Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Just Do It

I have been dreading this moment for a while now.  I know I haven't updated in a while.  A LONG while actually.  And I have so many things to catch you up on that I'm not even really sure where to begin.  I attempted to make an outline (list) of what I needed to update, thinking that would make me feel organized, and it would break things up into manageable chunks... ummm.. no.  If anything the task suddenly became more daunting and overwhelming.  So, taking a page out of Nike's playbook, I'm going to Just Do It. 
So let's start with Cameron's birthday, way back in old August, shall we?

You probably remember ole "Project 365", right?  Well we did it!  I wanted to use the pictures to make this "1", but we had too many pictures!  So I had to narrow it down... A LOT!  I will be making an album out of Project 365 pictures, but more on that later.  For now, this was up at the party to show how much he's grown.

The drinks... Lemonade, iced tea, water, and Mojitos!  What?  Mojitos don't belong at a 1 year old's birthday party?  Well not to worry- the beer was outside in the barrel.

Cameron's birthday presents!  (Minus the baby- that was actually his newest cousin who was born in July).

The front table with the "Wishes for Cameron" cards.  This was by far my favorite part of his party.  I had cards out for everyone to complete with "wishes" for his future.  They are at the end of this post, and some of them are just a riot!

Cards for the wishes.

And my 2nd favorite part of the party:  the food! 

So I had this cute little high chair bunting, but as you can see, it didn't even last long enough for me to get my camera out.  Oh well.  You can tell that it's cute, at least!

Oh another favorite!  This is the "photo booth" complete with props, like big kissy lips, moustaches, glasses, and other assorted fun things.  This is Paw Paw and Uncle Alex (my father and brother).

And this would be Uncle Andrew (my other brother).

Uncle Russ (Ryan's brother), Aunt Mikka, and the newest cousin, baby Britton.

Our friends, the Nelsons.  Little Cora is about 3 months younger than Cameron, so by the time I get this blog posted it will almost be HER birthday!  Haha!

Cousin Katherine (Andrew and Carrie's little girl).

YUMMY cake and cupcakes

And of course the monster got his own cake.  I mean, it's not like we didn't want to eat after him or anything, but we just thought he should get his own.

Uncle Andrew, Aunt Carrie, and Katherine

Uncle Andrew with Mimi, my grandmother.  I didn't realize how much Andrew liked the photobooth until now...

Oh and here are the "wishes".  I just love these!

I don't know why everyone seemed to want him to learn Spanish, but that was a common theme.  Perhaps they are planning on going in together to get him a trip to Spain for his next birthday?  Well he'll need a chaperon, so I guess I'll just "have" to go.  No arm twisting required. 

I'll take a breather here, because we also have the beach trip and Cameron's first day of "school" coming up next.  For most of September, we took turns getting sick, so I don't have a lot of fun updates from that month, but perhaps that is a blessing, given how far behind I already am.  More to come, and I promise I'll update before Christmas.  Haha!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Storytime, boys and girls

Did I ever tell you the story of what happened in math class in the 6th grade? No? Well, there’s probably a reason- you see I didn’t pay much attention in math class in 6th grade. Now my mother was the math coordinator for the 5 counties that surrounded mine. Basically her job was to make sure that all of the teachers in each grade taught the same thing. She made sure that all of the first grade teachers were on the same page as far as curriculum went, etc, etc. This went on all the way through high school, my friends, so as you can imagine, I really dreaded math class because my mother knew ALL of the math teachers. Every last one of them. This included my 6th grade teacher, we’ll call her Mrs. F (because had she treated me fairly, that’s the grade I earned in 6th grade. But somehow I squeaked by with a B.)

Now one night I was doing what all responsible 6th graders do- picking out my outfit for the next day of school- when the phone rang. All I barely overheard was my mother’s end of the conversation, which consisted of a lot of “uh-huh”s and “I see”s. With the click of the receiver, I heard that shrill mother voice that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up shout out “Kriiiiissssssttttttin”. Uh-oh. When she says it like that, it’s trouble for sure. I racked my brain trying to think of what I had done to earn that tone, and I squeaked out “yyyyyes?” (punctuated by the crack in my voice that could only be rivaled by one of my prepubescent male classmates.)

Mrs. F knew my mother. Naturally. And Mrs. F had just called my mother to inform her that I had neglected to turn in the last 16 homework assignments. Which meant I probably hadn’t quite learned the lessons she was attempting to cram into my tiny little adolescent brain. Which also meant that I was a shoe-in to fail the upcoming test we had. And that would be a disgrace to the regional coordinator of math curriculum, now wouldn’t it? At least that’s what I got out of the “discussion” that followed this little phone call. (As you can imagine, that “discussion” was a little one-sided, so I use the term very loosely.)

“WHAT” my mother demanded “have you been doing that is so much more important than your schoolwork?”

Oh she was not happy with the answer. You see, I had picked up a little hobby along the way. I was hand-crafting earrings and selling them at school. I had no time for homework! I had a business to run! And when all the cool kids had my earrings, I turned to, what else, tie-dyeing t-shirts! I was easily the most wealthy 6th grader at that point in the school year (later I was bumped from my top spot on the earnings list by the kid who sold pages straight out of his father’s porn mag collection. But that’s not really a part of this story.)

So it should come as no surprise to those who have known me since, oh say middle school, that I have had a knack for creating things. That little habit of mine has continued, and evolved through the years. I have done some scrapbooking, some wreath-making, some card-making, some sewing, embroidery, painting (that didn’t generally end well, btw) just to name a few. And you know I once saw a quote that said something to the effect of “whatever you do while you are procrastinating is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” I assume that statement was made before the inception of Facebook or Pinterest. That quote, though, reminds me of the 6th grade. Now I’ve long outgrown the paper mache earrings and tie dye, and thank goodness fashion has mostly outgrown it too. But I have not outgrown the crafting.

But what to do with all of these crafts? I mean, my house is only so big. Well friends, I’m taking this show on the road! This fall, I can be found at a number of craft fairs, where I will be featuring my lovely crafts. I’ll try to keep you updated on where I will be and when, so one of you can drop by and see my little booth! In the meantime, you can check my etsy shop at . I don’t have much out there at the moment, because I’m gearing up for my fall tour. But I expect that I’ll be on etsy more through the winter months, so when you’re cold and bored, look me up!

This, by the way, should sufficiently answer the question of “what are you doing all those times you’re not blogging”. Just in case any of you were thinking of asking. That, my friends, is both the story of 6th grade math class, and how I started my own business.

Oh and you know how all of our childhood stories ended with "and they all lived happily ever after"?  Well I've started ending Cameron's bedtime stories like this: "then Cameron cleaned his room, got Mommy her drink, and went straight to sleep like a good little boy."  I'm hoping it's as catchy and motivational as the happily-ever-after thing. 


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Look y'all! I blogged... again!

Twice in one month already.  I know you're just about to faint from all the excitement!  Speaking of excitement...guess who is almost one! C-Monster hits 11 months on Sunday, so I figure if I start typing this up now, surely I can get it posted by then, right? August is going to be a busy month for us- I can already tell. We’re planning a vacation to the beach then, and we’ve got a big birthday for a big boy too! But since we’re still in the month of July, let’s review what we’ve been up to, shall we?

Hooray for birthdays!!

 Cameron is moving and shaking ALL the time now. I get a workout by chasing him around, telling him “no no”, and “redirecting” his attention away from danger. (How is it that this child can already disassemble the surround sound speakers? Naturally chewing on their wires is MOST fascinating to him. Naturally.)

But look at that face... who could be mad?

I try to take him to the pool at least once a week, but most weeks we make it there twice or more. He seems to really enjoy it, so I’m glad to have an activity that can umm… use up some of that energy (READ: wear. him.out.) He’s still a little funky with naps. He’s been SO good, and I made the mistake of bragging on him, so for the last couple of days he’s completely refused one nap. Which means he has only taken one nap. And if that one nap was like a 3 hour napper, it wouldn’t be so bad. But it usually clocks in right at an hour, or if I’m lucky an hour 15 mins. That’s just no good. This morning he only took a 45 minute morning nap, so I took him to the pool to get him good and tired. We’ll see if we make it through the afternoon OK. Fingers crossed.
This was yesterday's lunch scene, after he skipped his morning nap.  Now for everyone who's asking "Are you SURE he was tired?"  Yes.  I am. 

Now for the big stuff… I really love the 4th of July. It has the definite ring of summer to it- I mean, there is no doubt that it’s summertime by the time July rolls around. For the past several years, I have run the Peachtree Road Race on the 4th of July. Well, I skipped last year, as you may recall. I was enormously pregnant, and cried all morning because I wished I could have been running. So this year, I was SUPER pumped to get a number. My training plan was completely derailed due to the illnesses that swept through my house in the spring, but I was determined to do it anyway. So on Monday, July 4th, I woke up bright and early, got the boys ready and out the door, and downtown we went. They dropped me off at the start line, and they moved on down to the 10th street curve to watch for mama. I told them to sit tight- I wasn’t going to be there any time soon. I had 2 goals that day: 1) don’t die; and 2) get the t-shirt. I’m very pleased that I actually accomplished both goals, AND I did much better at the running part than I thought I would. I ran the first 4 miles before I even realized it! I did walk on and off between mile 4 and 5, but ran from 5 all the way to the finish. Not bad for my first race back, with a training plan that had been completely hijacked! When I passed the boys, I pulled over for a family photo. See we have always taken fun pics at the Peachtree, and it’s just not fun when you’re in a picture by yourself. So I wanted this one to just be a family picture. I think we got it.

Thanks to our pal Ricky for snapping this on his phone!

This is one tired Mama.  But in other news, check out the cute wreath I made for the 4th!

Once home, I regretted all that running and all of that not training. In fact, the whole week following the Peachtree was a very lazy week for me. We didn’t go much of anywhere, and didn’t do much of anything. Mama was in recovery. I did, however, get all kinds of caught up with the Kardashians. That’s something I would normally consider a complete waste of time, but it seemed suitable for a week of recovery.

The downside to all that Keeping Up, is that now I feel like a total bum after watching them parade around Calabasas and Miami in the highest fashion. I mean really. So just as soon as it cools off around here, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to find myself somewhere to go and something to do so I can get all gussied up too. Otherwise, it just doesn’t seem practical to chase a baby around in stilettos. That’s just an accident waiting to happen. Until then, it’s flip flops and ponytails for this girl. And considering it hit 105 here yesterday, I think I’ve got a while before I have to worry about going anyplace fancy anyhow.

Friday, July 1, 2011

New Discovery

Well, he found it.  Moms of boys, you know what I'm talking about. 
Happy Friday y'all!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Never a dull moment...

So here’s the thing: I think I’m feeling overwhelmed with everything that’s going on, and blogging just keeps getting dropped. I know it’s not the end of the world, but I feel guilty for not keeping this up to date. And I feel like each post starts out with the same excuses for why I haven’t been blogging. So this is the end of that. I’m just going to summarize it once, and it will be my mid-year’s resolution to not mention or make excuses for my lack of blogging again. I mean really. How many times do you want to read that same old story over and over again anyway? Right. So. If you see that I skip some time, or haven’t been here, I’m probably alive and well. I’m probably on an adventure of some sort, and I’m just not able to stop and type about it. Let’s make that the general assumption from now on. Fair?

OK now that we’ve got that out of the way, what’s new in the Orrick world? Let’s see… Cameron has been getting up at 5:15 for no apparent reason. Awesome. That throws off his nap schedules, and makes every afternoon super cranky.  For everyone. Right when I’m trying to get dinner ready, straighten up the living room a tad, and my own energy tank is running on fumes, the little mister seems to toss in a big fuss just to stir things up. Because, you know, I don’t have enough to worry about. BUT, yesterday morning he slept until 6:15, and this morning he made it to 6:45, so my little heart is soaring with hope that we’re getting back on track!

Sneaky little devil 

We’ve been spending a lot of time at the pool this summer too. I don’t have any pictures to prove it because we tend to go in the day when it’s just me and the babe, so there aren’t enough hands to hold a baby, a camera, and the straps of my bathing suit up, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Cameron really enjoys the water, but he’s a little scared at first. We’ll walk down the steps, dipping into the water gradually, and every time we sink further into the water, he grips a little tighter and sucks his breath in a little. So imagine, if you will, me, with my sturdy momma bathing suit on (you’ll see why in a minute), baby on my left hip, walking slowly down the stairs to gradually dip the babe into the water. With every step his grip on my left bathing suit boob panel tightens, eventually exposing more and more skin. With every inch he moves the suit over, I grab with my right hand to move it back in an effort to maintain a shred of decency. I’m not sure why I bother, really, but I do try. By the time we leave the pool, the left boob panel of my suit is stretched out from our little game of tug-o-war: his effort to pull me closer, and my effort to maintain that decency. I swear in a year I’m going to pull this bathing suit out, having completely forgotten this game, and wonder why my left side is so much more stretched out than the right side. (Consider this blog post one big “note to self”.)
This is not our neighborhood pool, obviously- this is the little one in the backyard.  But you get the point.

Let’s see… what else? Oh I’ve been crafting away! That one deserves it’s own post with pictures, so I won’t say too much today. Just know that I’ve been busy busy creating things! I’m opening up an Etsy store, so I’ll post that info too, so you can keep up with my crafting adventures too.

Case in point:   a police car made out of diapers.  They lights on top, the headlights, and taillights all actually light up too. 

I think I’ve hit that point in motherhood where I’m ready to reclaim my sense of self. Staying home with my child is such a blessing, but it is not without it’s own challenges. I very much miss being among people, having adult conversation, and challenging my brain by thinking about solutions to work problems. I’m also really starting to get the whole balancing act that moms attempt- you know what I’m talking about- walking that fine line between giving enough to your kids, but also taking care of yourself enough that you have something leftover to give to your husband and friends too. I don’t have the balance right, but I so get why this is something people struggle with. I’m trying to carve out some “me” time so that I can recharge and feel well, human again. I am probably crazy for thinking this, but I’m really ready to get back to the gym. Or at least to be active again (other than chasing around a baby). I miss my workouts, and feeling fit and healthy. Right now all I feel is tired. (See here’s the crazy part. I feel tired, and I’m trying to sign up to do MORE activities? I know. It’s nuts. But I do feel better when I’m active.) So I’ve been scoping out gyms with the kids centers onsite. I have found one I like, but I’m not sure about timing. So I’m still thinking about that. I’m also weighing the option of putting Cameron into a Mother’s Morning Out program. I think it would be really good for him to be around other kids, and it would be really good for me to have a little time to myself. I’m looking at the 1 Day program where he’d go from 8:30-12:30, one day a week. It’s not a big deal, but I think it would make a big difference to us. I’m waiting to hear back from the director on that one. We’ll see how all that works out.
"What do you mean, momma?  You need time for yourself? But why?"

"It's not like I get myself into any trouble."

"I'm sweet and innocent.  See?"

So that’s all that’s new with us. Cameron is growing more and more each day, and it seems like he does something new and crazy each day to keep us laughing, crying, or rolling our eyes. Yesterday he tried to eat a spider, which earned laughter, tears AND an eye roll (and a phone call to the pest control company). But you know. Things will never be dull again!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top 9 at 9

I feel like I just did the 8 month update, and here it is time to do the 9 month update!  Maybe if I would blog more frequently, time would feel more relative, eh?  Speaking of, at long last we finally got the hard drive situation under control.  So I owe you a BIG update from April... lots of happenings from that month so I'd better get cracking!  But first I bring you a special countdown for Cameron's 9 month birthday!!

9)  The Easter bunny managed to find 9 things for Cameron's Easter basket this year.  I was worried about what he would come up with, since Easter seems to be very candy-focused, and my little monster can't eat candy yet.  (Though let me just say that I will be talking to the Easter bunny about the amounts of candy provided in future Easter baskets too... I don't want him to be cracked out on sugar all the time...)  When we woke up Easter morning, Cameron had 2 things of puffs, a new bib, one of those "leash" things for your sippy cup, an outfit, complete with a polo, overalls, and a hat, a new little toy, and a book.  Bella, on the other hand, only got a bag of treats.  But let me say, there were more than 9 treats in that bag!

8) Cameron has 8 teeth!  8!!  A lot of babies his age don't even have half as many teeth, but my little monster is ready to chow down on a steak, apparently! 
It's hard to get a picture of those teeth, because he usually has something in his mouth... like this.

7)  This is the number of different foods Cameron eats in a day- that's 2 at breakfast, 2 at lunch, 2 at dinner, and a snack!  He's a big fan of veggies and fruits.  Yogurt and cereal are staples too.  Recently he's taken to Cheerios.  At first I was afraid we were giving him too many Cheerios and he was getting a head-start on the processed food addiction.  But when I lift him out of his chair at the end of the meal/snack, there are always at least 75% of the Cheerios sitting in his chair.  So for now, they are good practice, but most of them aren't hitting their target!

6)  Six is the number of cupcakes the C-Monster got me for my birthday!  I didn't really want any presents- I wanted a family day!  So Ryan took the day off, we all got up early to watch the Royal wedding, Ryan brought me breakfast in bed, and we spent the day doing things as a family.  For dinner, I just wanted crab legs (I would have preferred to have gone to the beach to get them, but hey, I'll take what I can get!) and for dessert- CUPCAKES!

Not the most flattering picture of me, but it was 6AM and I was in my princess gear!

5)  The five in this countdown is for High-5!  Cameron has learned to give high-5s!  He's also learning to clap, though he's less consistent with that one, and he loves it when I sing silly songs and play with him. We've been working on waving too, but if you stand too close to him while waving, he turns it into... a high-5!
So this is one of my favorite pictures!  It was our Easter photo shoot (in the outfit I made for him) and he kept trying to wave to the camera... I think he wanted the camera to go bye-bye, but he's got a lot to learn because that isn't going to happen any time soon!

4)  Four describes the number of BIG events that happened in April for Cameron!  His daddy's birthday was April 3, Easter was April 24, the Royal Wedding was April 29, which happened to coincide with Mommy's birthday weekend kick-off!  (Hey, if I have to share my wedding with the Royals, I'm going to make my event just as big as theirs!) 

3)  This is the number of months until Cameron's first birthday!  I can't believe it!  I still feel like he's maybe 4 or 5 months old sometimes... then he'll start crawling around the room and I get a reality check. 
I see my birthday!  It's just right around the corner!

2)  This is the number of good naps Cameron is now taking!  I can't believe I finally got to type that sentence!  Yes, you read that right- I said "good naps"!  For the longest time he would only sleep for 20 minutes at a time, and try as I might, I couldn't get him to sleep longer than that.  Then it stretched to 30 minutes.  Then we stalled out.  Then he stopped sleeping at all!!!  Finally I got him to sleep in his jogging stroller, but they were still short naps.  I've now transitioned him to sleeping in his jogging stroller in his room, and that has helped.  Or maybe it's all the exercise he's getting from crawling that's doing it.  I don't really care what the magic is, as long as it's working!  And it is!
Getting good exercise...

And passing out!

1)  Until recently, Cameron had only ridden in one car ever!  We have been driving around in Ryan's car, while we shopped for a new car for me (a car seat wouldn't fit safely in my old car).  Almost 9 months later, we finally got it!  It's a 2011 Honda Pilot, and I must say, I am loving the satellite radio!  I didn't think I would care that much, but that's kind of stupid considering how much I hate talking on the radio!  I'm particularly fond of Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville radio.  It's PERFECT for summer! 

I have a lot to catch up on, so I'll try to post another update soon!