growth chart

here’s how i understand the story behind this:

dane’s mom, lisa, wanted to make caleb a growth chart by using a 2×4 for his 1st birthday.  the tradition goes (in their family) that whenever the kids were measured she would then paint whatever they wanted next to their measurement.  not only do you see how much they had grown over the years/months/days, but what exactly was on their mind at the time and age of their measurement. and she’s a fantastic artist so i hear it’s quite the masterpiece. 🙂

lisa wanted to do the same for caleb, but didn’t know how it would work since she lives in california.

then she talked to her son, the engineer. and he came up with a plan and blueprint for caleb’s beautiful growth chart.  he designed it so it’s still solid wood (he only used 4 2×4’s), could be painted by grandma lisa, and functioned as a growth chart.  genius!

let me show you…

here it is attached to the wall next to his closet door. you can see the measuring tape fastened to the side and you’ll notice the divided blocks in the middle section.

i’m so proud that my husband designed and built all of this!  and all from nothing, really, just an idea all the way across the united states!

the blocks are attached by magnets that are screwed in on the inside as well as on the back of each block (i took of picture of that, too, but it was blurry).

the bottom two blocks are ‘missing’ so we can send them off to grandma lisa to paint for caleb now that he is almost as tall as the 3rd block!

so each time he reaches a new block, we will have her paint whatever he wants on the block and she will send it right back to add to the custom made chart!

and here is where caleb is measuring at 13 months!  he’s grown almost 7 inches in a year!

this was all a surprise to me. i didn’t find out what it was until the day of caleb’s party.  needless to say, i was shocked and impressed.  so simple, yet, so unique.

dane and i went back and forth on whether or not we should paint it white, but i like it just like it is.

date night: part 2

our original ‘big’ date night was planned for thursday, may 12th.

i say ‘big’ because we usually try to go out once a week. and just with each other twice a month. on those nights i usually just pack up the baby bag, slap on some mascara, and head out the door without much of a plan. but, this thursday night was special because dane had planned the entire thing and it was a surprise to me until thursday morning.

the plan:

downtown dallas

by train

shopping

dining

drinks

music at an irish pub

train ride home

my good friend, erin, usually watches caleb for us while we go out. we had this planned for a few weeks so she showed up at about 6:00pm and we headed toward the train station about a mile from our house. i said, “11:00 would be the latest we will return” and was worried that might be too late since she had work the next day. she reassured me that was fine and that she would enjoy her night hanging out with caleb and time to herself.

so off to the train we went. this part takes a little over an hour due to a switch and distance, but it is so fun! we both love riding the train and it’s so nice for both of you to be able to sit next to each other, read books, or share a magazine while you ride. the night started with great conversation as we passed new parts of the city we had yet to visit. and met some interesting characters, as was expected, all throughout our journey.

20110516-090916.jpg

20110519-095127.jpg

20110519-095144.jpg

20110519-095158.jpg

we arrived at mockingbird station and it could not have been a more beautiful night. we were both really hungry, but wanted to walk and window shop for a few minutes before we lost light. we went to a few of my favorites: american apparel and urban outfitters.

20110519-095216.jpg

next we headed to dinner, drinks, and music at Trinity Hall which was in the same area. we both love the irish. our next big trip will be to ireland in two years. it’s the one place we have both always wanted to go even before we knew each other. so dane picked the perfect place because this was a traditional irish pub. they served traditional dishes and had LOTS of drink choices. needless to say, i enjoyed it.

there was only one problem: the service. we had 4 or 5 different servers at our table throughout dinner and then when it came time for the ticket we waited another 20-30 minutes. we expected slow service since it was a busy night and we weren’t in any hurry. we were enjoying the company, music, and time away from the house.

so we took pics of each other on my phone.

20110519-095226.jpg

20110519-095234.jpg

and then it died. oh well, dane has his phone, i thought.

it was starting to get late so dane finally searched for someone to help us check out.

we caught the train back home and talked about our favorite things from the evening. and when we ran out of things to say we just observed the train riders and wondered where they came from and where they were going. the whole time we were holding hands and i remember looking at him and thinking, what a perfect way to end the day. and it truly was.

little did i know it was far from over. 🙂

shortly after arriving at our connecting station dane informed me we would have to wait an hour for the next train. it was 10pm.

“oh, and also, it’s only going halfway home because it’s the last train to run for the night.”

wait, what?

and then mama bear showed up. mama bear is my altar ego and usually takes over when a situation arises dealing with caleb. sometimes, mama bear is not always rational in her thinking which can lead her to do, well for lack of a better word, irrational things. or saying irrational things like:

“we’re calling a cab”

“we’re renting a car”

“i’ll ask the operator to go ahead and take us home”

all the while flailing my arms sighing heavily every 4 seconds.

then my husband states that we will just have to wait for the next train and he will have Logan (his best friend) come and get us at the next station and take us home.

“oh, ok….i guess that would work. we just need to call erin and tell her we will be there around 11:30”, i said. the guilt started creeping up as i realized erin would be returning home at such a late hour. and it just annoys me when people do things like that to me. ugh.

dane had already reached for his phone, bless his heart, tried to wake it up and then looked at me and said, “it’s dead.”

and then mama bear turned on her heels and walked away.

i wasn’t mad at dane.  it wasn’t his fault.  my phone died, too.  and caleb was at home sleeping soundly.  and erin is one of the coolest girls in the whole world and i knew deep down she would understand.  and logan prolly didn’t have anything better to do that night and i knew he had friday off, but still, ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!!!? how are we going to get home?

so i walked away to cool off by stomping and grunting.  i know, it’s a weird habit.

after a hug and ‘i’m so sorry about all this’, dane led me inside the station where we found 5 lonesome payphones.  we had $2 which is just enough for two phone calls to logan.  two phone calls that logan didn’t answer.

i was literally banging my head against the wall next to the phone and laughing.  what a night.

then, across the room, no doubt watching and laughing at us the entire time, a young man offered to lend his phone for a call.  we nearly sprinted over and found he had a matching charger for dane’s phone. yes! finally, a break!  we waited patiently while dane’s phone fueled up and chatted with the young man.

“so, you guys from fort worth?”  oh, it was soooo obvious that we had no clue what we were doing!  he was the cool, hip teenager from dallas who knew all about the city and its rough ways.  i am so thankful for this young man and his service to us.  and for not laughing even though we clearly were a comical sight.

by the time we contacted erin and logan to let them in on the new plans our train had arrived.  we sat in silence this time.  we read my magazine and listened to some teenagers’ friendly banter a few seats up from us.  we were exhausted, but happy.

we arrived home at 12:30am and offered our friends a nightcap and retold the entire story.  i check in on my little man and kissed his resting head. we fell into a deep asleep around 2:00am and i am still convinced it was a perfect way to end the night…safe beside my man and with a new adventure to tell.

caleb – 13 months

i thought i would start posting the big updates about caleb every 3 months after his first birthday, but i want to be able to look back and remember all the sweet baby things he does each month…maybe after his 2nd birthday. 🙂

he ‘talks’ now! he genuinely tries to complete sentences with his own words. most of the time we nod and smile because we just love hearing him talk.

he stands by himself more now. he has been pulling up on several objects for a few months, but now he will pull himself up and then stand for a few seconds. getting closer!

we started using cloth diapers. we use gdiapers and they are rad. i love them, the rashes are gone (except for a weird one today), and it’s gonna save us some cash!

the floor bed is still going well. it’s been 6 weeks now and i read that it takes anywhere from 3-6 weeks for them to get truly adjusted.  he only gets up a handful of times now (and most of the time not at all!).  we’ve gone a few mornings without a nap because of traveling, errands, and visitors and he’s clearly not ready for it!  so we’re at two naps/day. usually 1.5 hours and then 2-2.5 hours.  and he sleeps 10-11 hours at night.  i am so thankful we put him on a good routine early on because i don’t think the kid would be a good sleeper if we hadn’t.

he still loves to dance.  i love when he wiggles his whole body. it makes everyone around him want to dance, too!

he fake laughs when you say, ‘funny’. and if everyone is laughing he will start fake laughing.  he just wants to join in on the fun even if he doesn’t know what’s actually being said.

he LOVES to FaceTime using my iPhone.  we usually do that once a week with grandma lisa.  he loves to have everyone looking at him!

he says “oooooooooohhhhh” for ‘uh-oh’…or at least i think that’s what he’s using it for. he says it when he drops something or falls. 🙂

his only words are ‘hi!!!”, “mooooww” (more), and “dat” (dad). he says, ‘mama’, but not ever directly at me…only when he’s around me so i’m not sure if he’s just mumbling.

his favorite place to be is outside! i go walking/ jogging at least 4 days a week and he will sit in the stroller without a peep for an hour.  dane and i also like to play disc golf and just started going more often.  he will sit in the stroller for over 2 hours then!!! it’s amazing how much he just loves to be outside and it doesn’t matter what he’s doing.  dane also just put up a clothes line for me (which i love!) so i put him nearby on a blanket while i hang/take down laundry.  he usually just plays with a stick or claps.

he loves cats and dogs (mainly because those are the two pets he can touch and has been around). dane’s sister and her husband just moved in with us and have two kittens.  they aren’t too sure of him yet, but he can’t wait to get his hands on them! it will be interesting since our cat passed away when he was 6 months and he hasn’t been around too many pets.

when we are at the park he loves to swing.  he can never get enough.  he cries a little when you take him out. we need to get one ASAP!

and here’s a sweet picture of me and my boy.  thanks to my husband for capturing this quickly before he bolted away.

adele

(oops, this was supposed to publish earlier this week!)

you know when you were little and you would say something like,

“i LOOOOOOOOOOVE mac and cheese.”

and your friend (or obnoxious brother) would reply with,

“well, why don’t you just marry it then?”

and then you would stick out your tongue and continue eating your mac and cheese wondering what it would be like to be married to pasta.

well, believe me when i say i would MARRY adele’s new album, 21.

i love it that much.

i know i can be dramatic, but when it comes to material things i have a hard time saying absolute statements, but here it goes….

THIS IS THE BEST ALBUM I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE.

so i would marry it.

reasons i love it:

  • i just love adele. always have. killer voice. beautiful girl.
  • i almost just listed the tracks on the album, because they each deserve their own bullet. you’ve prolly already heard her first single ‘rolling in the deep’, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg with this album. and that’s what gets me to say ‘yes’ to a marriage proposal.  you have to have the entire package.  i should be able to put on an album and listen to it in its entirety and either a) sign and dance along or b) not want to skip to the next track.
  • the girl can sing. effortlessly.
  • the title, 21, is for the age she recorded it.  her first full album, 19, was named for the same thing.
  • it has piano!  i love a good ballad. add pop and a soulful voice to the mix and it’s PERFECT.  my two favorite tracks are ‘take it all’ and ‘someone like you’ which allow the listener to get lost in her emotions.
  • the entire album was written about/around one relationship

it’s $10.99 on iTunes

and $10.99 on Amazon

and $10 at Target

confessions of a mombrain chapter 5

i really like to use disinfectant wipes on my counter tops at least once a day.

i have all sorts of cleaner underneath my sink, but i just LOVE (not marry love, just regular love) the wipes.  they are convenient and they smell good.  i especially like using them on caleb’s highchair.  i just have my system down and the wipes work for me, k?

and then my entire system falls apart when i run out.

we could be out of food or toiletries, but if we are out of those wipes i immediately write it down on ‘the list’ and schedule a trip to the grocery store.

this time was no different.  well, it was different, because i kept forgetting to write it down. which is not like me…even though i have a bad case of mombrain…i have a system and i try to stick to it, because of said mombrain, but i didn’t write it down this time!  which is so frustrating.  the system is: write it down when you throw it away.  easy. duh. DO IT! ugh.

anyway, a few days later when i actually make it to the grocery store i forget the wipes because i, again, forgot to write it down.  at least i got food this time.

later on that same day i began to start cleaning up the house and dreaded having to use a spray bottle *gasp* to clean the counter tops and high chair.  i finished my chores and realized it wasn’t so bad after all…just a few extra steps in my system that i could adjust to.

and then i opened the fridge and put the spray bottle cleaner by the milk.  and then i shut the fridge.

i reopened the refrigerator door and as i chuckled to myself i thought, “now that’s a mombrain moment…putting the cleaner in the fridge…by the milk…i could see myself mistaking that for juice…maybe i should blog about this.”

and as i reached into the grab the spray bottle cleaner i recognized something else.

the disinfectant wipes container.

in the fridge. next to the milk.

which i didn’t remember to throw away.

so i didn’t remember to write it on ‘the list’.

so i’m really not that crazy after all.

see, i have a system and it works for me.

date night: part 1

(yay! I can blog from my phone!)

this is Erin, the baby whisperer. She watches Caleb when we go on dates.

20110513-094839.jpg

On this particular night we went and saw my friend, Meg, play in downtown fort worth.

20110513-095048.jpg

She is super talented and I hope she starts playing a bit more. (she is a teacher during the day) Meg was my best friend in college. She was also a great mentor and guided me in my faith. I’m glad I get to see her on a somewhat regular basis.

20110513-095213.jpg

I love impromptu dates. And I love that Erin was able to come over on such short notice. She’s moving away in a few months and we are really going to miss her. she also happens to be one of my closest friends here in dfw. We meet for discipleship weekly and I absolutely love her heart for the Lord. Her testimony is incredible and such an encouragement to me!

this was also the night before our planned date.

the date that didn’t go at all according to plan.

more on that later…

20110513-100014.jpg

i speak the truth

farmers, texans, and moms love the rain more than anyone else in the world.

farmers need it for their crops to grow.

texans need it to end the drought out west and to eliminate more possible fires.

and moms need it so their sweet babies will fall into a more deep sleep during naptime.

🙂

this is his ‘baby’ face.  this age is so strange for moms. in the span of 2 seconds you will see your kiddo go from baby to big kid.

it’s raining today so we’ve been finding something to do in each room of the house.  caleb is having a blast exploring and helping me clean.  he is at the age that if i ask him, “oh, can i have that?” he will hand it to me! success! no more pens/trash/food/chapstick/pennies in the mouth! ok, it hasn’t completely eliminated everything, but it helps.

thank you Lord for the rain!  i heard lubbock fiiiiiinally got some rain after a 6 or 7 month drought.  thank You for always taking care of us.  even when we doubt you and question your timing.  all praise to you, the great I AM!

off to do more chores while baby sleeps his deep sleep during the lovely rain.

fun weekend with kinsey

the last weekend in april was spent with our niece. my granny kept her thursday evening and then they drove 1.5 hours to have a picnic lunch at the park on friday (and to ‘drop’ her off with me for the rest of the weekend)

in a nutshell, i am VERY close to my niece.  i had the privilege of seeing her come into this world almost 4 years ago and was able to love on her HOURLY during her first three months of life.  those memories are very dear to my heart and i love every second i get to spend with her!

some fun stuff she said

caleb is my cuzin aaaaand my best friend, k?”

(after praying for our meal) – “but we forgot to pray for mimi and pa!” “well, do YOU want to pray for them?” “no

and i can’t remember all the other ones right now.

anyway, here are some snaps from the time she was at our house…

the second photo showcases a classic caleb pose. he always turns his head to the side to get your attention.

we do not spend much time outside anymore due to the fact that caleb throws up almost every time because he’s eaten a stick, leaf, or some other foreign object.  here he is picking up a tasty treat.

on saturday after lunch we filled up the baby pool. it was his first time to be in a big area by himself in the water (i have an irrational fear of kids drowning…not just mine, but ALL kids. i know, i’m working on it).

isn’t this great?

kinsey didn’t like when he splashed so we taught her how to ‘re-direct’ so she was always trying to bribe him with a toy, but it hardly ever worked. he LOVED splashing.

afterwards we had popsicles, of course!

we tried getting one of the four of us. after several attempts, this was the best we got.

his creamy, baby skin puts me to shame! love it.

i’m excited to get out and work on my tan while baby boy splashes!

updates

well, not only did i NOT get to my weight loss goal at the end of april…i have gained 4lbs and it’s kind of stuck.

i have been slacking in my discipline to workout and eat well. we had caleb’s birthday party, then visited my parents, and just returned home from a weekend with my dad.  during the week i usually do pretty well, but the weekends kill me!  i know it has more to do with me giving in so i am determined to stay focused!

hopefully next time i will have a better update.