Saturday, August 30, 2008

Photo Update

John and Norm after bathtime.Norm with his favorite toy: an elephant from Aunt Cat.
John making a painting for Brian.
His masterpiece (a wolf) almost complete.
Norm showing off his tummytime skills.
John and Norm hanging out together.John had an itchy eye during a fingerpainting session.He got really excited when he saw his reflection in the mirror.On Friday we met some new friends at a park and fed the geese.We also fed the ducks.And a turtle.By the time we left, all the water animals were full, but these birds were kind enough to eat the end of John's crackers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ought Snought

I'm knitting.
I'm almost done with the second sleeve.
I'm crafting.

for Norm's room

I'm even trying to sew.

a "lovey" for a friend's new baby

I'm reading a novel.

I'm meeting my neighbors.

I'm trying to raise money for a cause I hold near and dear.

I'm trying to decide on a new bag.

I'm blogging.

I'm enjoying my new house, the neighborhood playground and the neighborhood pool.

I'm acting like Norm is sleeping through the night--which he is--sometimes.

I ought to be cleaning.

I ought to finish the last bit of unpacking.

I ought to be sleeping more.

Ought snought. I'm tired, but I'm having fun!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Help Needed

Back in July I went to the beach with my family. My brother, John, and his wife, Shelley, brought Shelley's cousin, Tara, along to help out with their triplets. Tara, among other things, is an on location sales rep for 1154 Lill bags. They are custom-made bags and they are really cool. Ever since I leafed through Tara's huge duffel bag of fabric, (they have about 150 changing choices of fabric) I have dreamed of owning my own bag. I decided that with my saved up birthday money I was going to buy my own custom bag.

I quickly settled on a design (the Andi), but have labored over what fabric to choose. I'm a woman obsessed. I play with their website all the time, building virtual Andis. I patiently wait for new fabrics to show up and get sad when others disappear. I must decide soon so I can get a little more time back in my life to do little things--like laundry.

Anyway, this is where you come in. I need help. Here are pics of some of the Andis I have designed. I need your opinion. Please let me know which one(s) you like best--and why. Please!!! I need help. I want a bag. I just don't know which one.

Andi 1: El Yunque with Mocha Basket Weave
Andi 2: Moroccan Tile with Carrot Cake

Andi 3: Flocked Floral with Carrot Cake

Andi 4: Cerulean Breeze with Mocha Basket Weave

Andi 5: Turning Tulips with Kelly Green

Andi 6: Emerald City with Yellow Stone

Please break your silence. Please let me know your opinions. Thanks!

Definitely Bitten by the Bug Again

I am definitely bitten by the knitting bug again. Everywhere I look I see something else I want to knit. Check out this little cutie knit by Ashley. You can buy the pattern here. He must be added to my WIP (on the brain) list. So adorable!

By the way, I got a chance to stay up and knit last night and finished the first sleeve of John's sweater. And Norm was sweet enough to sleep from 9:00PM until I woke him up at 7:30AM. Yay Norm!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Turtle Lover?

All turtle lovers must check this out:

If you don't knit, find someone who will knit it for you. So cute!

P.S. I have vowed to knit at least 20 minutes every night. Knitting mojo is mine again!

Instant Social Life

Well, life here in Texas is getting busier and busier, but in a good way. John and I are starting to make friends. Today we got together with my new friend Wendy and her two daughters. Our two year olds actually played TOGETHER today. There were some sharing issues, but generally all went well. Yay!

We're also getting to know some of our neighbors through the meetup group. Yay! I am so impressed with how organized the whole thing is. There is a website with a calendar of upcoming "meetups." You can RSVP directly on the calendar and see who else is planning on attending. There is a message board to discuss various things with other group members. You can send e-mails and public greetings. It's really fun. The group I joined has 66 current moms as members. The children range in age from newborn to 18 years old so the meetups are varied--some appropriate for my little guys and some not. There are also Mom only meetups and family meetups and even a Dads poker night. It's like having an instant social life. To give you a better idea of what I'm talking about, this is a list of the meetups currently scheduled for our group in September:

September 1: Labor Day
September 2: 3:30PM Family Swim
September 3: 10:00AM Playdate at C's house; 7:00PM Bunco
September 5: 11:00AM Playdate at park with splash pad (think lots of fun sprinklers); 7:00PM Soccer Parade
September 6: 10:30 AM Family storytime at library; 11:30AM Playdate at Games place
September 7: 3:30PM Birthday party at neighborhood park (for summer and September bdays)
September 8: 9:30AM Playdate at T's house
September 9: 7:00PM Family outing to ice cream place
September 10: 8:00PM Moms only swim night
September 11: 3:15PM Play at neighborhood park
September 12: 10:00AM Playdate at H's house
September 13: 6:00PM Graze Around the Neighborhood (adults only; drinks and appetizers at 4 houses in the neighborhood)
September 14: 6:00PM Family dinner at BBQ place (kids eat for free)
September 15: 8:30AM Breakfast picnic at neighborhood park
September 16: 10:00AM Playdough playdate at R's house; 3:30PM After School Floats at V's house
September 17: 6:45PM Evening play at neighborhood park
September 18: 7:00PM Mom's night out at Tex Mex restaurant
September 19: 10:30AM Playdate at L's house; 7:00PM Dads Poker Night
September 20: 10:00AM Family play at neighborhood park
September 21: 1:00PM Dinosaur exhibit at local museum; 7:00PM October Planning Meeting
September 22: 11:00AM Lunch at local place--moms eat free with purchase of kid's buffet; 7:00PM Moms Game Night
September 23: 3:30PM Board game playdate
September 24: 10:00AM Children's book swap playdate
September 25: 10:00AM Boys playdate at Co's house
September 26: 10:00AM Playdate at Cy's house
September 28: 9:00PM Moms movie night at Co's house
September 29: 9:00AM Nature walk and craft; 7:00PM CPR 'party'
September 30: 3:30PM Activity Bag Exchange; 7:00PM Pokeno (like Bingo with prizes)

Isn't that amazing? I love it! I won't be able to make many of the moms only stuff right now with Brian traveling and Norm's nursing and John's desire to have me put him to bed, but I'm still excited about the possibility of knowing it's out there. I know that not all the children are at a good age for John to play with, but there are a good number of 2 and 3 year olds. Most of the in home meetups have limited spots available (understandably), but we got into some of them. The park and non-home playdates are always open to everyone who wants to come. And, of course, John is going to be in school on Tuesday and Thursday mornings (starting September 2nd) so we won't be attending meetups on those mornings.

Anyway, that's our excitement and how we came upon our instant social life.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting...

Sorry for the random title. But I thought I'd go with it. A random title for a post of random thoughts. That song's been stuck in my head for days, thanks to Erin. Thought I'd pass it along.

Just thought I'd share a few quick pictures and a few quick thoughts. Brian's been out of town all week, but returns tonight so the boys and I are excited.

It rained most of the week which is great for the grass and plants, but not so great for a mom with an antsy two year old. Oh well! It cleared up long enough for us to go to the playground last night which was wet, but wonderful. We LOVE having a playground in walking distance of our house.

I've been busy unpacking odds and ends now that all the important stuff has been taken care of. We're not done yet, but we're getting closer. I no longer feel like I'm surrounded by boxes. Unfortunately, the stuff that is left is the stuff you don't really need that often and it all has the potential for sitting in boxes until our next move. Hmmm... What to do with it all? So far I've managed to come up with about 5 boxes of items to donate. I think I'm going to donate them to this local cause.

John's been demonstrating his "skills" recently. One of his favorites is lining things up. He does it with books...

with shoes...
and, my personal favorite, with diapers. Nice, huh?

Norm's favorite new skill is showing off his head holding ability. Look at this cutie!

He also loves to hold his toys. Here he is holding the caterpillar toy I knit for him. He actually likes it. So exciting!
Speaking of knitting, I actual knit last night for the first time. I knit part of a sleeve on John's rainbow cardigan while watching the Olympics (mainly women's beach volleyball finals--go USA!). It was really nice to sit and relax and take a break from packing. Since Norm slept through the night again last night--go Norm!--I should get a chance to do more knitting again soon since I should be more rested. Woo hoo! Everybody was kung fu fighting...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Movie Monday: "Reading" Edition (Plus Zoo Pics Bonus)

Recently, John has begun "reading" books to us. It's really adorable. Today he decided to read Farm and Mr. Brown Can Moo to me. I videotaped him to share with you. Hope you enjoy listening to him as much as I do. My favorite is when he reads the page about Mr. Brown sounding like the rain: "dibble dibble dopp."

On Saturday, we used our zoo membership again and Brian, John, Norm and I went to the Dallas Zoo. We started in the Wilds of Africa section because John wanted to see crocodiles or as he says "ocodiles." It was only in the 70s and overcast on Saturday so the animals were all out and about and happy. We saw lots of animals up close and had a great time. We finished our visit with a quick return to the children's zoo to see farm animals and to check out the nature exchange. It was all around a wonderful trip.

Our first stop was the gorillas (on the way to the crocodiles.) Look how close the gorilla was. It looked right at us!The gorilla moved farther away so we went to this lookout point to check it out again.Norm was having a good time. You can't tell, but he's wearing his "See you later, alligator" outfit--inspired by John's repeated requests to go see "ocodiles."The crocodiles! They were right there (other one not pictured). He looked at us!Wow! That thing is big!Next, we checked out the chimpanzees. We could see two from this viewpoint. I didn't catch it on film, but one of the chimpanzees came right in front of the glass to grab some lettuce and oranges. We then got to watch him eat.Next, we moved to another viewpoint that was not behind glass. This chimpanzee decided to come over that way to check us out.Taken from John's point of view, this photo shows the chimpanzee checking us out.The best I could do with getting a photo of John and I watching the chimpanzees.John points out the chimpanzee to me.A lizard that was hanging out right next to us.Next we checked out this cute little guy: a klipspringer. John with the klipspringer after it sprung down the rocks and was closer to us.Next, my favorite exhibit: the African Penguins. These little guys are adorable and very active and social. John liked to reach out and try to touch this one because he kept swimming near us.Norm and me with the African Penguins.On the way to the Children's Zoo, we finally spotted the elusive bobcat. Do you see its ear sticking up as it sleeps on the rocks?During our quick stop in the Children's Zoo, we went to the Nature Exchange. It's a place where you can bring in shells, rocks, pine cones, dried plants, animal bones, fossils, etc. You get points for the items based on what it is and its condition (bonus points for knowing something about the item). You can then get other items from the exchange. For first timers, they have a bin of "free items" that includes some shells, pinecones, rocks and fossils. John chose this pinecone.On our way out we decided to ride the Endangered Animals Carousel. John couldn't decide which of the many cool animals he wanted to ride. He finally chose the nest because I could sit in it with him.
And finally to answer the question that's on the tips of all your tongues: "Has Haley finally met some friends?" Yes, I have! Last week I went to lunch with the daughter of the office manager at my pediatrician's office. Did you follow that? Wendy has a two year old daughter and a six week old daughter. We had a great time at lunch and plan to try to hang out once a week or so. I'm very excited. Then today I went to my first playdate with people in my neighborhood. I discovered a moms group just for people in my development on I had never heard of, but it was recommended by the nurse at my pediatrician's office so I decided to check it out. There were lots of moms groups in McKinney, but I chose to try the one for my development first. How nice to meet people right in your own neighborhood! The 'meetup' for today was supposed to be at a park, but it rained so we met at someone's house instead. There were around 9 moms there with children ranging in age from 4 weeks to 10 years. There were two other boys there that were 2 so that was really exciting! I liked the moms I talked to and am going to try to go to two more 'meetups' at parks next week.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy 3 Months!

Today Norm turns 3 months. I can't believe he is that old already although I also can't really remember life without him. He's blended so nicely into our family. He's grown tremendously and has the most wonderful chunky thighs, but still seems so tiny to me. The jury's still out on who Norm looks most like, but when he smiles his eyes remind me very much of Brian. Brian thinks he has my nose.
Norm continues to be a happy laid back baby. If he does get fussy, usually all he needs is a little facetime to make him happy again. Norm loves to lay on his playmat and kick his legs and wave his arms. He's gotten really good at grabbing the rings hanging from his playmat and holds on to them as if he's getting ready for some future Olympic event. Norm does well with holding his head up and is getting stronger and better at holding himself up during tummy time. We read books to him three times a day now (before AM nap, PM nap and at bedtime). He usually smiles and "talks" during storytime and seems to have a special love for Goodnight Moon and Mama Loves You. Norm is good-spirited and happily takes Zoe kisses and John hugs and kisses. A few weeks ago, he started trying to suck his thumb. However, he found the thumb unsatisfactory so he's moved to sucking his first finger or sometimes first two fingers instead.
I've worked really hard this week to get Norm on a schedule and it seems to be working. This week he's only woken up once a night to eat and as a special 3 month birthday present to me, he slept through the night last! I see the light at the end of the always tired tunnel and I'm excited. Happy 3 months, Norm! Mama loves you!

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Little Artist

My first "craft project" was going to be a painted canvas for John's room. I wanted to make him something that would help personalize his room. After staring at the blank canvas, I decided that I did not have the artistic skills to make anything very exciting so I decided to let John paint the canvas himself. He was very excited--especially when he got to wear one of my t-shirts for a smock.
He chose the long-handled paintbrush first, but the bristles were stiff and it didn't apply a lot of color.
He studied the paint closely and chose an early palette of yellow and green.
Then he discovered the broad sponge brush and got bolder with his painting. He loved to combine all the colors and the painting became full of brown and black as the colors mingled.
John was very proud of his accomplishment.
His finished painting. I am so proud. What is it you ask? During painting, John described parts of the painting as "Pauli, Zoe, Norman, John." Afterwards, he decided it was a dog. What do you think?