Sunday, January 31, 2010

ice, snow, and more snow

We had big plans for this weekend:

Thursday evening, my mom and I had been planning to go out to Mimi's Cafe in Rogers, just the two of us, to celebrate our birthdays. Even though the rain was supposed to turn into ice that evening, we decided to chance it and go out anyhow. We had a great meal and even better conversation, keeping an eye out the window the whole time to make sure the roads weren't getting to slick. They were by the time we left. The ice was coming down quickly, and Hwy 412 might have been an extra long skating rink by the timw we got to it. But we made it home.

By the next morning, a half inch of ice covered everything. By mid-afternoon, the ice turned into a snow storm, which blanketed everything with a good 6 inches of snow. I know that this is nothing for our Iowa relatives, but for Arkansas, this is a LOT of snow. The most I've seen here yet.

Needless to say, we had to cancel our big Dallas trip for Saturday. Boo. The roads between here and there were guaranteed to be impassable and an icy mess. So, we're rescheduling for 2 weekends from now. Ikea, here we come...soon.

Despite the disappointment, we made the most of our wintry weather. Gabe came home from work early on Friday, and went to pick up my mom in Springdale so she could spend the weekend with us.

We drank a lot of tea, kept the fire going, and played in the snow.

Here's a view of our street, before the snow had stopped falling. It's a big mess of snow drifts now.

Liam had lots of fun. He kept saying, "More snow!" all day long. He's played outside a few times, and he really enjoys just tromping around in it.

An improvised sled...

It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so hopefully it will be warm enough to melt the snow instead of creating more ice to deal with.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Molly's post on Arkansas

Click on the title to see some of Molly's pictures from her visit with us a couple of weeks ago...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

a weekend visit and Liam on the swings

Our friends Rachael and Joseph flew out to visit us for the weekend. It was a pretty relaxed and low-key visit. Activities included grocery shopping and library perusing in Fayetteville, a chilly walk to the park, church Sunday morning, and making homemade pasta together. Liam wowed everyone with his potty training skills, all of which made for some nudity-induced funny moments.

It was a good visit. We had some good talks. I really miss Rachaels' company.

Of course, we didn't really take any pictures, except when we went to the park. Here are some favorites of Liam on the swings:

how to get things done

Put him in the sink...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Full-sized skein of Naturally Caron yarn for the cost of a stamp!

Full-sized skein of Naturally Caron yarn for the cost of a stamp!

Special thanks to Amy for this tip.

I've already filled out my 3x5 card with the yarn request. Its ready to go out with the mail tomorrow.

What a great, and fun, deal... Check it out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

breaking news

Liam, the vegetable hater, happily munched away three carrot sticks, asked for more, and then moved on to celery with peanut butter.

This is a big deal, people!

Other veggies he'll sometimes eat: corn, peas, beets.

Monday, January 18, 2010

heat wave

Today warmed up to 63 degrees.

After the last few week's near-zero temperatures, the weather today felt incredibly warm. Warm enough for a trip to the playground.

Liam's coordination and courage are improving, especially when it comes to climbing. He went down the spiral slide, unassisted, a dozen times or so.

Here is how it's done:
1. Go up the stairs

2. Run across the walkway

3. Carefully cross the bridge

4. Climb up the steps to the slide and sit down

5. Woo Hoo!

6. Repeat
It was a fun afternoon at the park, but this pregnant Mama doesn't have quite the energy she is used to. It wiped me out.

photo shoot

This morning I staged a little photo shoot for some handmade items I'm donating for Haiti (see more about that on my blog). Liam desperately wanted me to also take pictures of his blanket.

So we did.
favorite things

for Haiti

Since hearing about the devastating earthquake in Haiti nearly a week ago, I've struggled with my reponse to it. It is terribly tragic. So terrible that it's hard to wrap my mind around. And the news seems to just be getting worse and worse.

And, honestly, I have been so wrapped up in my little world, full of its own busyness and distractions, that I haven't allowed my thoughts to travel much to those suffering in Haiti. But that doesn't mean the problem doesn't continue to be awfully real. It's clear that what they need most, besides our prayers, is money. And money I do not have.

But then I stumbled across craft hope and their for Haiti Etsy Shop. It is full of handmade items for purchase, where all of the profits go directly to relief in Haiti through Doctors Without Borders.

Clearly, this is something I can do.

So, I did.

I had a stash of handmade goodies just waiting for the right opportunity. I submitted them this afternoon, so they should be available for viewing, and purchase, tomorrow.

Here is what I donated:

a recycled one-piece sweater outfit, size 3-6 months
update: SOLD
Recycled sweater pants, size 6-9 months
update: SOLD

Recycled sweater hat, size 0-6 months (Liam has one just like it...)
update: SOLD

A handknit bamboo baby romper, size newborn
update: SOLD

A reusable cloth snack bag
update: SOLD
In the last 2 days, the entire time the store has been up and running, it has brought in over $7,000. My offerings are small beans in comparison, but every little bit helps.

a little show

On Friday, Molly, Rebecca, and Andres put on a little show for the kids at my mom and Linda's work.

Molly and Rebecca did their body balancing act
And Andres did a shortened version of his chair act (the ceiling was low...)
The kids really enjoyed the performance. Liam was the only one in the group who wouldn't sit still for the show.

After it was over, the kids got to meet the performers.
This little girl was especially thankful. She gave each of them big smooches on the cheek.
It made my mom really happy to show off
Molly, Andres, and Rebecca's talent.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Liam loves visitors

Molly, Andres, and Rebecca got to our house at 5 am Wednesday morning, after driving all 17 hours from Florida straight through. Liam was surprised to find Rebecca sleeping on the couch when he woke up. He kept pointing to her saying "What's that?"

When they woke up later in the morning, it didn't take Liam long at all to warm up to his Tia Molly, Tio Andres, and Rebecca.
They brought him a very fun surprise.

A horse costume that he both wears and rides... He kept running around saying "neigh!"
Rebecca's flashy shoes are also a treat for Liam. He has been walking around in them every chance he gets.
Fun times with Tia Molly
One cool dude

1/4 of a century + 1 day

Yesterday was my 25th birthday.

For my 23rd birthday, I was 7 months pregnant with Liam. Gabe and I had celebrated a few days before my actual day, so when the 15th rolled around, I was home alone feeling very pregnant, miserable, and just plain sorry for myself. Not so this year.

My sister Molly, her husband Andres, and her circus partner, Rebecca, have all been here since Wednesday. We spent the day just hanging out around the house.

The biggest excitement for the day was when Liam pooped on the kitchen floor. Dahlia came along right behind him and ate it up. Yes, she ate his poop. By this point, I was running Liam to the bathroom so we could finish his business on the potty, but out popped another landmine and I stepped in it. We continued into the bathroom, leaving poop prints from my shoe the whole way. By the time we got there, he was done.

Yes, exciting.

Despite this incident, he's still doing fantastic with going on the potty, with only one other accident in the last 3 days! That is the best present Liam could have given me. That and the birthday poop story.

In the evening, my mom, Linda, and Ethan joined us for a yummy dinner of Thai food takeout from the Lor Orchid. My favorite!
There were some gifts:

Gabriel surprised me with a marble mortar and pestle set, wrapped in blueprints.
Molly gifted me with two beautiful maternity tops, and my mom helped fund our Ikea shopping trip coming up in a couple weeks (more on that later...).
Since my mom's birthday is next week, Molly brought something for her as well: a tool kit. As you can see, she's thrilled with it.

We finished up the evening with homemade mango sticky rice, drizzled with coconut sauce and toppped with coconut ice cream. Yummy. Yummy. Yummy.

And we watched Grey's Anatomy.

It was a great day.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I think we're in business now

Liam went on the potty all by himself today.
update: by the time he went to bed tonight, he'd succesfully peed 2 more times and even pooped on the potty! All by himself. And NO ACCIDENTS on the floor!!! Woohoo.

This is a huge step forward. We have spent the last week and a half making frequent runs to the potty with Liam shouting pee pee. He'd sit and try for long periods of time, but never could relax enough to go. And then I'd clean up mess after mess later.
I think he really gets it now.
The naked bottom approach (except when he's sleeping) seems to have been the best approach for him. He was very aware of sensations down there while he was unhindered, and we purposely stayed at home with nothing on the schedule for the last week or so.
Reading lots of books on this subject to Liam while he sat on the pot seems to have also been very helpful (special thanks to Amy for sending out a stash and all of the encouragement!). Another favorite book came from the library, Tinkle Tinkle Little Tot, which was full of what I suppose you could call inspirational jingles.
Here's a sample of one of our favorites:
The Tushy Pushy
to the tune of the hokey pokey
You pull your undies down.
You get the potty out.
You sit your bottom down,
And you push the poopy out.
You do the tushy pushy
Til you push the poopy out.
That's what it's all about.
You really can't get any more inspirational than that. Nevertheless, we have both had quite the potty mouths lately.
I know the journey isn't over yet, but I am finally feeling like all this work wasn't for nothing.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

mr. mechanic

Gabriel is good at many things, one of them being auto repair. Today he replaced a valve gasket on my mom's car with only the user manual as his guide.

Way to go, Honey!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

potty training - day 4

Peed on the potty: once
Pooped on the potty: once

Times I had to dash to the bathroom with him already going: both times

Still, it's progress!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

crayon roll

Potty Training - day 3

Peed on the floor: 6 times
Pooped on the floor: 5 times (he'd been *ahem* backed up)

And then he started throwing temper tantrums if I even mentioned the potty. He was in a contrary mood. So, we gave it a break for the afternoon.

But before all that, he enjoyed Singing in the Rain. I recently discovered that he likes we've been skipping ahead to all the dance numbers (Thanks for the idea, Crystal).

Epiphany Pageant

Prepare yourself.

You are about to see the cutest and most oblivious shepherd in the history of Epiphany Pageants.

Well, at least in the history of Epiphany Pageants we've attended. This was our first.

But Liam was awfully cute.


Attending Grace Episcopal has been quite the learning experience for me and Gabriel. There are so many seasons and traditions layered with meaning. Epiphany, however, is simply a celebration of Christ's coming and, specifically, when the wisemen came to see the Child.

Our church celebrates this with a children's pageant portraying the event.

Liam had no idea what was going on.

He refused to wear the head scarf... but he clearly enjoyed himself.

potty training - day two

trips to potty: every 20 minutes or so

times he peed in the potty: 0

times he peed on the floor: 8

On to day 3!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Everett Parker Gray

We are so happy for Crystal and Micah's new addition, and even more excited that they now have a boy!

He is so precious.

It will be fun to see him and River playing together in the not too distant future.

Monday, January 4, 2010

okay...catching up

The holidays are now behind us, and so is all the frenzied crafting. I didn't take pictures of it all, but here are a few:

I handknit stockings for our family, starting back in July with the goal of one a month. Of course, I fell behind and ended up without a stocking for Forest. Sorry, Bud.

But what good are stockings without a mantel to hang them by our new wood stove? Gabriel came up with this beautiful pair the weekend before Christmas.
Some details:

I used Christmas Stockings: 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit (Elaine Lipson) for the following two stockings.

Snowy Night Gansey Stocking
This simple pattern came together quickly. I also used this same basic shape to create the red and white stocking pictured above.
Diamonds in the Rough Argyle Stocking
This one was the most difficult to knit: It was my first attempt with argyle knitting. Keeping all of those colors untangled along the back proved quite the challenge. But I think it is my favorite stocking out of the bunch.
Fisherman's Cable Stocking
I can't remember the name of this pattern, but the cable pattern was much easier than I expected.
Some of the gifts:
When we were in high school, Gabriel really wanted a leather jacket. Some of his siblings went together at Christmas to buy him a pleather jacket, which he proudly wore for a long time; however, it has sat untouched and unworn in our closet since we've been married.
I asked if I could recycle it into Christmas gifts, and he agreed.
the jacket: before
the purse and wallet: after
I made this set for Molly. I thought she might like something a bit more grown up, now that she is a married woman :-)
The wallet interior with lots of slots for cards...
A jumper for Grace, with a wee mouse puppet in the pocket.
Mrs. Potato Head for Grace
There were much much more handcrafted gifts. I was just too pressed for time to take pictures of them all:
  • Tote Bag and Reusable Bulk Bags for Carolyn and Cindy
  • Mama Wrap (warm shawl) for Carolyn
  • Hat and Mitten Sets from recycled sweaters for Ben and Carolyn
  • Hat and Pants Set from a recycled sweater for Grace
  • Backpack filled with Cat, Dog, and Mouse Puppets for Hannah
  • Slippers for Sarah
  • Rice-filled Heat Pack for Kenny

And for Liam:

  • Cow-print Apron for his Play Kitchen
  • Felt Food (we all worked together on this)
  • Red and White Striped Pajama Pants
  • Magnetic Mr. Potato Head for the refrigerator

I'll try to post pictures of Liam's gifts later.

I had a lot of fun making special and customized gifts, but I should definitely get an earlier start next year...