Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back To Bed, Sleepyhead! Please?

Where did my precious little baby girl go?  And who is this female monster who terrorizes me at bedtime each...and...every...night? I truly feel like a first-time mom all over again.  Rob and Caroline could not be more different in terms of their temperment if they tried.
Caroline was brought home from the hospital on a cold December day in 2009 and she was so peacefully perfect!  She was a delicate little flower who fit so nicely into our Morris bouquet!  It used to be that she would sleep anytime, anywhere.  If she were sleepy, you just said "night, night" to her.
Well, last night after an hour of rocking, patting, and putting an almost-sleeping baby into her bed only to hear her sit up and cry, I was exhausted and decided to let her just cry it out.  She stopped crying and I felt instant relief!  But then out of nowhere...wait for it...there she was in my bedroom!
Y'all, she has learned how to climb out of her crib.  Life as I know it is over!  She is not a sleeper anymore!  She only takes cat naps; we have to be silent when she is asleep.  I can almost never transfer her into her bed if she has fallen asleep in the car. What a non-sleeping li'l booger she is!
I should tell you a little history.  Rob was so sweet and easy to put to bed.  We had a process that we stuck to each night: rocking while reading a book, rocking and patting his back a little bit more, then put him into bed.  Now we have incorporated nighttime prayers into that routine, but after 4 years bedtime is a breeze! 
Not the story with Caroline.  She will not allow me to read her a book while rocking.  She's waaay to active.  Rocking her to sleep is a challenge, too, because she kicks around and plays with my hair and does everything she can to stay awake.  Now she also climbs out of her bed, too!
Ah, the glory days of the rocking chair!  With Rob, I was a rock-star mamma and it didn't bother me to be a rocker.  Now, with Caroline, I just want some consistency.  Tell me mammas, what method works best with y'all?  I really want my princess back!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day (and a Porch Feature)

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the moms out there reading this.  I hope you had a great one and celebrated the woman who gave you life (whether that be biologically or emotionally and maturationally, or all of the above).

We had a nice Mother's Day that began with church and ended at my brother and sister-in-law David and Mary's house for dinner.  Let's start from the beginning, shall we?

I am so blessed to be a mother.  I always knew I wanted children, but no amount of pretending with my Cabbage Patch Kids and American Girls prepared me for this life changing moment:
...or this one below:
Woof!  Luckily I'm much better at parenting than I am at being pregnant.  My face becomes all-kinds-of distorted!  But those are 2 of the 3 happiest days of my life!  The third being my wedding day, but that's for another post!

So Bobby surprised me with this for my Mother's Day present and I am so excited to find the perfect hanging spot for it on my back porch:
This beauty holds candles and will eventually hang from my back porch rafters.  Our back porch waffles between man-cave and outdoor living space.  I want to cozy it up with some burlap curtains similar to these.  I have been doing some gentle landscaping and re-organizing of the space.  However, during the fall, my husband claims it.  We currently have not one but three grills out back along with a huuuuge TV for football game watching. 

Back to Mother's Day.  Like I said, we ended the day at David and Mary's house, and she has recently transformed her back porch into another whole living space.  They live in a typical 3 BR, 2 story house that I can remember used to be refered to as "salt shaker" style.  They have a wrap-around porch that literally wraps around the entire house!  We spend the majority of the evening here:
Okay, now I realize that isn't the best picture afterall.  She has taken a corner of her deck and covered it with this beautiful gazebo.  There are curtains hung for the occasional need of privacy.  Secret: she incorporated shower curtains!  Totally rain-proof!  Below are better shots of the little settee and a curtained corner:
FYI: That column above was just a white, concrete column that can be purchased from just about any lawn and garden shop.  Mary marbelized it herself.  Isn't it gorg?  She has a little side business called Faux Fantastic.  If you don't remember, I'll remind you of the little project she did to my house.
There's a water feature that my li'l booger really loved!  Personally, I find almost nothing as soothing as the sound of trickling water. Below is my beautiful niece Lauren and her best pal Bella.  If you notice the mighty grill in the background, that was the source of our dinner.
I made mention to my brother and step-father that they were behaving as typical men who like to play with fire.  "Do you guys even know how to work that thing?" This shot below was their response:
Ha!  Again, typical men.  Well, it wouldn't be a Mother's Day post without a shot of our Majestic Matriarch.  She hates, hates, hates having her picture made, which is crazy because look how beautiful she is!  OMG if I age half as gracefully as she has, I will be so proud of myself. 
Finally those men finished our dinner.  Mary's porch features a darlingly appetizing place for us to eat:
Thrifty Mary that she is, she found this dining set at a Goodwill!  Can you believe it?  It is in perfect condition!  She added the umbrella and cushions which were all purchased on sale.  If you look closely, there are LCD lights hanging from the underside of the umbrella, so after we enjoyed our sunset dinner, we remained outside for some delicious (homemade) strawberry cake!  Gosh, Mary is making it hard on Martha Stewart!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Mother's Day DON'T...

Where are you, Muse of Creativity?  Why do you avoid me so?  Case-in-point: My attempt at Mother's Day Creativity.

Why do I stress over the perfect Mother's Day present?  It couldn't be because God has blessed me with the most amazing mother and mothers-in-law a girl could ever want...it certainly is not because my children have the most aMAYzing grandmothers ever imagined.  So I definitely do not stress over Mother's Day in attempt to give my mothers what they deserve--the best.  Nah.Nope.Not one of those reasons.

I've given some pretty decent gifts in the past.  Yet I take credit for no originality.  I am the take-and-run kind of crafter.  That's why I read all my blogs.daily.first thing. There...I have confessed. I'm obsessed. This year's inspiration came from this little bit o'goodness to the right -- my latest issue of the Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine I receive quarterly.

I decided I would make DIY windchimes for all my moms.  I needed about 1 million pint sized terra cotta pots which I found for next to nothing at a yard sale.  DIY and thrifty?  SCORE!  I was hooked.  Oh, if only...

The first step was the 2-color process.  I already had both colors I wanted to use.  Again...SCORE!  First problem?  When I applied the painter's tape to the pot-rims, I didn't smoothe it down using rocket science methodology, so paint color #2 ran onto the white.  I should have known then I was in over my head.
Yep, what was supposed to be a quick-dry spray paint process quickly turned into a sanding and hand-painting touch up.  Again, perhaps I should have just punted, yet in my mind the end result was going to be fantastic and homemade.

Now, about the details.  There are supposed to be 3 pots per windchime, strung together by clothesline.  So each pot must be wonderfully and artistically personalized. Check. I have nice handwriting.  I'll just paint everyone's grandmotherly moniker along the rim. And I'll use the kids' thumbprints as the base of some outdoorsy-insect-motif. Wait...did I just consider kids and paint? Apparently I didn't consider it and my artistic abilities enough. How do you paint a ladybug, anyway? (Confession time: I actually had to ask/double check. Are they red with black spots or black with red spots? Answer: the latter.)

Well, below are some images of what I have done so far.  Rob's thumbprints became my pitiful ladybugs.  Caroline's smeared thumbprints made the "perfect" body for my dragonflies.  The project is not finished yet.  Because I have 48 hours left and I hope I can redeem this, I am posting it now. I'll update with the finished look in time. Comments? Suggestions? Feel free.
In the good news section of this post, if y'all have some good suggestions, I have extra terra cotta pots.  Remember, I bought a million of them for pennies.  Also, please don't tell my Mothers about this just yet.

'til then folks! Bye.