Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"C" is for Child #2 (cont.)

I'm hoping this is the last in the series of bump pics; although, I'm not feeling like Clare is coming anytime soon.  My official due date is December 23.  I have a gut feeling she's going for a Christmas week arrival...possibly even January.  Not ideal, but totally out of my control.  My midwife will be gone on vacation the week of Christmas, so think I'm going to put myself on voluntary bed rest Dec 23-29 until she returns.  I'm partially kidding, but I really don't want to have to deal with an on-call doctor who wants nothing more than to schedule a quick c-section, so he/she can get back to his/her family over the holidays.

Clare gave me a little bit of a scare around 37 weeks.  She was in a sort of transverse position with her head up (See red arrow in diagram below for a visual).  By 37 weeks there's not a lot of room to move around, so baby should be getting into a head down position and staying there.  Clare was nearly breech.  Breech almost always means an automatic c-section.  No bueno.

Luckily, I found a chiropractor here in Tulsa, Dr. Sonda Powell, who is certified in the Webster Technique.  I visited her for several adjustments, and I spent a lot of time sitting on an exercise ball.  Those things apparently worked because Clare managed to get her head down in about a week's time, and she and has stayed there.  Whew!  C-section crisis averted for now.

In other news, I started filling out Clare's baby book with some basic info, including family tree stuff.  We called John's parents to find out their parents' full names and discovered Clare has a great grandmother named Moureen Claris.  Clare's full name will be Marian Clare Cockerham.  Marian came from my paternal grandmother Mary Ann, and we just liked the name Clare.  John mentioned it, and I thought the short, one-syllable name went well with Marian.  We had no idea the name, Claris, was in the family, but I think it's neat now that she is named after her two paternal great grandmothers from each side of the family.

We've been talking to Tully about how baby Clare will be his little sister, but he still seems pretty clueless.  I even bought him a baby doll a few weeks ago, so he could practice holding her and show her nice.  Unfortunately, baby ends up face down on the floor a lot.  Poor baby.  One evening we asked Tully where Clare was tried to explain for the millionth time that she is in mommy's belly.  He walked in a circle, looked out the window at my mom's car, and said, "beep beep."  The kid has his own priorities, that's for sure.  I guess he'll figure it out when Clare arrives!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"C" is for Caved In

This is I-can't-believe-I'm-writing-about-this-on-my-blog embarrassing.  John was peacefully laying in bed the other night when I hopped in.  I rolled towards his side to show him the monitor where I set up both cameras to view Tully's and Clare's rooms.  Next thing I know there's a huge crash, and I'm laying a foot lower than John is.  I had snapped the board under our bed and damaged the side rail support causing the whole thing to cave in on my side.  Weak boards?  Pregnancy weight?  Combo of the two?  Who knows.  Needless to say it scared John to death and dealt a major blow to my self-esteem.

Now that I've written this, I think the dust bunnies under the bed might actually be the most embarrassing part.  Thank you, Zach, for leaving massive puffs of your black dog hair hidden under my bed.

John moved the broken board a few inches towards the headboard and re-drilled holes to connect it to the rail support.  For a short-term fix we rounded up some books, paint cans, and the leftover fence boards from this project.  Then we rigged this setup, since the vertical supports clearly weren't doing their jobs.

I'm not sure who thought designing a king-sized bed with three support boards was a good idea, but they need to be fired.  I remember my little twin bed growing up had something like ten boards under it, and it was just a TWIN.  So in addition to repairing the busted rail support along the side, we'll definitely be adding more boards to go across the bed frame.

I guess the bright side to this story is that the area under our bed is now super clean and dust bunny free.

Friday, November 30, 2012

"C" is for Craft (Holiday Wreath Edition)

I've enjoyed making wreaths for our front door this year.  I did one for summer and then changed out the flowers for fall.  Since I already have a lighted Christmas wreath, I didn't need anything new for my house this month.  But a friend recently bought a new home, so I decided a front door holiday wreath would be a nice housewarming gift.  It's definitely my favorite so far, and the possibilities for these are endless.  Original inspiration and instructions here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"C" is for Can

In September, the city issued new trash cans that are huge.  Ours is 64 gallons, and that's not even the largest one they offer.  Previously we kept our small, 32-gallon, trash can in the garage, but there's no room for a bigger one in there.  We needed to keep the new trash can in a reasonably accessible place, since we take all dirty diapers to the outside trash immediately, but our HOA prohibits the storage of trash cans that are visible from the street.  I asked John if he could build a little fence on the side of the house that would block the view of the trash can.  Then I also asked if he could put down pavers, so I didn't have to walk through any grass or mud to get there.  Last request--sit the can on pavers too.

He laid the pavers with sand and paver base at a slight angle so water drains away from the house.  They are perfectly level with the ground, and he even managed to work around the downspout drain coming off the house.  Then he measured for the fence that was just high enough to conceal the trash can but short enough for me to reach over.  What's even more impressive is that he completed most of the work on the weekends with Tully "helping".  If you've ever had help from a toddler, you know it usually involves more searching for misplaced tools and hidden hardware than actual productivity.

I should also mention that our neighbor paid nearly $500 for the little walkway outside her gate, and ours looks just as fabulous!  Now I can ignore all of the nasty-grams from our HOA about visible trash cans too.  Thanks, John!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"C" is for College

I've been wanting to hang a nice Texas A&M flag outside of our house for years now.  Half of the people in our neighborhood have OU or OSU flags up each weekend, and I've even seen one t.u. flag.  No bueno.  I felt like we needed bring some maroon and white to the area.  The previous home-owners had already installed a flag bracket near the garage, so I just needed the flag and a pole.  The flag part actually took a little thought and research because one-sided flags read from left to right and most are double-sided with the caveat that one side is the reverse of the other.  This would mean the flag text would face our house instead of out towards the street, and those driving by would see a backward image.  I figured out banner-style flags were smaller and usually came in double-sided versions that read correctly on both sides.  My other criteria was that the flag be embroidered and not screen printed, so the letters wouldn't peel off.  After I got the flag, we picked up a wooden flag pole at Lowes.

I was super proud and happy until John walked into the house that evening holding the flag telling me  the bracket snapped.  Our glorious flag lasted all of 6 hours.  Now we need to take down the old bracket and intall a new one.  I'm not sure how one installs a bracket on brick, but John is pretty handy, so hopefully we're flying our Aggie colors again soon...especially for the bowl game AND our Heisman candidate quarterback, "Johnny Football".  Gig 'Em, Ags!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"C" is for Craft (Thanks)

A friend on Facebook posted this little project, and I thought it would be perfect for Tully's teachers at Lake Hills Montessori.  They have been fantastic to create work specifically for him, since he is younger than the two and three year olds, and they were great to talk with us about Tully's poor behavior (See "C" is for Conference) and work towards a solution.

Original link for this project on Pinterest here.

items needed:
  • 5x7 thanks a latte print
  • card stock
  • coffee sleeves
  • stapler
  • double sided tape
  • gift card from starbucks or other coffee house
  • twine
I needed six cards, so I wanted two printed per page.  I quickly created a collage on and printed the image below.  (Double latte, anyone?  I'm so funny.)  I have a black and white laser printer, so I used orange card stock for color.

After trimming the edges with a paper cutter, I mostly followed the original directions, except I switched the last two steps, so I could staple the twine in place at the same time I attached the coffee sleeves to the paper.
  • trim the coffee sleeve to the appropriate width for your print cutting along the corrugated lines
  • place a piece of double sided tape to the very bottom of sleeve and attach to print
  • tie some fun twine around your gift
  • staple sides of the sleeve and twine
  • insert card
Ta da!

Monday, November 19, 2012

"C" is for Catalog

Does anyone else call customer service to be removed from the mailing list for every single unwanted catalog they get in the mail?  And why is it when I order something online companies automatically assume I'm going to become a catalog ordering customer?

I have a love-hate relationship with snail mail.  I hate junk mail, catalogs, flyers, etc., but I love personal cards and letters.  I keep all of them too.

I have notes from my mom that she would put in my lunch when I was in school and even the ones she mailed to me at college.  There are birthday cards, some pics of school friends and old boyfriends, some fun folders and items from my time as a Fish Camp counselor at Texas A&M, keepsakes from my wedding and honeymoon, and lots of holiday cards from friends and family.  Do I really need to keep all of it? Probably not.  I have no idea what I'll do with this stuff, but I managed to put it in some clear bins in an easily accessible location, so I can see everything and add to it, as needed.  I even started boxes for John and Tully.  John has an awesome scrapbook that his friends made when he was moving from Australia back to the U.S.  Apparently he was very popular with the ladies there!  There are also some great scrapbooks from one of his ex-girlfriends and his sister.  I love seeing how his life was before "us".  Maybe one day Tully or Clare will enjoy looking back through our things to see how we were when we were kids.  Until then, I'll keep stuffing memories into these bins and cataloging our lives.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"C" is for Child #2 (cont.)

I'm hoping to only take one more photo in this series.  Baby Clare is doing a number on this momma.  I feel HUGE, and Braxton Hicks contractions are in full effect, especially in the afternoons.  I'm also craving Hostess mini chocolate donuts and lemon water.  Related to the pregnancy?  Probably not.  I can down a bag of those donuts in one sitting with or without a baby in my belly.

I was getting ready for bed last night, and John asked me if I was OK.  I was totally fine, so I asked him why he asked me that.  He said I was huffing and puffing a lot and could hear me from the other room.  It's tough work hauling around this baby.  I even had to move a bar stool from our kitchen to the bathroom, so I could sit down while I got my pretty on.  (Notice the lack of toddler proofing on the cabinets?! Tully is finally staying out of them!)

I ordered Clare's crib sheets and picked up some newborn size diapers earlier this week, so I guess we're technically ready for her arrival.  Once the sheets are here and I get the furniture shuffled around how I want it, I can take pictures of the nursery.  It looks a lot like Tully's...but different...and pink! 

My Christmas shopping is 90% done too, so hopefully December goes smoothly and quickly.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"C" is for Conference

We frequently get Incident Reports from Tully's school.  They usually read something like "Tully tripped on another child's foot on the playground and scratched his arm" or "Tully fell out of his chair and bumped his head."  Last week I was at the Junior League Holiday Market helping my mom with a trade show when I got this in a text message from John.  (Click to enlarge)

He "hit, scratched, pinched, kicked and threw work at his friends and teachers" (UNPROVOKED?!) almost constantly for TWO HOURS!!!! What?  Proud mommy moment for sure.  Not.

He started napping at school last week, and it's been hit or miss (mostly miss).  His poor behavior was in the morning though, so it's not likely he was tired.  The only thing I can think is that I was gone Wednesday night and all day Thursday and Friday, so he was acting out.  He's been scratching the couch a lot recently, but his new scratching faces thing is getting out of hand.  I can only imagine what the scratching, pinching, and kicking combo looked like.  We are disciplining him for the scratching part very consistently at home with firm no's and timeouts.  A friend recently suggested making a "good boy" or "nice" book where he gets to put stickers on a page each time he does something good.  Sometimes he will fill Zach's dog bowl with food without us asking or help wipe up messes on the floor, so I could give him a sticker for that in hopes that he will seek out more positive attention from us.

We have a parent teacher conference scheduled for Thursday.  Here's to hoping they don't kick him out of school!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"C" is for Cut

I've been wanting to get Tully's hair cut for several months now.  He had these precious curls in the back though, so my mom and John always vetoed.  I thought the curls were cute too, but the rat's nest above them was more than I could handle.  Even when the area was brushed, it still looked like a fuzzy mess.  Tully doesn't exactly like it when we comb his hair...he'd rather do it himself, so I had a gut feeling he was going to HATE his first hair cut.  No amount of explaining or bribing was going to work, which meant we couldn't just pop in to Super Cuts.  I didn't want to be apologizing for his toddler tantrum.  A quick Google search led me to Kuts for Kids by Mr. Will at 81st & Lewis.  I found several reviews and blog posts that said there were tons of toys, if you had to wait, and that Mr. Will was fast and good at what he did.  Bonus? Three miles from our house.

Here was the starting point.  Taken last weekend.

We stopped by Kuts for Kids about 11:00 am today, and there were eight kids waiting.  Tully naps around noon.  Not happening.  So we went back around 4:00 pm, and not a single person was there.  Perfect.  We let Tully play while I snapped some "before" photos, and then Mr. Will strapped him in the tractor chair.  Tully screamed, turned red, kicked, and cried--snot and tears everywhere.  I have no idea how Mr. Will didn't cut his own fingers off with the thrashing around Tully was doing.  John jokingly said, "So I bet he's the first one that's acted like this..."  Mr. Will assured us he enjoyed what he did, and I was thankful I didn't feel guilty for having him cut my kid's hair.  Once the scissor cut was done, I got Tully to watch his favorite Supercats video on YouTube, and John stuffed his face with goldfish.  Cats + goldfish = happy Tully.  Mr. Will finished up with the trimmers while Tully sat quietly.  After a little touch of gel and a total of about five minutes in the chair, we were done.  Tully ran around the salon and happily played while I got some "after" shots.

And here's the tantrum in all it's glory in case you missed it.  Future wedding slide show worthy for sure.

 Hopefully Tully's next haircut won't be this traumatic, but at least he played before/after, sat quietly for part of it, and most importantly I wasn't that mom with that kid that everyone stared at in a public place.  Baby's first haircuts are $10, and the next ones will be $17.  Worth every dime.  We'll be back for sure.

"C" is for Conversation

John goes to bed before me, so he's usually asleep or almost asleep by the time I get there.  He's talked to me in his sleep before, but sometimes it's in the middle of the night, so I'm too out of it to remember or make sense of it.   A couple nights ago I laid down, and he said something about putting Zach, our dog, to bed.  I thought he was making sure I brought Zach from the living room to the bedroom, but then he continued to mumble something.  I realized he was asleep, so I asked him several more questions:

Do you want me to make sure Zach is in bed?
Where do you want him to sleep?
Are you sure?

He answered all of my questions, but he was mumbling and getting more frustrated each time I asked something.  He finally told me to put Zach to sleep on the floor but not in his bed where he usually sleeps.  I started laughing hysterically, and that's when he woke up asking why I was laughing in his ear like a hyena.  I could tell he was still really mad about answering the questions and even more upset that I had woken him up.  Then the confusion set in.  He's a deep sleeper (I'm not), so it always cracks me up when he tries to act coherent at night.  At least this time he wasn't talking to me about parts they manufacture at work--boring!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"C" is for Child (cont.)

October has been a big month for Tully.  In September he got his adenoids taken out and tubes put in.  I'm happy to report his sleep, appetite and mood are all greatly improved.  He is a much happier and well-rested kiddo.  Unfortunately mommy got the brilliant idea to take away the binky since sleep is going so well.  We decided to have him stay at school until 3:00 instead of 12:00 starting in November too, so he'll be taking his nap there.  I know he could have his binky at school, but I thought my big boy would be ready to sleep without it.  He starts napping at school next week, so we cut the binky this week.  He did pretty well the first night.  It took him about an hour to fall asleep on his own, and he only woke up once.  He immediately went back to sleep with some comforting (no binky though!).  Night two was a different story.  We had a party from 2:30 am to 5:30 am.  I'm hoping he's half as exhausted as I am and sleeps all night tonight.

Tully's 18 month checkup went really well.  He weighed 24 lbs 6 oz (54%) fully clothed and is 33 inches tall (70%).  His little bean head is growing too: 19 in (74%).  We'll have to go back in November for his flu shot, so I'll be curious to see if there's a big jump in his weight or height, since he is eating and feeling better following surgery.

We visited a local pumpkin patch/carnival area, and Tully really enjoyed all of the free activities (climbing on pumpkins and wagons, playing in toy houses, watching the lawn mower "train", etc.).  Lucky for us he had no idea he was missing out on the blow up slides and horse rides that cost money.

In those last two photos, he's trying to pick up the pumpkin and then signing for help.  John reached down to help pick up the pumpkin and jacked Tully in the face with it.  He thought it was going to be really heavy based on the effort Tully was putting into it, but the pumpkin was actually very light.  It was a funny/sad moment.

We've had some beautiful weather, so Tully and I ventured to the neighborhood pond last week.  He is obsessed with poop right now, especially our dog, Zach's poop.  He doesn't understand the difference between poop and dirt so everything on the ground that is brown and clumped is poop.  Here he found some dirt on the sidewalk and is pointing out the "poop" to me.  He kept squatting over the area and saying, "poop!"  I tried to tell him it was just dirt over and over, but he was convinced he was making that mess.  A little later he climbed up on the bench by the pond and sat there for several minutes to watch the ducks.  The kid never sits still.  I was amazed.

Words (26): dad/dada/daddy/aDa, Mama/aMa, Zach (our dog), boots, poo poo/poop, hi, bye, help, bug, hat, hot, ball, up, eat, bite, no, cat, doggy, sleep, bus, blue, leaves, balloons, bubbles, baba/baaboo ( gone!), banana
Signs (24): eat, sleep, milk, thank you, all done, mower, ball, tree, fish, dog, shoes, socks, book, help, train, bus, hot, hat, cat, airplane, more, please, where is it? (palms up, questioning look on face), thank you
Sounds (6): moo, quack, vroom (truck), woof, hoo hoo (owl), neigh, woooOooooo (siren)
Phrases (6): where is it?, where is daddy?, where is mommy?, where did it go?, can I have a bite?, aye-yi-ye (i'm thirsty/water...thanks to our nanny for the translation)

Basically he's adding new words and phrases every day and continuing to sign and make the same sounds as he did a couple months ago.  For anyone wondering whether or not to teach their infant/toddler to sign, I HIGHLY recommend it.  We used the first two Baby Signing Time DVDs. Tully's language development has been right on track, but signing has enabled him to communicate with us better and show us he knows many, many more words than he could actually say.  The words are definitely catching up with the signs, as expected, now, so I don't think signing has delayed his speech in any way.

We had parent teacher conferences last week, and we found out Tully enjoys playing with water at the sink, so they are creating a pouring "work" for him there.  I love the Montessori-style of teaching where they keyed in on his strengths and interests and are using those for him to learn.  He just isn't ready or interested in sitting down at a table to focus on pouring dry objects.  He also likes music time/dancing and is a good example to other kids for signing.  I think he pretty much runs around like a maniac most of the time, but he's little, and they are very patient with him.  I'm really happy with our choice to put him in the school.

I think the next big milestone will be potty training, and we've decided to wait for more signs of readiness before pushing it.  Ideally we'd have all major transitions (toddler bed, binky, diapers, etc.) done before Clare gets here, but my gut instinct says it's best to wait on the potty training.  He will still sign for potty or ask to go on the big toilet sometimes, but it's not consistent.  In any case, my baby is quickly growing into a independent little  human.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"C" is for Child #2 (cont.)

While we were babymooning in Jamaica we met the sweetest couple, J&S, from Oklahoma.  They were on their honeymoon, and we decided to meet for dinner one evening.  During dinner J told us she was an ultrasound technician and offered for us to visit the school she graduated from for a 4D sonogram.  We barely made it back to Oklahoma in time to catch the 20-30 week window, but here is Clare in all her glory at 7.5 months gestation.

Sweet Clare has a nose that looks just like Tully and little narrow lips too.  We were able to see some hair around the sides of her head, so I'm expecting she'll come out with a "horseshoe" of barely-there-hair just like her brother.
When we were leaving the ultrasound room John saw his boss' wife talking to some students.  We had no idea she was the director at the school.  She was excited to see us when we said hello.  Small world.

Next time we see Clare's face, it will be the real deal in December.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"C" is for Child #2 (cont.)

Another month down and only a few more to go.  I'm not sure if it's possible, but it looks like Clare is actually bigger at 6 months than 7.  Maybe it's the time of day, or my shirt, or...who knows.  All I do know is this girl better come out weighing like 10 lbs because momma is getting huge.  My stupid belly button popped, which totally grosses me out.  That didn't happen with Tully.  It stayed nice and flat.  So now in addition to worrying about finding a shirt and pants that fit, I have to find something that doesn't show the huge elastic maternity band AND my belly button.  I should invest in muumuus. 

And here I am with Clare vs Tully at 7 months.  Major difference.

Have you seen those Halloween shirts for pregnant moms? Or pictures of painted pumpkin pregnant bellies?

Not going to happen.

We got all of Tully's clothes moved to his new closet and dresser, so Clare's room is ready for her stuff.  As soon as we buy a mattress this weekend, I'm going to put the bedding together, arrange the furniture and figure out what I'm going to do about a rocker.  The rocker from the nursery is currently in Tully's room, and although he doesn't require rocking to sleep, we do sit in that chair to read to him, and I really enjoy rocking him sometimes before bed.  He's pretty busy and has never been a snuggly baby.  Sometimes when I rock him, it's the only time I can get some snuggles in.  We are planning for Clare to be downstairs with us in the master bedroom, so I really need a rocking chair there for nursing while she's little.  Then I'll need the chair in her room when she transitions upstairs.  So that makes three rooms with three rocking chairs.  Seems a little absurd and not budget friendly.

Other than finding a baby book for Clare and picking up some newborn diapers, I think we have everything.  We'll be ready to meet her in December for sure!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"C" is for Caribbean

 We took a "babymoon" to the Caribbean in September to enjoy some quiet time together before Clare arrives.  We stayed at Secrets St. James in Montego Bay, Jamaica for almost a week, and it was really nice to get away.  We had everything we needed at the resort, so we spent our time sleeping, eating, laying at the pool/beach, reading, snorkeling, and sailing.  John also found a lot of time to play beach volleyball.  I was an excellent cheerleader.
There was a little concierge-type lounge near the main lobby of our hotel, and we made good use of it between meals.  If we didn't feel like walking down to the restaurants, we could make a meal out of the food there.  I felt like I was a bit of a waste at an all-inclusive resort, but John did enough drinking for the both of us.  He also got a kick out of the Jamaican paper, which was a copy (literally) of several other papers folded together.

John also enjoyed teasing the fish outside our hotel.  He doesn't even have any food, but they always reacted like this.

It rained several days while we were there, but that didn't stop us from reading books on the patio.  It didn't really matter to us where we relaxed, as long as we didn't have to chase a toddler around.  (Thanks, Grammy & PawPaw, for keeping Tully while we vacationed!)  John also captured some beautiful sunsets when it wasn't raining.

Funny story on the second to last day of our trip--I wanted to print our boarding passes to skip the lines at the airport because we only had carry-on luggage.  I tried to log in to the computers in the main lobby, but they make you use one wi-fi username and password for the entire stay, and it only works on one device at a time.  As much as I love Apple products, especially my iPhone, it didn't allow me to log off of the wi-fi even if I disabled the wi-fi and turned off the phone completely.  The only way to log off of the account was to wait 24 hours until it automatically kicked the phone out of the system.  I tried explaining this to the lady at the front desk and kindly asked her to use another wi-fi account to access the main computers in the lobby.  Clearly I cannot print from my iPhone, and I'm thinking to myself--shouldn't they have one account for ANYONE to use at those main computers??!!  Anyway, she told me I could call the internet cafe for help.  This wasn't the type of resort where you get told to figure it out yourself.  They are VERY service oriented, and I was shocked she didn't offer to just print our passes out quickly from her computer.  Printing our boarding passes seemed like a simple enough request to me.  Anyway, the lady's lack of helpfulness combined with my pregnancy hormones resulted in me asking John to take care of it while I stormed off to the room and viciously texted my mom (from my iPhone that was still obviously connected to the wi-fi...ha!).  I was telling my mom how I was going to need the address so I could write a letter when I got home.  She listened to me vent, asked for the resort info, and then I put my phone on the charger while I took a nap.  I didn't get any further texts from her or John because the wi-fi only worked from the balcony in our room, and my phone was charging inside.  Next thing I know, John is back in the room telling me the general manager was in the lobby helping him, and the GM was there because John's mother-in-law had called.  He questioned/corrected the GM saying, "You mean my wife?"  GM: "No your Oklahoma"  I checked my phone texts and sure enough my mom had called the hotel (honestly to get contact info for my letter writing campaign), but she ended up talking directly to the GM.  I'm sure John wanted to dig a hole and bury himself, but that's just how my mom rolls.  All I could do was laugh.  She knew we wanted a super-relaxing stress free vacation, and some biddy at the front desk couldn't take two seconds out of her day to help me.  Mama bear in full force.  It took some patience on John's end, but they eventually kicked his phone from the system, got him logged into the main lobby computer, added paper and toner from the neighboring resort to the printer, and printed those gosh darn boarding passes.  They also sent up an over-priced bottle of champagne as an apology.  Just what this pregnant lady wanted.  (Our neighbors thoroughly enjoyed it!)

So minus the boarding pass debacle, we had an excellent trip.  We will definitely be taking more kid-free trips as long as we have infants and toddlers.  Susan, a friend of mine from college, is a travel agent, and she helped up narrow down our options in the Caribbean.  We're thinking Turks and Caicos or Dominican Republic for our next trip.  Better start saving now! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"C" is for Craft (Door Wreath Update)

This summer I participated in a little Pinterest Challenge to actually DO something I saw on Pinterest.  I made a wreath for our front door, which I thought turned out pretty good.  (See "C" is for Craft for tutorial.)  Unfortunately, the "C" fell off after only a few weeks (days?), but hey...I tried.

Since summer is officially over I decided to update the front door wreath for fall.  Here's the before and after.

Click photo to zoom for details.

This time I bought smaller, cheaper flowers at Hobby Lobby, and I used plastic loops for retail price tags to secure the "C" to the wreath.  The hot glue and wood glue didn't work.  I suppose you could use fishing line, since most people don't have tagging loops around.  I picked up some dark yellow paint and added a coat over the existing light green.  It took me longer to cut the wire stems than it did to actually arrange the flowers, so this was a pretty quick and easy update.  We're now ready for cool weather and trick-or-treaters!

If you're wondering about the small, black and white sign to the right of the door, I ordered it on Etsy with custom text.  "Baby sleeping.  Knock, if needed.  No solicitors."  Not one solicitor has bothered me since I placed the sign outside, and you have to actually lift the sign up to get to the doorbell, so UPS and FedEx have cut that out too.  There's nothing worse than the doorbell and a barking dog while kids are trying to sleep.  I leave the sign up all the time to cover naps and Tully's early bed times.  I figure this thing will be near the door for a few years.

Friday, September 14, 2012

"C" is for Child #2 (cont.)

Clare's bump pics have been severely lacking, but I am committed to taking more photos over the next few months.  Here she is compared to Tully at about the same time.  Actually, Clare is almost 3 weeks younger here, so either momma has extra padding, or she is a big, healthy girl.  I'm telling myself it's option B.

It's funny looking back on Tully's bump photos.  I took the time to make the bed.  Made sure photos were taken with the good camera and in natural light.  I even picked up clothes off the floor and had a recent pedicure.  Although there aren't any clothes laying around in Clare's photo, I'm lucky I managed a shower just before I snapped the pic, and I found my yoga pants clean in the drawer.  The paint on my toes is more than 3 weeks old, but I'll still call it a good day.

Clare is taking her first trip to DC with me for work next week, so my co-workers get to see me in all of my pregnant glory.  I was 16 weeks when I went to DC pregnant with Tully, so I got by with non-maternity clothes, and people barely noticed I had a bump.  I think they'll see it for sure this time.  [Honk, honk, here I come!]  I had to buy one pair of black maternity slacks, but I'm getting by with changing tops and suit jackets three days, and I have two maternity dresses for the others.  Thank goodness I'm not any bigger and didn't have to buy a bunch of maternity suits to wear for one week.  I won't go back to DC until April, so Clare will be 4 months old, and I'll be back in regular clothes.

Overall, this pregnancy has been pretty easy.  Actually I just don't have time to think about it, so it feels easier.  I don't get up in the middle of the night to pee, and I guess I'm used to all of the other aches and pains that come along with each phase.  I was craving chocolate mixes with Oreos from Braums, but they messed up my order the last two times I was there, so I gave them up for a while.  This pregnant lady doesn't have time to wait for you to make it twice!

Tully has officially moved rooms and is happily sleeping in his big boy bed, so the next task to tackle is to move his clothes to his new closet and dresser and set up the nursery for Clare.  The crib and other large furniture pieces are already in place, so I just need a mattress, curtains, rocker/glider, and artwork on the walls.  I'm excited to put the bedding in and see how it coordinates with Tully's room.  I have a feeling all of the nursery work isn't going to happen until November or December though.  It's definitely different with #2.  It'll get done when it gets done!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"C" is for Comparison

Similar, no?  John showed me this photo not too long ago and mentioned the kid kinda looked like Tully.  At least Tully has the ear piece in the right place.

Update: that little stinker took the black rubber-y part off one of the ear pieces.  I discovered this when I put the cold, hard metal in my ear on the plane ride to DC for work.  I bet that soft, little, black piece is laying on the floor of the doctor's office where he was playing with them!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"C" is for Child (cont.)

I have so many updates for Tully for the past couple months.

Toddler Bed Transition
1st night - success/fail
2nd night - fail.  Fell out of bed.
3rd night - success.  Slept all night!
4th night - fail.  Fell out of bed.
(Install bumper along front of bed.)
Success!!!!  No more falling out, and he doesn't crawl out of bed either.  He even sits there in the morning until we come get him.  Whose kid is this?

Potty Training
Tully came home from school asking to go potty.  He would point to the toilet and give the sign (shake fist in the ASL sign "T" for toilet.)  He has now gone on the big potty many times, but it's not consistent.  We still don't even own regular underwear.  We do ask him often, and sometimes he will go.  This isn't something we were planning right now, so I didn't read any books, do a crash potty-training weekend, or start giving him candy.  I've heard those things can work, but the kid doesn't even know what an M&M looks like.  I'm going to keep it that way.  Hopefully he'll continue to see the big kids at school use the big potty and continue on his path, but we're not pushing it right now.  I'm happy he at least knows what's going on though!

Tully's ears and nose are giving him fits.  The pain makes him (and me) whiny and miserable, and it disrupts his (and my) sleep.  Every time we go to the pediatrician they say, "No ear infection, but they are red."  Well red isn't normal either, so we saw an ENT.  Unfortunately that ENT visit was near the end of a round of antibiotics that I had Tully take preventatively because my mom was keeping him for three days.  I figured it would be pretty mean to drop off a cranky toddler who might be getting an ear infection with no meds.  We finished the antibiotics a week or so ago, and now we're right back where we started.  We've got two ENT appointments this week, and one of those two is going to give me a better answer than "They look red.  Here are some antibiotics."  I think we're ready for tubes.  I had like 10 sets when I was little.  Tully has allergies, so I'm guessing I've doomed him for the same path.

Post doc visit ears update:

Our first appointment was with a new ENT because our original one couldn't see us for 3 days.  Tully's snot turned green in under 24 hours, so my mommy instincts were spot on getting him in ASAP.  There's no way we could have waited 3 days.  So the new ENT looks at Tully's ears and says, "No ear infection, but they are starting to look red."  I wanted to walk out.  How many times have I been told this?  There's something wrong.  I need answers!  Then he says, there is an infection starting, but it's not in his ears--it's his sinuses.  The dr recommended taking Tully's adenoids out, which could decrease our chance of infection and painful ear pressure Tully might be feeling. answer!!  No wonder his ears seem clear every time we went to the pediatrician and to the first ENT.  The first ENT did hearing tests, and he had passed all of those with flying colors too.

So we have surgery scheduled to remove Tully's adenoids on Sept 26.  The risks associated with tubes being put in are low, and if there is or might be a drainage problem with his ears, we could avoid a second surgery for the next 6-12 months, if we have tubes put in when the adenoids come out.  I really hope this helps Tully feel better, improves his sleep and mood, decreases whining, and prevents us from having take any more antibiotics.  The poor kid SCREAMED when we tried to change his diaper and give him a bath tonight.  His little bottom looks like hamburger meat from taking the current round of antibiotics.  I'm probably going to have a naked kid running around my house tomorrow so he doesn't have to wear a diaper and be in pain.  Good thing he is staying the weekend with Grammy and PawPaw because I know Grammy will let him run all around the yard naked as a jail bird.

Language Development
Tully is signing a TON and starting to use new words daily.  I'm so glad we let him watch Baby Signing Time DVDs and have urged him to use sign language.  It's working!!  "Daddy" and "boots" are currently his two favorite words to say.  He has three pairs of boots for the winter in sizes 5, 6, and 7.  He's obsessed with wearing all of them regardless of whether or not he can actually walk in them, so he's been rocking the boots with shorts for the past few weeks.  PS.  If you have a toddler and don't own one of these snack cups, you need one: it's one of the best gifts we ever received (Thanks, Jen!)

Words (12): dad/dada/daddy/aDa, Mama/aMa, Zach (our dog), boots, poo poo, hi, bye bye, help, bug, hat, hot, ball
Signs (23): eat, sleep, milk, thank you, all done, mower, ball, tree, fish, dog, shoes, socks, book, help, train, bus, hot, hat, cat, airplane, more, please, where is it? (palms up, questioning look on face)
Sounds (6): moo, quack, vroom, woof, hoo hoo (owl), neigh, woooOooooo (siren)

Here are some clips I put together from when he was about 16 months old.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"C" is for Child #2 (cont.)

John and I shared in June that we were expecting our second child (see "C" is for Child #2), and now we're happy to announce that the new little one is a girl!   
Marian Clare Cockerham should be here in time for Christmas.  She is named after her late paternal great grandmother, Mary Ann, and we both just liked the name Clare.  I didn't feel like there were a ton of names that went well with a three syllable first name, but Clare worked out perfectly for us.  She is doomed like her brother, John Tully, to be called a first name that she doesn't really go by at doctor's offices and schools for the rest of her life.  Sorry, Clare...mommy and daddy still love you.

I've already started on Clare's nursery, and although it is NOTHING like I originally planned, I'm still excited.  At first I wanted yellow/gray/cream, but I found bedding that is exactly like Tully's from the same local baby boutique, except it's pink, so I couldn't resist custom bedding that was also coordinated.  Here is a sneak peak of Clare bedding from the JBF consignment sale, along with all of Tully's clothes for the winter.  Her stuff is in the sack on the bottom of the rack.  We were almost half way done shopping at this point.  We had to move all of Tully's stuff to a bin and use the hanging rack to start all over for Clare.  Shopping for the two kids took my mom and me over 12 hours, but they're set for the next 6 months!!!

Finding Clare's bedding while consignment shopping also convinced me to reuse Tully's bedding and accessories in his big boy room instead of buying new things.  We moved Tully to his new room over the weekend, but I haven't done the finishing touches yet.  It's smaller than his old room, so I'm still shuffling furniture around and trying to hang things on the wall.  If I get really motivated I'll take pictures of everything to document on the blog.  I have a feeling that might go as well as my plans to start taking baby bump pics at 5 months too.  I think the bump pics are going to start at 6 months instead.  Better late than never, Miss Clare!

Monday, August 27, 2012

"C" is for Crib

Last night marked the first night of Tully sleeping in his big boy bed.  He got booted out of the iron crib to make room for his future sibling.  Here is a summary (to the best of my foggy recollection) of our successes and failures.

Success - 8:00 PM  mommy rocked Tully to sleep and put Tully in big boy bed
Fail - 9:45 PM - Tully awake
Success - 9:46 PM Tully back to sleep without crawling out of bed
Fail - 12:00 AM Tully crawled/fell(?) out of bed
Success? - 1:00 AM Tully slept on floor until daddy brought in meds (T currently gets a dose of ibuprofen in the middle of the night for ear pain)
Fail - 1:30 AM Tully, mommy, and daddy awake.  Daddy goes to bed.  Mommy stays up with Tully.
Success - 2:45 AM mommy rocked Tully to sleep and put Tully in big boy bed.
Fail - 2:48 AM Tully awake/crying/walking around room/losing blankies and binkies/mommy can't see what's going on with stationary camera monitor/total chaos.
Success - 3:15 AM Tully finds a binky and blanket, puts them in bed, and lays down with them. 
Success - 3:30 AM Tully and mommy go to sleep in their own beds.
Fail - 6:00 AM Tully and mommy awake.  Mommy watches on monitor.
Success - 6:?? AM Tully and mommy go to sleep in their own beds.
Fail - 7:30 AM Mommy and daddy oversleep.  Tully kinda awake but still in bed.
Success - 8:30 AM Daddy makes it to morning meeting on time.  Mommy takes Tully to school on time, and there are no tears!

Dear Sleep Gods: Please, please, please let nap time go well and tonight be better.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"C" is for Confessions

The girl working the drive through at Braums is on to me.  I visited three times last week for a chocolate mix with oreos.  I'm thinking I should tell her I'm pregnant and that ice cream is high in calcium.

I've been coughing since June 20.  I thought it was a virus, since John got sick first, then Tully, then me.  John asked me last week, if I was ever going to stop coughing.  I should probably go to the doctor to confirm it's allergies and not some rare Canadian cough bug I picked up on vacation.

I set up my work laptop last week.  It took nearly seven hours and three restarts before it was fully updated and ready to run.   I am reminded why I absolutely despise PCs and Windows operating systems.

We had doors installed in my office, but they have semi-transparent glass.  I actually crawled on the floor to hide from Tully when I saw him walking toward the room one time.  I need to put up some curtains or shades, so he can't see in.

I had a complete meltdown last week when Medco charged me nearly $400 for prescriptions due to a mistake on the doctor's part.  First and last time I'll let them make that mistake.

Tully is doing well in school.  Drop offs are tearful for him, but he is recovering quickly and doing great in the classroom.  (He's even telling the teacher when his diaper is wet and actually sat on the potty yesterday!!) I jammed some Skrillex on BPM full blast when I dropped him off today.  Mommy freedom!

I got a notice in the mailbox where USPS tried to deliver a package, so I filled out the form and gave instructions to leave the package on the porch.  The mail man tried to deliver the package again, and instead of leaving it on the porch, left me a final notice.  I went to the post office and gave the lady working the counter a piece of my mind.  Obviously she's not a mail carrier and doesn't do routes, but I told her I wasn't happy to have to drive there to pick up the package when they should have left it at my house in the first place.  Recently I noticed there is highlighted text on the label with our names inside the mailbox that says "LEAVE PARCELS".  Guess someone relayed my message?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"C" is for Conflagration

For those wanting to help regarding the wild fires, especially near Cushing, OK:

1) WARM BODIES: Love INC of Greater Cushing is looking for volunteers to work in the office and warehouse receiving and organizing donations at 203 W. Moses.   Their goal is to operate from 9-4 every day, instead of only a few hours each week.  Call (918) 225-1125 to volunteer your time.

2) GOODS DONATIONS: You can drop off household items at 203 W. Moses.  Love INC is working with local fire departments, churches, the American Red Cross, and directly with victims to get supplies where they are needed.  For a list of needs visit the Love INC of Greater Cushing FB page:


a) When Love INC cannot meet a specific need or item request, they can go out and purchase goods directly.  They need funds to fulfill these requests.  Call (918) 225-1125 or stop by 203 W. Moses to donate.

b) The Tulsa Area Chapter of the American Red Cross is also taking donations to help local area victims and firefighters.  To donate online visit and click the DONATE tab.

If you are a victim of the wild fires or know someone who could use help from the American Red Cross, stop by the Senior Citizens Center at 203 E. Cherry in Cushing to start paperwork.  The Red Cross shelter in Sand Springs is also open.

There are many, many churches and local groups stepping up to help, but I hope the list above provides others some direction in how and where to give.

Friday, August 3, 2012

"C" is for Confessions

This is my second post in the Wednesday Confessional series started by Courtney.  My first confession? I'm late for this week's confessions.

I brushed my teeth the other night before bed and then promptly went into the kitchen to make a bowl of cereal.  (Mommy brain?)  I had to brush them again.

I took a bunch of boxes out to the curb for trash pick up on Thursday night.  Trash pick up is on Monday.

I drove to the store to buy chicken (and chicken only) to make dinner, and I came home with chicken, chocolate hostess donuts, and a box of brownie mix.

I ate most of the bag of hostess donuts on the drive home.  The only thing that really stopped me from eating all of them was that they were melty and getting all over my fingers.

Tully's second day of school was terrible.  He cried when I left, cried when I got there, cried on the way home, and did the end of cry/hiccup like breath while sleeping when he got home.  World's worst mommy for sending him to school yesterday.  Poor, poor Tully Bear.

To add to Tully's already terrible second day of school, he had a major diaper blowout.  I failed to mention this to John the day it happened, and when I told him this morning, he said I HAD to put it in writing somewhere, so he could remember to tell Tully's future dates that he pooped his pants the second day of school.  John just got his first nomination for Daddy of the Year.

I had someone tell me today that I didn't have much of a baby bump and that it looked more like I had just eaten a cheeseburger.  Compliment or insult?  You decide.

I got a spam comment a day or so after lecturing everyone last week for having CAPTCHA enabled.  It was easy to delete, so I have not turned it back on, but can all say, "I told you so!" now.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"C" is for Child (cont.)

Time for another Tully update.  He is 16 months old and has 16 teeth.  All four eye teeth have pushed through and are on their way in.  Next up?  Two-year molars!

Words: hot, hat, ball
Signs: hot, hat, cat, airplane, more, please, where is it? (palm up, questioning look on face, usually in reference to the ball)
Sounds: vroom (car/truck), moo

Signing/saying duck and mama have pretty much stopped.   He still gets really, really excited about the puppy, but sometimes he just points, yells, and smiles instead of signing.

He has learned to fake laugh.  He knows when the time to laugh is, but he makes it really loud and obnoxious.   Like he knows what he is doing is funny, so he repeats the action and fake laughs at himself.

He knows where his nose is and will sometimes point to ears, if asked, too.

He is following simple commands (put the ball in the basket, bring your shoes to mommy).  I'm hoping this continues and he is helpful when the new baby comes!

When I tell him it's time to go, he follows me out the door to the garage and goes to the car door where his car seat is located.  For the longest time I always had to carry him to the car, and I was starting to wonder how I would possibly get both kids, my stuff, and their stuff loaded in a reasonable amount of time.  Life is much easier with him walking and following simple commands, since it gives me two free hands.

The baby gate was secured to the staircase on one end with zip ties (classy, I know...), and they popped off.  We didn't get the gate put back up right away, so it has stayed down.  It's awesome because we don't have to open and close it every time we go up and down the stairs, and Tully really only goes upstairs or downstairs when we do.  He's always been a good, steady climber too, so I've never really worried about him falling.  I think we'll leave it down for a while.

He is on a fantastic sleep schedule.  Also, we're able to put him in his crib before bedtime, and he goes to sleep on his own without a peep.  We never really "sleep trained", but we did slowly move away from nursing to sleep or rocking to sleep, so he could go to bed on his own.  He transitioned from two naps to one (12-15 months), so here's how our day looks now.

7:15 - 7:30 awake,  he "reads" small board books in crib, sits and talks quietly to himself
7:30 start day
11:35 read book to him, wind down
11:45 in crib
11:45 - 12:00 he falls asleep
1:30 - 2:30 awake, he "reads" small board books in crib, sits and talks quietly to himself
7:15 give him a bath
7:35 read book, wind down
7:45 in crib
7:45 - 8:00 he falls asleep

Tully weaned sometime after 15 months.  I could write an entire post on what an emotional roller coaster that has been for me, but after having him squirm out of my lap and vigorously shake his head "no" a million times, it's safe to say he is finished.  I've dealt with nursing strikes before, but this time was definitely different.  Although I'm sad (understatement of the year), weaning has provided some freedom.  We have multiple trips to Texas planned, along with my work trip to DC, so Tully will be spending quality time at Grammy's pool this summer.  We're stacking on all of the Tully-free trips we can before the next baby comes!

Tully started half-day school this fall.  Here he is at 16 months ready for his first day.  (Good job hiding mommy's almost 5-month bump with your knee, T.)  Grammy was here to share in the excitement and take some pictures.

Pick-up was scheduled for noon, but they called me just after 11 to let me know he was melting down.  He had a fantastic morning playing, but it was getting close to lunch and nap time, so I got him early.  After a quick diaper change and lunch in the car, he went to sleep at his normal time as soon as we got home.  I'll probably have to pick him up at 11 for a few weeks until he adjusts to the new school schedule.  He is definitely the youngest in the pre-primary class (2-3 year olds), but I think he is fine, developmentally.  He just needs to catch up to the big kid schedule of taking a nap at 12:30 or 1, and I'm sure school will be less overwhelming and tiring as the year progresses.  Today was a big, big day!

Below is the picture the teacher, or guide, as they call it, sent me today of Tully doing "work".  Part of the way they teach at the Montessori school is for the kids to choose their own "work" from a shelf.  They take it to a table or the floor to practice a skill (moving objects, counting, matching, etc.) and then clean up that project before picking another.  Tully runs around like a mad man at the house from one toy to the next most of the time, so it's always good to see him sit down and focus on one thing.  Way to go, little guy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"C" is for Confessions

Last week Courtney started doing "Wednesday Confessional" posts.  For the most part I think mommy bloggers post only the good things online, which sort of gives the impression that life is perfect.  It's not, but no one wants to sit around listening bad news all the time either.  I think a weekly confession provides a good balance.  Here are my spilled secrets for the week:
  • I ate some cool whip with frozen dark chocolate chips for dessert last night.  I told myself the cool whip was healthier than ice cream.  John looked at me like I was from another planet when I made the bowl.  It was random but good.
  • I let Tully watch Baby Signing Time videos on the mini-DVD player while he eats.  I know kids under two aren't supposed to watch TV, blah, blah, blah....but the kid is quiet, and he is learning sign language.  He hates the regular TV anyway, unless it's on Toddler Tunes music channel.
  • I get easily obsessed with finding THE perfect (insert item you would buy: stroller/coffee maker/vacation resort) and can spend hours or even days researching.  I stayed up until 3am the other night looking into double strollers.  I found what I thought would be the best "everyday" double stroller for us, only to talk to John the next morning and decide we would use a double jogging stroller more.
  • It drives me nuts when people baby talk, especially to toddlers learning to talk.  High-pitched voice for an infant? Fine.  Fake or shortened words combined with the high-pitched voice for a toddler? STOP IT!
  • I'm ready to cut Tully's hair.  He has these crazy curls in the back that make a mullet, and there's this one long piece that curls up on top.  John and my mom said to leave it, but I might get out the clippers before he starts school next week.
  • I like to eat Lucky Charms for dinner sometimes.
  • I get mad when blogs make you type the CAPTCHA phrase/number thingy to prove you are not a robot when posting comments.  I NEVER get it right the first time.  Unless you are Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman or Glennon from Momastery, you probably aren't going to have spammers leaving comments on your blog, so go ahead and remove that for me.  Please and thank you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"C" is for Cooking - July Edition

Week 1:
Chicken, spinach and artichoke calzones (Cuisine at Home magazine).  Similar recipe here.
Chicken and leek stuffed biscuits (Little Pink Monster blog).
Pineapple steak with spicy potatoes (Real Simple magazine).  I'll spare you the recipe, since it wasn't good.

Week 2:
Mexican casserole.  Cook 1 lb ground beef in skillet.  Layer refried beans, beef, small can of corn, salsa or pico de gallo, and shredded cheese in 8x8 baking pan.  Bake in oven at 375 for 25 minutes.  Serve with sour cream and tortillas or chips.
BBQ pork and baked potatoes.
Honey mustard chicken and baked sweet potatoes.
Three meat calzones (Cuisine at Home magazine).  Similar recipe here but used ready-made pizza dough.

Week 3:
Buffalo chicken pasta.
Mojo pork tenderloin and grilled onions.
Crock pot lasagna and Caesar salad.
Mac-n-cheese & hotdogs.  Boil 4 cups pasta.  Combine with 8 oz melted Velveeta cheese and a splash of milk.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Microwave or grill hotdogs.  Put on bun.  Done.

Week 4:
Spaghetti.  Boil noodles. Brown ground beef and add Ragu.
Turkey wraps with cucumber and cream cheese
Crock pot Thai Peanut Chicken and rice
Goulash and salad

Week 5:
Pineapple chicken quesadillas
Turkey sausage and Zatarain's rice
Grilled pork chops and salad.  Marinate pork chops in soy sauce and a few sprinkles of ginger and parsley.
Beef tacos.  Brown ground beef.  Put on tortilla with cheese, sour cream, and whatever veggies are on hand.

"C" is for Canine Cut

John got the brilliant idea to shave our dog.  His original plan was to shave, shave him and leave the fur around his neck, so Zach looked like a lion.  Luckily I intervened and convinced John that a short haircut would be more appropriate for the summer and would prevent sunburn.  I cannot imagine if our poor dog was sunburned because we cut his hair too short.  So John bought some trimmers and got started.  Zach sat still the whole time like the good boy he is.  Tully's bath time rolled around about the time John was finishing up, so I agreed to do the last little bit while he took Tully inside to get ready for bed.   John had left Zach's tail fluffy, so I cut all the hair off except for the end.  Zach had a little poof like a lion, and I thought it was hilarious.  Unfortunately, John didn't even notice when he came back outside, but he agreed it was funny once I told him.  Hey...I try.  It's almost impossible to tell that his hair is shorter in the pictures, but we really did trim a lot off.  I'm hoping it helps with the shedding inside too.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"C" is for Craft (Door Wreath)

Last week Rachel@InNoSimpleLanguage linked up with Sherry@YoungHouseLove for a Pinterest Challenge.  Aren't we all guilty of pinning, pinning, pinning and not doing, doing, doing?!  Well, Rachel got on the ball and made a hydrangea alphabet wreath.

I absolutely love how it turned out, so I decided I needed a summer wreath on my front door too.  If you read my blog regularly, you know I am not a crafty person.  Most of my craft ideas involve thinking up something and having my husband or a contractor finish it.  Luckily this craft only took two trips to Hobby Lobby and maybe an hour of my time.   Here is how mine looks!

Shopping list:
  • Wreath
  • Fake flowers (apparently I bought the most expensive ones with the thickest stems known to mankind...ugh!)
  • Wooden letter
  • Acrylic paint
  • Foam paint brush
  • Glue gun
  • Wreath hanger
Also needed:
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
    All in I spent about $40.  The first trip to Hobby Lobby I bought glue sticks for the glue gun.  I didn't end up needing much glue at all, except for gluing the letter to the wreath, which was a good thing because I bought the wrong size glue sticks anyway.  Two glue sticks came with the gun, and I only used one of those.  I knew I had a wreath hanger at home for my Christmas wreath, but I forgot it had bells on it.  Can't really use that in July :-\  So the second trip to Hobby Lobby was to return the unused glue sticks and buy a new wreath hanger.  I originally thought I would get a hanger that went over the top of the door, but I saw these cool magnetic ones on the same shelf.  I was pretty sure our front door was metal, so I went with the magnetic hanger.  Thank you to the inventor of the magnetic wreath hanger.  It's barely noticeable on the door.

    magnetic wreath hanger

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    "C" is for Calgary

    We started our trip here in the States and made a little detour through Utah for Kristen's wedding before flying to Canada.  Zion was beautiful and so was Kristen.  We spent a some time hiking and exploring Zion National Park when we weren't visiting with friends at rehearsal dinner or at the wedding.  It was fun to have most of the Nerd Herd in one place at one time too.

    To get to the wedding in Utah, we flew through Vegas.  We had a few hours to kill before we needed to be at the airport when we were leaving, so we visited Circus Circus and the Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.  Tully really enjoyed looking at all of the rides and watching the kids play at Circus Circus, and John and I had a good time checking out the sharks at the aquarium.  Vegas with a one year old is waaaaaaaay different than a normal trip to Vegas.  I've been to Vegas twice now without really drinking.  I think I'm going to make it a priority to go back in a couple years and do Vegas right!

    Taking a break outside at Circus Circus
    From Vegas we headed off to Calgary.  John had to be in Canada for the Global Petroleum Show for work, so Tully and I were mostly tagging along.  I have family in Canada, and our friends from Texas, Sarah and John, live there too, so I figured I could make the rounds while he was tied up with co-workers.  We did visit the petroleum show with John one morning for a few hours.  Tully did pretty good riding around in the stroller checking out all of the big equipment.  I also stopped by to see my Great Aunt Louise, so she could meet Tully.  When we weren't at the hotel or visiting family, I ended up spending basically the entire trip at Sarah & John's house.  It was perfect because they have a two year old son, so we had a place to play, eat, and nap, if needed.  Sarah was an absolute lifesaver because there's no way I could have done that week in the hotel by myself.  We visited parks, ran errands, and shared lots of mommy stories while the kids played.  Sarah and John even babysat Tully while John and I made the quick drive out to Banff National Park.  We rode the gondola, bought me an overpriced t-shirt, ate, and headed back to Calgary.  It was a really short trip but a great little break for us to spend time together.  We also got a babysitter one night for both kids while the adults had a double date at a really nice French restaurant.  We didn't get home until after 11, and we kinda didn't know what to do with ourselves!  We never go out and come home late.  John and Sarah were fantastic hosts, and we really enjoyed our time in Calgary with them.  I hope we get to see them in Texas soon, or maybe Sarah's John will get a random work trip to Tulsa, so they can come visit!

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    "C" is for Class (Swim) Part II

    Last month I posted about swim classes Tully took earlier this summer.  (See "C' is for Class (Swim))  Today Tully and another swim student, Ben, were featured in a story about Infant Swimming Resource's Self-Rescue classes on our local news station!  It was great to watch Tully show his rolling and floating skills in the pool. 

    Check out the clip below. - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - | 

    Obviously I DVR'd this momentous occasion, and since my parents are in Europe, I showed my mom the clip on my TV via Skype right after the story aired.  We didn't have the greatest connection, so I'm sure she's happy the video is posted online where she can watch it directly now.  Either way, we were happy to share our excitement this evening.  A little later my Papa Jim called me to say he saw his great grandson on TV.  I hadn't even had time to tell him it would be on, so I was really happy to hear he just happened to be watching the news!  Another fun part for me was that I knew the reporter, Lacie Lowry.  She used to play on the same kickball team with me and John.  Small world!

    If you have a child 6 months to 6 years of age, and you are interested in self-rescue swimming lessons for your little one, be sure to visit to find an instructor near you.  If you live in the Tulsa area, you can find out more about lessons at

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    "C" is for Class (School)

    My baby is growing up!  Tully is officially enrolled in pre-primary (toddler class) at Lake Hills Montessori for Fall 2012.  This was a super easy decision and a really hard one at the same time.  The easy part was that John and I agree Tully needs more stimulation and challenge than what we can provide at home.  His little brain goes non-stop, and I think he gets bored easily.  Boredom = whining = crazy mommy.  The hard part is that he's so little.  He'll be 16 months when he starts with the 2-3 year olds.  And what is Nanna going to do all morning while he is gone?  Lastly, private school is not something we were planning for financially.  We've decided he'll attend for pre-primary (2-3 years) for sure and possibly for primary (pre-K & K: 3-6 years) as well.  He can enroll in the public elementary school in 2015, so there's hope that we won't be paying for private schooling forever.

    Another good thing about Tully starting school this fall is that he will get into a routine before the new baby arrives.  I didn't want to have the baby in December and then Tully feel like he was being shipped off to school for the first time in January.  I hope he's excited to return to school for the second semester, and it will give me some quiet morning time with the new little one.

    In my head this all works out perfectly.  In reality, I bet we're in the middle of potty training, binky withdrawals, full-out tantrums, and chaos in general.  My kid will be biting everyone at school and smearing poop all over the walls.  Oh well, at least I can say I tried to plan for life with two babies!

    Friday, June 22, 2012

    "C" is for Class (Swim)

    Tully took swim lessons this spring through Infant Swimming Resource (ISR). The lessons were a little different, but they came highly recommended by another mom who had two kids that successfully completed the program.    The goal of ISR is to provide children 6 months to 6 years with the skills needed to survive should they fall in the water unattended.  This was definitely not a fun mommy-and-me swim class.  I had to listen to frustrated cries for nearly 5 weeks, but now that Tully has graduated, I can say that it was worth it.

    The lessons were one-on-one up to 10 minutes/day, 5 days/week.  Tully couldn't eat or drink 2 hours before the lesson, so we tried to time it where he was just waking up from sleeping all night or from a nap.  I saw several kids totally lose their (milky!) lunch, and it was not pleasant.  ISR is serious about waiting 2 hours to swim after eating.

    The ISR site says that kids take 4 to 6 weeks to learn the necessary skills, but Tully ended up taking 10 weeks of classes.  We had several three day weeks due to holidays, a fever, and the instructor being out of town, so I think that really stretched things out.  Either that or Tully was just really, really stubborn.  Most of the other kids that had lessons before and after Tully were still taking classes when he graduated too, so I'm not totally sure what was going on.

    Here are the skills Tully learned:
    • Hold his breath underwater
    • Roll onto his back in the water
    • Float unassisted, rest and breathe until help arrives
    • Perform the above skills first in a swim diaper, then in a regular diaper while fully clothed (summer and winter outfits, including shoes)
    Not happy but floating
    My parents have tanning ledges in their pool where Tully can walk around with the water about chest high.  It's hard for him to see where they end, and they drop off directly into the deep end.  He has hopped off the ledges several times.  When we were at my parents' house Memorial Weekend (after 8 weeks of lessons), it was hit or miss or whether or not Tully popped into his float.  We talked to the instructor and described how the ledges and steps worked in my parents pool.  Their setup was very different than the lap pool where we were taking lessons, but the reality is that he's going to be around my parents pool, not a lap pool.

    The last two weeks of class Tully really made progress.  He started flipping over more quickly, and his float was outstanding.  He tested in summer clothes and shoes and winter clothes and shoes all with a regular diaper.  (BTW have you ever seen a completely soaked Pampers Swaddlers diaper?  UNREAL how much those things can hold, and the gel is kinda creepy.)  With the exception of the two days of clothing, Tully wore a swim diaper with swim shorts and sometimes a rash guard (swim shirt).

    Here are a few videos of Tully's progress.

    Week 1 - floating but frustrated

    Week 5ish - learning to roll, no longer frustrated

    Week 10 - winter clothes, floating like a champ

    Week 10 final day - mastered the roll and float

    Next year Tully will learn the swim-float-swim sequence, so instead of floating in the water until someone rescues him, he can swim to the edge and rescue himself.  ISR teaches children to roll to their back to catch a breath, so that's different than regular swim lessons where I'm assuming they would teach lifting the head.  I talked to the other moms who have had older siblings take the classes, and most of them said their 2 and 3 year olds LOVED swimming after they learned the swim-float-swim sequence.  It will be so fun for Tully to swim in Grammy and PawPaw's pool and at the lake with Gigi and Pops.  I'm really looking forward to next summer!
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