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29 April, 2013

Evie's Watertable

With Evie's birthday just 7 weeks before Christmas she didn't really *need* (but do we ever need?) Christmas gifts.  So Eric and I planned ahead and thought of some fun things for the summer.

I wanted to get Evie a water table. Most of them are half water / half sand.  Obviously the designers of those tables don't have toddlers. All I see is mud.

I found this basic model on Amazon for a steal.
After 4 months of it sitting in the guest room it was finally warm enough to bring the table outside to play!
Evie had a BLAST (I love her standing on her tippy toes).
Though she thought she was a cat and kept drinking the water.
It took her a while to get the hang of all the little parts.  And she still doesn't get the concept of the diving board -- she just puts the little dude on the end of it and then swats him in instead of using the catapult feature.  But she'll get there.
We also moved her tree house outside.  She loves climbing in it and cautiously going down the slide.

Or standing at the top and attempting to walk down it.  Gives me a heart attack! 

Of course, this was a few weeks ago when we thought Spring was here to stay.  And then this week we're back in jeans and cardigans.  Oh well.  We'll have PLENTY of water table and splash pool days this summer!

25 April, 2013

She'll hate me for this later - Evie went poopy in the potty!

Sorry to interrupt your fine Thursday evening of blog reading and wine drinking.

I have an announcement to make.

My daughter. Seventeen and a half month old daughter.  Pooped in the potty tonight.  The events took place hours ago but I am beaming from ear to ear, still.

Let's rewind.

My daughter has been battling a constipation issue since she turned a year old. We can control it with diet but occasionally it gets out of hand if we've been eating out a lot.  Needless to say, the last five months or so we've had a lot of conversations about poop.  Stuck poopies. Hurt poopies. Are you going poopies?

She's also taken an interest in me going to the bathroom.  And now that she can open the door (hooray!), I often find myself interrupted by a little visitor wondering what I'm doing sitting in that tiny room.  So I've taken these teachable moments to tell her that mommy and Evie sit down on the potty to go pee-pee and poopy.

Aren't you enjoying this blog post?

Moving on.

So this week her poop routine has been a little off, but so has her daily schedule (the babysitter is on vacation this week so I've been home from work and we've been having fun play dates).  She still hadn't gone after her nap this afternoon and I was starting to get worried.

I made us smoothies for a snack and I guess that did the trick.

She came running over to me pointing to her belly and her bottom.

"Mommy! Poopies!"

Normally when she's really struggling to go she likes me to hold her and rub her back. So when she started pulling on my leg I thought that's what she wanted.

I tried to pick her up and she said "down" and then ran to the bathroom.

I don't normally follow her around the house but I was half curious to see if she was going to go find a diaper and sit on the stairs to go up to the changing table (she does this on occasion).


She ran to the bathroom.  She pointed at the toilet and to her bottom and said, "poopies".

I felt her diaper. She hadn't gone yet so I stripped her down and balanced her tiny bottom on the edge of the potty.

She looked me like, "now what?"


here's where it gets embarrassing for me

I started grunting.

And that, apparently, was all she needed to trigger a good push.

And plop.

Out came Evie very first poopy in the potty!

24 April, 2013

Sam and Katie's Wedding: The Bridal Luncheon

On Friday, the day before my sister's wedding, all the girls in the wedding party and any of the ladies related to the brides or groom joined together for a luncheon.  As usual my mother outdid herself.

They even included a high chair at the head table for Evie!

I love the coordinated presentation between the table setting and the gift wrap!

My grandmother did all the flower arrangements. This tiny one is my favorite because it's in a teacup that belonged to my maternal grandfather's family and is an estimated 100 years old.

L-R  Kim, Keri, Katie, Nannie, Kelly, Lynn
L-R aunt, aunt, sister, grandmother, mother, married-in aunt
(I joked for years that my name should have been Kelizabeth) 

Mommy and the Bride!

The little flower card holders were my mother's father's mothers.  And the tiny silver spoon was my sister's -- from back when people bought your newborn a silver spoon as a gift.

All the lovely ladies!

We had a delicious lunch of finger sandwiches, petit fours, and crudités.  Katie gave all the bridesmaids a lovely necklace and earrings set to wear for the wedding along with new make up bags and some lip gloss.  And Evie got a precious little book on being her aunt's flower girl. I still can't read it to her without tearing up! 

Sorry for the low picture quality -- I've been using a free plug-in to export photos directly from Lightroom to my blog saving me a few steps.  If I make a donation to the developer the photo quality limitations are lifted.  I need to get on top of that!

23 April, 2013

We Have A Bishop!

One of the last things Pope Benedict XVI did before retiring was to name my boss/pastor an auxiliary bishop to Atlanta. If you have no idea how a bishop is named (like me a few months ago), watch this, its a super cute video on how to become pope, but since being a bishop one of the steps you'll learn all about that in the video.

I found out the news on a Vatican news Twitter account around 6:30am and it was immediately confirmed by Monsignor David via email to the staff.  He is the most humble, pastoral, and no-nonsense guy you've ever met.  He's the perfect choice and exactly what our Archdiocese needs. Our three bishops are so different yet they round each other out beautifully.
The Ordination Mass begins with a clergy procession.  I wish I had the final count but there were something like 50 seminarians, 80 deacons, 150 priests, and 13 bishops.  Check out this bishop from Florida, he's like 7 feet tall before the mitre. 

And our other auxiliary, Luis who was ordained a few weeks before my wedding.

And last but not least, our Archbishop, Gregory.

I've had the pleasure of attending several ordination Masses including deaconate, priestly, and episcopate.  Hands down the episcopal ordination is my favorite.  Besides the impressive clergy procession, here are my other favorite parts....

Presentation and reading of the Apostolic Letter (which is beautifully hand calligraphied totally made up that word).  It was unrolled and shown to the congregation and Archbishop. The words go like this:

The principal consecrator asks him:  Have you a mandate from the Holy See?
He replies:  We have.
Principal consecrator:  Let it be read.
Everyone sits while the document is read.

Then there is the pledge of bishops.  At a priestly ordination the pledge is directed at obedience to the bishop and service to the church.  This pledge is to the people of God and the order of bishops.  If you think wedding vows are overwhelming, this list of vows is absolutely incredibly beautiful.  These are a few of my favorite lines:

Principal consecrator:  Are you resolved to show kindness and compassion in the name of the Lord to the poor and to strangers and to all who are in need?
Bishop-elect:  I am.
Principal consecrator:  Are you resolved as a good shepherd to seek out the sheep who stray and to gather them into the fold of the Lord?
Bishop-elect:  I am.
Principal consecrator:  Are you resolved to pray for the people of God without ceasing, and to carry out the duties of one who has the fullness of the priesthood so as to afford no grounds for reproach?
Bishop-elect:  I am, with the help of God.
Principal consecrator:  May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment.


Then, all the bishops circle around and lay hands to confer the Sacrament.  I think I overheard that at least three Bishops are needed to lay hands.  This is just to ensure that at least one of these bishops can trace their ordination linage back to St. Peter.

And then! Oh and then! The Book of Gospels is opened over the head of the bishop elect and the prayer of Ordination is prayed by the ordaining bishop.  My favorite line is:
So now pour out upon this chosen one the power that is from you, the governing Spirit whom you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the Spirit given by him to his holy apostles, who founded the Church in every place to be your temple for the unceasing glory and praise of your name.
Watch this whole process in a short video of an actual ordination a few years ago.

Of course there are all the usual parts of a full Mass, including a beautiful homily by Archbishop Gregory.  My good friend and transitional Deacon, Dennis, served as Deacon of the Altar. And our parishes most newly ordained Deacon, Tom, served as Deacon of the Word. Such an honor for both men and our parish!

The Mass concluded with the new Bishop Talley blessing everyone.

It was quite possibly my most favorite liturgy ever.  Such a beautiful day and such an honor to be chosen as one of less than 100 lay people to sit inside the church.  Though it's super bittersweet, we miss having him as our pastor and boss.  And we're all walking on eggshells anxious for the new guy!

22 April, 2013

Easter Weekend - Beaufort

First of all, thanks for enduring the overzealous high chair post.  And my week long sabbatical between Easter weekend posts.

Picking up where we left off.  Holy Saturday morning we finished at the Savannah Farmers market and armed with a really good cup of locally roasted coffee, we crossed the bridge from Savannah into South Carolina.  The whole drive is like the scenery of Dawson's Creek.

We arrived to Aunt Jo and Uncle Jim's just in time for lunch. We took a long walk into town and ate at a water front restaurant.

After lunch we walked through town. The boys took Evie to the park, then back to the house while the ladies shopped. Beaufort has such fun little shops!  It's like Highlands, NC where our cabin is, but on the water.

I was very much looking forward to the evening of a Low Country Boil or as they call it there, Frogmore Stew and a card game challenge, but Miss Evie had had her fill of fun and desperately needed a good night's sleep.  I took my yummy lunch leftovers back to the rental house and watched not one, not two, but three bad made for tv movies and loved every second of the quiet. 

Eric reported that the dinner was delicious and that even Uncle Jim held his own in cards :)

Evie woke up around 6 am with a terrible cough, which unbeknownst to me was the start of a bout of allergies.  Since half the house was up Eric and I figured we'd make it to the sunrise Easter Mass.  The other half took care of Evie and then we switched.  

I always look forward to Easter Sunday. No matter where I am I can count on good liturgy at least that ONE Sunday. Ha. I was fooled. Nope. Some people are still don't take the time to plan liturgy even for the holiest of days.  My Easter Sunday was as penitential for me as Good Friday should be (which is what I get for feasting on shrimp and grits, I suppose).  Oh well.

After the family rotated through Easter Sunday Mass we had a delicious brunch with everyone before heading back to Atlanta.

(Us with Eric's sister Leeann and her husband Dan)

(baby Luke is looking good, huh?)

Eric's second cousin Michael was in town. Evie was smitten with him.

 I was going to stay an extra night in Savannah with Evie, but she was so sick with her cough that I wanted to make sure she was rested before my sister's wedding the following weekend.  I'm glad we went home because I woke up sick the next morning!

Since I'd planned on staying I had left things (and forgotten Delaney!) in Savannah. We pit stopped on our way back home.  As our "tradition" goes we hit really bizarre traffic --- one year we hit a full on blizzard on I-16.  This year we hit a freak hail storm. So strange.  

Such a great family get away weekend! 

16 April, 2013

Our new high chair - travel ready!

***As I finished this I realized it sounds sales-pitchy. It's not. I'm just so excited about it! And since I love reading friends reviews of baby products I figure, HECK, I'll still publish it.  Enjoy***

We were blessed with an awesome hand-me-down high chair. It was from 1996.  The boy it belonged to is a junior in our youth group.  Seriously, the high chair looked like it belong on the set for The Max on Saved By The Bell, but we LOVED IT.

Alas, the latch on the poor thing broke rendering it unsafe to use.

It was time for an upgrade.

Unfortunately, our IKEA table and chairs are not conducive to a high chair / booster that straps to the chair. The chairs are so light weight Evie can pull them over so we don't want to risk her wiggling the booster seat over.

The table also wouldn't be able to support a clip on seat like we use on the granite counters at my parents and Eric's parents.  It would tip over if she was in the seat.
So instead of shelling out hundreds or thousands on a new dining room set we set out for a infant to toddler high chair.  But with our impending trip to Savannah and Beaufort we wanted something that would travel well.

In Savannah we could have made the kids take turns eating in my nephew's high chair, but the real problem lied in Beaufort.

They don't have any counters deep enough for the clip on seat, and ALL the tables in their house are glass.  I didn't even want Evie on my lap for fear of her smashing china on the table.  And the other problem is that they barely have enough chairs for everyone as it is, so I knew we'd be crammed at the table without a chair for Evie to call her own, or without her climbing in everyone's lap

To remedy ALL of this we found the perfect solution.  And it was super cheap! ( We got the Pasadena print since it matches her pack and play...and because the other prints looked creepy)

What a life saver this thing was!  The legs come off and they all snap into the foot rest for easy storage. But the top becomes a booster that you can use with or without the tray. It straps on to a sturdy dining room chair.

We threw this in the back of the car and used it each day of our trip.   We even put it on the floor of the rental house in Beautfort so Evie had a seat to watch TV and eat breakfast.

I'm looking forward to taking this up to the cabin with us this summer. And we'll be able to take it down to my parents "tiny house" in Tampa when Evie and I go for the week in May.

I promise this isn't a sales pitch. I'm just SO excited after months of looking for a non-bulky, multi purpose, infant-to-toddler,  travel friendly high chair WE FINALLY FOUND IT FOR $60!!!

Easter Weekend - Savannah

 Eric and I have been trying to get to Stateboro, GA to visit my siblings at least once a year. All three of them went to Georgia Southern.  After Katie (the last one) graduated two years ago we changed that "tradition" to Savannah, GA, where my brother, his wife, and our nephew/Godson Zachary live.

Last year we went in early April.  This year we went down for Easter weekend. The whole trip came about because Eric's great aunt and uncle live in Beaufort, SC (about an hour away) and his family was meeting up to celebrate Easter there this year.  We took off Friday, left the house by 6 am to beat Spring Break traffic and were in Savannah by lunch.

We had a pretty funny hiccup on the way down.  Just as we got to 75S/285 my GPS app was exploding with notifications about several miles of stopped traffic. I pulled up Atlanta traffic twitter feed and sure enough there was an accident.  And by accident I mean a tuna truck caught on fire! Fortunately we were super close to the 285 exit so we rerouted ourselves over to 675 and then back down.  It took us twenty minutes out of the way but the wreck wasn't cleared until we were half way from Macon to Savannah.

We made it to Savannah with no other problems, and Evie was an excellent travel companion!

 As soon as we got there Eric ran around with the kids --- chasing them, throwing them in the air and wrestling.

Evie had a blast playing with all of Zach's toys.

Once Paige returned home from work we prepared for the egg hunt.  I had a little problem with celebrating Easter on Good Friday, but sometimes you have to bend the rules a little.
 Zachary is five months older than Evie so a little verbal instruction and he was fired up and ready for the egg hunt.
 Evie, however, was a little apprehensive (as usual) and needed Daddy to help her get the hang of looking for eggs and putting them in her basket.  
 Fortunately she likes to collect things so once she got the hang of it there was no stopping her.

 She carried the basket like this all on her own. How cute is that?
 This picture basically sums up my child - pensive, careful and precious

 David and I still aren't sure if Zach was giving Evie an egg or stealing one...we may never know :)

 Looking for the last few eggs!

 Zach LOVES to make silly faces right now. And especially loves to cheese it up for the camera.

 Evie dropped one of her candy eggs and carefully put each piece back in the egg. She was so nervous that she broke it. (But not once we told her she could eat the candy)

 Oh be still my heart!

 (Pardon my I've been up since 5 and in the car all day look)

 Nana sent down Easter baskets for the kids.  Evie got a Hello Kitty sunglasses, hat, watering can and hair ties.  She LOVES them!

After the egg hunt we fired up the grill.  It was Good Friday so we weren't supposed to have a super big meal and it couldn't have meat so I made shrimp and grits. David and Paige have a local shrimp shack (this part of the country is known for their shrimp - remember Forrest Gump?) where we bought fresh caught shrimp.

It might have been a little too indulgent for Good Friday, but again, when you're with family you don't see often, you bend the rules a little.

We let the kids have a few pieces of candy. By the end of the night they were literally spinning in circles, falling over, laughing and standing up to do it all over again.  Of course we egged them on. Haha.

Neither of the kids slept well.  I think Evie started having allergy reactions that day and we're still battling the tail end of the season.

The next morning we were up early to head to Beaufort to have lunch with Eric's family.  But it was also time for the Farmers Market in Forsyth Park so we stopped on our way.  Eric and I bought some locally roasted coffee (this is our new thing since we've had most local beers in our regular travel spots) and strawberries (Eric's pregnant sister called and asked for some) and stopped at a local organic fair-trade coffee shop for a cup of joe to go.  We had Evie in the Ergo while we shopped. It was like the epitome of hippy. Love.

Thanks for a great visit David and Paige!