Joseph completely designed the house we live in today and gets 100% of the credit for the vision, planning and creation of our home. As I often tell folks, I just move in when its done. I bring the kids and the clutter. :)

I turned out so well, if I do say so myself. It really is the perfect house for our family.

We kept the existing basement and the very back wall of the original house. We added a garage to the main level and extended the footprint of the house forward toward the road. We carved out the side of the hill to make a main-level driveway and change the slope of the yard.

A second story was added which includes the kids rooms, the office, the playroom, bathrooms and a common area.

Everything about the main level changed with the exception of the location of the back door and three windows in the living room. It now includes the master bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, mudroom, laundry room and bathrooms.

It came together wonderfully, I wish we entertained more now like we did before we had children so more folks could enjoy it more often.

We just love living here and this is the perfect home for the kids to grow up in. Its funny to think that Lizzy will take her first steps here and maybe even come back from her 1st date here! (Let's all take a moment to pray for that lucky guy, whoever he is, and that he survives the "meeting-her-dad-at-the-door moment". Lizzy, I promise I will try to make sure Dad isn't too scary, but I can't make any guarantees.) 

So, now we've been here 8 months and there is still some decorating to do, but there's plenty of time for that. Maybe over the next few months I'll post some pictures of different areas..just to prove that NO ONE (at least no one that I know) moves in and has a house that's picture perfect right away. Its always a work in progress and (in my experience) just about the time its all "done" is the time we put the for sale sign in the yard.

We plan to stay here a very long time, so be prepared for this to take a while. ;)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beach Break

We ran down to Orange Beach this weekend for a very quick 2 days of family time, nap skipping and eating, I mean vacation.

It was a nice change of scenery even if it wasn't what one would typically define as a "vacation" meaning there would be some sort of resting involved.

I did pack my camera, but my hands were too full to take any pictures.

We spent lots of time enjoying the park, swinging on the bay and checking out a little pier by the park.

Jay and I went to the pool a few times and Lizzy made it down to the pool for a little while Sunday. (Side note...I gave Lizzy a mini-lesson and she is very relaxed in the water and was calm as could be on her back. 2 more days and I could have had her resting. Swim lessons will be terrible though due to the fact that I will be outside of the fence.)

Jay really had fun and wants to go back "to Bacation" very soon.

We drove home 1st thing this Monday and were in Birmingham before lunchtime. Jay slept most of the way home..Lizzy not one wink. Both kids have picked up a little cold....I'm hoping it passes quickly and we can get back to regularly scheduled programming very soon.

Happy Summer!