Friday, November 30, 2012

Week in Review

Shh, don't tell Evie but Henry had two doughnuts on Tuesday. Three if you count the one that he stole from Evie.  

Henry loves to play outside! 

Teaching Evie to drive is going to be the perfect task for her Daddy. 

Henry likes to eat breakfast in this little chair.  

Ice-cream with Mommy when Henry was sleeping.  
It's been a good week although this is going to be a short post!

Monday: Evie had dance for the first time in a few weeks. The big news was one of her friends was moving to a new state and Evie wants to know if we can move to a new state too. Everyone was a bit out of sorts from traveling and Carl had a long day at work. Best part of our day was a delicious beef stew in the crock pot!

Tuesday: Evie had school and Henry and I stayed home all day taking care of our neglected house. We went to Krispy Kreme after school and ran into Courtney and the boys. Our kids ran wild and a had a great time. Evie calls refers to this place as Christmas Kreme now which is quite clever. Carl had a dance party with the kids in the den and they both loved it. Everything is more fun with Daddy!

Wednesday: We stayed home all day which is always a nice treat until about 4:00 when we all get stir crazy. Not sure what we did all day but we were home!

Thursday: Everyone went to school! I went to the Y and then met some friends for lunch. There was just a tiny window of time left after lunch so I squeezed a little Christmas shopping in quickly before picking up Evie. Henry did not nap at school so it was time for a nap. Evie and I played outside with Courtney and the boys. It was a beautiful day! Henry was so tired and had an early bedtime. Evie and I wrote a letter to Santa and then Carl went for a haircut. I wrapped the 24 books for the month of December. It's a wonderful idea to open one book each night but it's a lot of work to implement. Not to mention Elfa, shopping, and decorating. Christmas is a whirlwind of activity.

Evie and Molly went down this slide countless times holding hands just like this - pretty cute! 

Friday: Evie mailed her letter to Santa and was concerned about how the mailman was going to get the letter to the North Pole. I told her it was magic and she said, "No, silly, the mailman has a special ladder and he climbs to the North Pole with the letter." Of course, Evie that sounds exactly right! I took the kids to Monkey's Treehouse for a social for our Mom's Club. It was good to see so many people there and both my kids had a blast. Henry is a wild man and is all over the place getting into everything. He certainly keeps me on my toes. I might begin more regular visits to Monkey's Treehouse because it made for some tired kids. Henry slept a long time and Evie watched a movie. That gave me a chance to mop the kitchen! We played outside with the boys again and then came inside to prepare some dinner. Carl surprised us by coming home early.

It's going to be a busy weekend at our house. See you Sunday!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sweet Siblings

I snapped these shots before school this morning! It's nearly impossible to get them both smiling at the same time. Evie loves Henry so much and tries to take such good care of him. Of course, there is plenty of pushing, tattling and crying too. Evie told me that she knows Henry loves her because he licks her so much. That's true love!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Introducing . . . Elfa Elf

I finally bit the bullet and hopped the Elf on the Shelf bandwagon. Evie selected Elfa as the perfect name for our elf because it starts with an E. If you know Evie, then you know that she adores the letter E.

Evie and Elfa have become fast friends already in the three days he has lived with us. Evie is already asking some tough questions about Elfa and Santa. She is already worried about where Elfa is going to live after Christmas.

Elfa's reaction seems to matter a whole lot more than my reaction so Elfa is helping out a lot with behavior modification. Tears commence whenever I say that Elfa is going to report something to Santa Claus on his nightly visit to the North Pole.

Henry and Evie both enjoy searching for Elfa every morning. Evie talks to him throughout the day and Henry points excitedly each and every time Elfa catches his eye.

So far, I'd say it is a fun tradition that is fairly easy to implement in the home. Pinterest certainly eliminates the nightly dilemma of where Elfa should fly to next and it's worth the time to see the pure delight each morning. Tis the Season!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Half Carolina Thanksgiving!

We had a busy Thanksgiving week with visits to both sets of grandparents. Evie started referring to it as Half Carolina instead of North Carolina or South Carolina. We will always remember our Half Carolina Thanksgiving.

South Carolina: After lunch on Monday, we loaded up the Odyssey and headed to South Carolina. It seemed like such a long trip because it was dark when we arrived. I definitely prefer departing in the morning to ensure a late afternoon arrival but Carl had to work some that morning. We made it all the way to She She and Poppy's house with only one stop. Evie and Henry made themselves right at home. Evie even tried out the bunk beds since Mary and Lucy were not visiting this time. Poppy prepared us a fabulous ham dinner while we were visiting.We spent lots of time outside by the warm, toasty fire, hiking in the woods, lunching at the market and even making smores for dessert. Evie really enjoyed hiking and it's an easy way for us all to get a little exercise. We had a wonderful visit with She She and Poppy!

North Carolina: We left Carl's parents house right after lunch on Wednesday for our short little jaunt to North Carolina. That trip feels like a breeze after our six hour adventure on Monday. Henry woke up as we approached the outlets so of course we made a little stop. Carl picked up a pair of chinos and it was good to walk around a bit. We headed down the road a little bit further to my parents house. Evie and Henry were excited to arrive at Nana and Ipop's house. Henry immediately began pointing at the tree wondering where the swing might be located. My dad picked up some delicious BBQ for dinner which is always a favorite for us. It was so nice waking up on Thanksgiving at my parents house with the smells of Thanksgiving wafting in the air. Aunt Libby and Mamaw joined us for our scrumptious lunch. Evie is still not too sure about my grandmother but Henry made himself at home on her lap. It was really sweet and I know that meant a lot to my grandmother. We all stuffed ourselves with a delicious Thanksgiving and it was so nice not to be dairy-free this holiday. Carl and I took advantage of our babysitters and sneaked out for a movie after turkey and bacon sandwiches. We saw Lincoln and really enjoyed it. Brush up on your history before going but it's worth the time for sure. Evie enjoyed her sitters, Ipop and Nana. Evie decided not to sleep in her own room this visit and bunked with us upstairs. She referred to her spot as the sleeping patch and slept beautifully all week.  On Friday, we went to the park for some outdoor fun. Carl took Evie hiking while Henry napped. We had a lazy afternoon around the house. It was time to head back on Saturday morning and we had an efficient trip back with only two stops. Henry took two long naps and Evie entertained herself with movies and her traveling toys.

We love going to see our family but are so thankful that everyone is coming to see us for Christmas. Henry and Evie both slept well this trip which makes a huge difference when visiting family. It's good  to be back home and we are already preparing for the Christmas season. Evie is so enthralled with the whole idea of Christmas and loves it all from our elf to decorating everything within reach and even playing Santa with her Daddy.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Update: Farmer's Market, Minnie Mouse and Family Pictures

We had a super fun weekend! It was a little more busy than I like but tis the season for activity. One of my favorite moments was taking Evie for a ride to see the outlandish Christmas decorations that our neighbor puts up every year. It just makes boggles my mind the time and energy that goes into his huge display. Evie LOVES going to see the lights and wants us to decorate our house just like it.

Saturday: Carl woke up with Henry about 7 and then Evie and I woke up about 8. That's a great way to start a morning. We decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather by spending the morning at the Farmer's Market. Doughnuts are always our first stop and we tried a food truck, Biscuit Love. I was not that impressed. Everyone raves about Biscuit Love but it just did not do much for me. I think it's overpriced but the combinations are pretty unique. Something for everyone! Evie sweet-talked Carl into buying her a little pink purse from a vendor. It always makes me smile to support local business but I think we are good in the pink purse department. We went to Costco next which is a major adventure on a Saturday morning! Everyone was at Costco and it was just a total madhouse. We came home for a quick lunch and then Evie and I went to a Minnie Mouse birthday party. It was a really cute party with lots of Minnie touches plus a bounce house. Minnie Mouse was the special guest. Evie is still not fond of characters that are within her personal space. She was wild and crazy after stuffing herself with a cupcake, a cookie and a piece of cake. Oh dear! Evie had a ball celebrating Leah's birthday. She told Leah that she loved her and that she was her best friend. Leah replied with "Evie you are my perfect friend." It's so sweet to see Evie learning more about friendship. She might need some clarification regarding the number of best friends a girl can have. Although, she comes by it honestly, since Mama still has lots of best friends. I headed straight for the park after the party to run burn off some energy. We ran into some old friends at the park and Evie had a blast playing in the creek with her friends. I dropped Evie off and headed out by myself for a bit. We put the kids to bed and ate dinner in peace.

Sunday: We all woke up about 7:30 and made it out the door just in time for early church. Henry did not cry at drop-off which makes it so much easier. His bout of separation anxiety seems to be short lived. He wore some new shoes this morning and one shoe fell off during church. Henry called out "uh o" in a loud voice to the amusement of the pew directly behind us.  We walked to Starbuck's after church for coffee and lemon loaf. Evie loves going to breakfast just like her Mama. Henry is such a big boy now and sits in the chair next to Evie. We did a little window shopping. I took the kids outside for a bit after we came home and then headed to run a few errands. We headed out for our family picture. Let's hope Lindy was able to capture at least one good shot because Henry did not make it easy. He was not happy that we had to wake him up from his nap but Evie did beautifully. She's really growing up. I only had to bribe her once which is a major improvement from our last session. The C's came over late this afternoon and it was so wonderful to catch up with them. Evie loves her boys so much! We are trying to get ourselves ready for our trip to South Carolina tomorrow.

Hope you had a spectacular weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Week in Review: MNO, Fevers and Solo Parenting

It's been a bit crazy at our house this week. Evie has been sick and Carl was out of town for the entire week. We sure are glad that he is back. Carl makes our life so much easier with RX pick-up, bathing the kids, bedtime duty and taking care of lots of things around the house. There is a reason that God designed parenting with both a mom and a dad in mind. We have had lots of fun in between the crazy. I would not trade this precious time with my children for all the tea in China but I am so thrilled to have my co-pilot back on board!

Monday: Evie slept until 9. That was my first clue that she was not feeling well. By noon, she was feeling better and her fever was gone. So glad, that I did not cancel the babysitter, since I had a Mom's Night Out on my agenda. We went out to celebrate our birthdays at Sambucca in The Gulch and it was delicious. We had a blast! Five of us ordered scallops which cracked us all up.  I received the most thoughtful birthday gifts which was an added bonus to a fun night! Time away from being a mommy does wonders for my outlook on being a parent. Evie and Henry had a ball with their sitter. She's a brand-new teacher and was so excited to be babysitting. I scooped Evie up out of her bed when I came home so she could sleep with me. She barely even flinched and just kept snoozing.

Tuesday: Evie woke up with a fever again, 103. Sweet Girl needed to get checked out so I loaded everyone up for the pediatrician's office. Her tonsils were inflamed and throat was red. Strep test was negative. Dr. B checked for the flu next and it was negative too. I was a little disappointed to leave without a diagnosis but with a fever that high she needed to be seen. Evie rested on the couch all day without moving an inch. Henry even noticed that Evie was feeling under the weather. He kept taking her toys on the couch. Of course, we were getting our carpets cleaned in the middle of this which woke up Henry and then Evie fell asleep sitting in the chair. Carl came home from Chattanooga for about 20 minutes to pack for his cross-country tour. He was in Ohio and Michigan staying in four different hotels this week. That makes me exhausted just thinking about it but it sure racked up on his Hilton points.  Henry and Evie were both ready for bed super early so I camped out reading in my room. Evie joined me about 8 and slept with me again. Our garage started making this horrible beeping sound which made an early bedtime seem like a great idea for us all! Just for the record, our garage is still beeping three days later. Can't wait until Carl gets that fixed. Evie was not too convinced that I could take care of it since it involved a super tall ladder to unplug the garage opener.

Wednesday: Evie woke up with a fever again! She was fine by the time Henry was up from his nap. We had to get out of the house so Publix seemed like the perfect destination. Henry's RX only had enough medication for five days so we had to get more medicine for him. Strep throat was not fun and it would be just fine not to repeat that experience. It did us all good to get out of the house for a bit. Wednesday was our hardest day with Carl gone for two nights already and two more nights on the horizon. I decided that Evie had to sleep in her own bed because I was not getting enough rest with her. Not to mention, there was not enough space in our togetherness. Co-sleeping is not for me! I whipped up a Sweet Potato Crunch and curled up with a book, Gone Girl. It was a spectacular read but pretty crazy. I love books that are impossible to anticipate the ending. My children may have had to wait for me to finish a page or two before their requests were met. It was so intriguing that I was trying to sneak in a few pages every chance that I could.

Thursday: Everyone woke up fever-free and happy. That made me happy since it was a school day for both kids. I had to restrain myself from skipping through the parking lot after dropping off the kids. That makes me laugh since I was just headed to my yearly physical. After my appointment, me and my Sweet Potato Crunch went to a Thanksgiving Sides party for the MOMS Club. We have some fabulous cooks and everything was divine. My favorite was an apple stuffing and a corn casserole. Everyone loved my dish which made me feel so good. One friend called it "Sin in a Dish" which pretty much sums it up. Henry was asleep in his teacher's arms when we walked in to get him. Evie found that captivating! Thursday's can be tough after school so we decided to run a few errands. Evie has been pestering me for a little tree for her room for weeks. I decided to indulge her a few weeks early and she is just over the moon with joy. Our next stop was the mall for some playtime and Chick fil A. Santa was even there. Evie made small-talk with him while clinging to my leg but had zero interest in sitting on his lap. Maybe, she will have a change of heart within the next few weeks. Evie has been telling everyone that she does not like Santa.

Friday: Henry woke up at the lovely hour of 5:30 for the second day in a row. I caught up on some work around the house and prepared lunch for our friends. We had so much fun with The Porter's and are so glad that they live even closer to us now. Henry took an early nap so it was a long afternoon waiting for Carl to get home. We went out for a bit to pass the time and made a quick stop at the library for my next book. Everyone was so happy to see Carl walk in the door especially me. Solo parenting is not easy. I can easily take care of everything for two or three days but five days is pushing the limit. Thankfully, it is rare for him to be gone for an entire week. We had a pizza dinner and Carl brought home oreos for dessert. Evie loves oreos so much that it might just be her love language.

We are looking forward to a low-key weekend before heading out of town on Monday for Thanksgiving! By the way, the incessant beeping sound has been repaired. Happy Friday, y'all!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Home Sweet Home!


It's a red letter day at our house! We have lived in the same house in the sametown for three years. It's the first time in our marriage that we have felt so settled. We lived in Raleigh and Charlotte for intervals of less than two years so three years feels like a lifetime.

Nashville is different in so many ways. Chinos are not nearly as common as Tennessee Khakis - blue jeans. Nashvillian's do not find shoulders a necessary or important part of a road. Fruit tea is their version of sweet tea. Fantastic live music is everywhere you visit and the people are some of the most genuine you will ever meet.

Nashville has provided us with a wonderful sense of community. We receive Christmas cards from our grocery store, my cashier refers to me and my children by name, our mailman knows that I love to buy and sell on eBay and we have spent enough time at the library that the librarians always know that I need a little extra help remembering due dates.

We found our house on a whim. Carl lived here long enough to research the best place for our family and this house was inside the grid that we had chosen. Some of our priorities were easy access to the Interstate, walking distance to a park, excellent schools and within ten minutes of Target. We barely even looked at this house at our first showing because we felt like it was out of our reach. The owner's were ready to move closer to Nashville for school and work while we wanted to live a few miles outside the city in the suburbs. Imagine our surprise to learn that our offer had been accepted!I literally could not tell you much about this house on the day that we signed our offer except that it was "full-blown brick" and was close to Harris Teeter.

Here we are three years later and I can tell you so much more about this house. I love how the light comes in the kitchen during the spring and it's just a tad too bright in the fall. You have to step close to the wall when walking past Henry's room or it will wake him up. I love the hydrangeas in the spring and the fireflies in the summer. Evie's pitter pattering little feet can always be heard when I am in the kitchen since her room is right above my favorite room in the house. Three years ago, I did not imagine life with Henry since I had barely adjusted to being a mommy to Evie.  My vast amounts of storage are not quite as large now that two childre's belongings take up all of my closet space. We love this home, the memories that we have made in it, the friends and family that are a part of the life we have grown to love in Tennessee.

Even if we move tomorrow, this house will always be special to us. It seemed like the perfect time for a celebration! Our best china was pulled out, silver was polished, Evie helped decorate the table with pumpkins and pansies, chocolate cake was prepared and candles were lit. Dinner was served in our dining room. It was special time reminiscing about the last three years and thinking about what life will be like in three more years.

There's no place like home!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up: Fun with Leaves and Burgers at The Pharmacy


It was an absolutely breathtakingly beautiful weekend in Nashville. Gorgeous sunny skies, vibrant leaves falling and warm temperatures - weather like that is certainly a gift in the middle of November.

Saturday: We spent most of the day at home catching up on work around the house and working on the mounting piles of leaves accumulating in our yard. Carl makes leaf raking fun for the kids with lots of jumping in the piles. I made a quick trip out for a flu shot and a strep test. No strep but all of us are under the weather. Hope this passes quickly. Right as I was pulling back into the neighborhood, the clinic called to let me know that I needed to come back because my insurance did not cover the swab used to check for strep. They needed LabCorp but had used a Quest swab. What a nuisance but I have a feeling things like that are going to become more of the norm as healthcare changes radically. We decided to check out a trendy restaurant in East Nashville, The Pharmacy. It was super cool - a spectacular old fashioned soda fountain, dark wooden boothes, a large garden filled with an array of seating and lots of hip people taking advantage of the gorgeous day. We arrived at 4:30 and the place was already slammed so we opted to eat inside. Not our best decision of the night because we had to wait over twenty minutes for a highchair for Henry and Evie was not impressed with the crowded seating arrangements. The burgers were just average but the buns were soft, pillowly pieces of bread. YUMMY! Burgers are not complete with hand-cut fries and those were delicious. Evie had a strawberry ginger ale and it was quite refreshing. There were very few children in the restaurant but we did see some friends with their family which gave us a sense of relief. I'd go back sans Evie and Henry for sure and it would be super fun to sit outside in the eccletic garden.

Sunday: Everyone slept until 7:30 which was the perfect way to start off our Sunday. We relaxed around the house since Evie and Henry were not candidates for the church nursery. I made it out for late church allowing me to engage in the service without trying to keep everyone quiet. The sermon was on stewardship which is not an easy topic to discuss without offending someone. I was able to get a lot out of the sermon. He said, "We all write one book in our lives. Our checkbook. A good way to reflect on our own lives is to read the ledger of our checkbook. Noting where we have placed our priorities as a reflection of how we lived our lives." Pretty powerful stuff! Someone passed out in church right after the sermon and EMS had to assist which really stirred things up in our congregation. Evie developed a fever while I was gone and Henry took his nap. Nothing else exciting to post about but it was a nice weekend.

Hope you have a fabulous week!