Saturday, April 30, 2011

Apr. 30 - Insanity

This is what my kitchen looks like every night.  It's insanity.  After I feed Griffin, give him a bath, and put him to bed, it's time to clean up the trail of the day's events.  I usually start in the bathroom and work towards the front of the house...and sometimes I don't make it to the mound of dishes and/or the catastrophic apocalypse that has taken place in the kitchen.  Why, oh why did you die on me when I was 8 months pregnant, dishwasher?  How, oh how can there be so much damage done in the preparation and consumption of three meals?  Now, I know that as our family grows, the kitchen mess will increase exponentially.  I can say that I do not look forward to this.  It's easy to spend a good 45 minutes to an hour to set the kitchen straight each night, between the washing of the dishes, sweeping of the floor, cleaning of the highchair, putting away of the food, etc, etc.  Also, I would like to take this opportunity to address the invisible gnome living in our house somewhere who apparently thinks it's okay to use an inordinate amount of dishes each day and leave them sitting in the sink.  I know you are here, because there is no WAY we use all those dishes in one day.  Besides, aren't gnomes supposed to help with the cleaning, rather than add to it?  You are not welcome here.  Sincerely, Dishpan Hands.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Apr. 29 - Breaking the Rules

Yes, I chose two pictures for today.  It's late, and I cannot decide.  And my kid is cute, so it makes it harder.  Today at our neighborhood's park, we discovered a couple new toys.  First, Griffin noticed the dilapidated car, which he was pleased as punch about.  I couldn't quite convey to him that he needed to open the door to get in and out, and he kept trying to dive over the side that didn't open.  Hah.  Next, he noticed the new slide.  This one is much more age-appropriate for him than the others in the park, and he was able to climb up and down himself.  However, he couldn't quite figure out how to sit down and scoot down the slide.  After showing him a few times, I let him have a go on his own while I stood back and took pictures.  This was the result.  I'm not sure why he thought it was a good idea to go down head first, but he had fun in spite of the face full of dirt he received and went back for more!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Apr. 28 - Thrills of Thrifting

Hello mid century modern credenza!  Rachel and I were out thrifting today, and we came back with some fabulous finds.  She found two mid century modern end tables (a matching set) for $15, and I spotted this pretty little lady...  She was marked $30, but I was able to walk away with her for $15...UNbelievable.  My haggling points:  It was missing the sliding doors on the front as well as a shelf.  So, I went to Home Depot, found a white shelf and had it cut down to size.  Voila!  Good as new.  I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a credenza to put Oliver's record player on and records in, but it had to be a steal.  I never imagined I might find something so beautiful and vintage for $15!  Absurd.  But absurdity is reality when it comes to thrifting, and that is why it's such a thrill! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Apr. 27 - New View

I cannot believe Griffin is already big enough for this, but we have turned his car seat around to face forward!  The picture says it all, but he absolutely loves his new view.  I also love being able to tip my mirror down and see what he's up to back there.  Plus, I can hand him things, make funny faces at him in the mirror, and it's just way more fun in the world of forward-facing car seats :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Apr. 26 - I Passed!

A month ago, if you were to ask Oliver and I if I were going to graduate this May, we would have said, "Probably not."  A month ago, I had a ton of hoops to jump through in order to graduate, including two CLEP tests worth 6 credit hours a piece, College Math and Analyzing and Interpreting Literature.  I took and passed the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature CLEP a week and a half ago, after which the only thing left standing between me and graduation was the College Math CLEP.  I began (and didn't even bother finishing) a practice test, which was like taking a test in a foreign language.  I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I didn't realize how much I had forgotten in the 10 years since my last math class...That's right:  10 years!  So, I did a bit of research online and found a website that had created a curriculum specifically for the College Math CLEP, complete with 100 individual video lessons, 5 practice questions and 5 practice test questions for each lesson, etc.  I subscribed to the website and spent every waking free moment pouring over these lessons for the next week, staying up until 1am each night.  The Saturday night before the exam, I took a practice test to see what I needed to review...and FAILED.  Failed.  The program I had subscribed to online had absolutely not prepared me in the least for the types of questions nor the actual content/topics covered in the actual CLEP.  So, I was back to square one with hardly any time left.  And that's when I remembered a prof's advice to ask for help from a fellow senior at CIU, who had tutored many to success with the Math CLEP.  She happens to go to our church, and I was able to ask her about it after Easter Sunday service.  She told me about a certain study book called Cracking the CLEP that she has used to prepare many people for the test.  So, I called around whatever places were open Easter Sunday to find that book; one store said they had it but the lady couldn't find it on the shelf.  I drove there anyway, on my last hope (the test was originally scheduled for Monday, but got moved to Tuesday) and actually found it tucked behind another book!  After a few hours of studying that book, I passed a practice test!  That book is incredible.  When today came, I was terribly nervous.  There was just so much riding on this test...  6 credit hours (worth thousands of dollars), May graduation with Oliver, getting out of having to take 2 additional courses, etc. etc.  The test turned out to be quite a bit easier than the practice tests were, and I scored a 73 (CLEP tests are scored strangely, but can range from 20 to 80, 50 being a passing score).  And I'M GRADUATING!  I went to the bookstore to see about a cap and gown, and they had just had an extra box of duplicates accidentally sent to them.  So, she just so happened to have a cap and gown package for someone 5'10'' to sell me!  I am elated.  Praise God!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Apr. 25 - Easter Eggs

Dying eggs was quite the experience this year, and let's just say I'll remember to keep the dye cups further away from Griffin next year.  :)  A washrag was the only mortally wounded casualty of the debacle, and I count it an overall success. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Apr. 22 - Lunch

A little while ago, I wrote about our new journey of eating "clean."  I have absolutely loved it.  To save time and have a very portable meal, I've decided to have my lunches made up of (mostly) raw, uncooked foods.  Here is lunch today:  cottage cheese, Ryvita crackers, carrots with hummus, broccoli, and pear slices.  I can never finish everything I get out for lunch, which is perfect because then I have a snack already prepared! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apr. 21 - It Broke!

Last night, the fever broke!  A mysterious spotty, pink rash has appeared behind his ears, along his hairline, and down his neck, shoulders, and upper torso, but he seems to be doing fairly well in spite of it.  After doing a bit of research, I'm thinking it could be roseola, a virus that you just "ride out," as is the case with all viruses.  Anyway, we got out of the house today and got some much needed vitamin D.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Apr. 20 - Sick Boy

This is basically what our day looked like today, cuddling and watching Pixar movies, because this is the only thing that seemed to appease our poor, feverish kid.  This is day #3 of fever, crying and misery all around.  I had to make an emergency run to Manifest, a used CD and DVD shop, to get some new kids movies because I was going to suffer a mental break if I had to watch Finding Nemo one more time!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apr. 19 - First of the Year

Our poor, sweet boy has had a fever for a couple days now, but he seemed well enough this afternoon to go for the first of many dips in the pool for the year.  I think the water felt a bit chilly to him due to his fever, but he definitely enjoyed playing around in the water and being outside after being cooped up for days.  Of course, I, myself, get good use out of the pool each summer.  I love being able to go out and relax in the pool with a good book during his nap.  South Carolina summer afternoons aren't really conducive to outdoor relaxing otherwise because they're so beastly hot and humid!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Apr. 18 - Delightful

I tried a couple new recipes tonight that wound up being delicious.  So, rosemary is in the bottom of the pan, and tilapia fillets and sweet potato slices are on top with green onions and whatnot.  Delightful.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Apr. 16 - Next Two Weeks

The next two weeks, starting from the books in the back and going downward:  Griffin's friend, Sullivan, had the cutest book that Griffin seemed to love, Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop, so I got it for him.  Well, it might be the longest, most exhausting book to read over and over to a 1 year old (thing TONS of repetition, hand motions, and sound effects), and it just so happens to currently be Griffin's favorite book.  His second favorite book is one I found at a consignment shop called Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes.  I will be reading these two books an inordinate amount over the next weeks, to be sure.  Next is Stott's commentary on the book of Romans.  I am currently hundreds of pages behind in reading this for my Romans class.  Yes, I said hundreds.  Oy vey.  The next three are health and fitness related.  I've been reading Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels as well as Tosca Reno's Eat-Clean Diet the past couple weeks.  Now, I am not (I promise) the type to buy diet or weight-loss books.  In fact, I never have.  Over the past couple of months, I've been sick on and off and really struggling with debilitating fatigue, dizziness, faintness, and anxiety.  After months, I realized that it wasn't just going to suddenly go away, and I began to seek out recommendations on holistic doctors and endocrinologists in the area.  From what I had read on my symptoms, my hormones were out of whack and needed correction somehow.  I just wasn't convinced that going to an endocrinologist and being put on synthetic hormones would be a route I would accept anyway.  So, I did a bit of research and found two people who had written on the effects of your diet (not diet as in starving yourself or restricting food as in what you eat period) on your hormones.  After delving into these two books, I am seeing just how much damage can be caused by the preservatives, coloring, salt, sugar, processed foods, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and non-food ingredients in our diets.  So begins a journey to eat clean and give our bodies the real fuel it needs and understands how to process.  I'm beginning to feel a difference already.  On the bottom of the pile are three CLEP study books that I will scour in my quest to defeat the looming Math CLEP (aka. the only thing standing between me and graduation).  After 10 years sans math, this will be a challenge...but there's no backing out now.  My test is on April 26...10 days to recall 10 years worth of math.  Should be "interesting."  Last but not least, Griffin has been big into trucks, tractors, cars, and the like for a few weeks.  It's been neat to see the little boy emerge in him day by day.  We caught part of an episode of Bob the Builder the other day, and I'm predicting it will be a childhood fav.  Anyway, I was at a consignment store the other day and found this awesome Bob the Builder toy power tool set.  You can change the saw out for a sander or a vacuum.  Pretty cool if you ask me.  Downside:  It's the loudest thing you've ever heard.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Apr. 15 - More

As aforementioned, I perpetually have Baby Signing Time songs stuck in my head...especially because we listen to them in the car a lot of the time.  I suppose I had the "put your fingertips together for more, more, more" song stuck in my head this afternoon and was singing it because Griffin was making the sign for "more."  He has also started saying "more" sporadically with the sign, but it comes out as "moh."  So cute.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Apr. 14 - Whining

Lest this photo-a-day project would lead anyone to believe that our days are all smiles and sunshine...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Apr. 13 - Wash Dishes

Running with the washing theme, here is Griffin "washing dishes."  I wish.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Apr. 12 - Wash Hands

Boy loves to wash his hands.  In one of his Baby Signing Time videos, there is a song about washing hands and brushing teeth.  It gets stuck in my head for days at a time.  It really should be a crime to create songs so sticky to the brain.  "I wash my hands, wash every day / Cause washing keeps the germs away / And after finger painting play / I wash my hands / I wash my hands / Wash, wash, scrub, scrub / I use soap and water / Wash, wash, scrub, scrub / Do you use soap and water?" and on and on and on.  Anyway, Griffin is now constantly making the sign for "wash hands" because he loves washing them so much.  I wish I could say the same about brushing his teeth...THAT, my friends, is still quite the battle.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Apr. 11 - Holding Hands

When we're out on our walks, Griffin loves to be able to hold his papa's hand.  It is the sweetest thing you've ever seen.  Guaranteed. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Apr. 10 - My Little Bubba

I'm not sure why or how I started calling Griffin "Bubba," but I realized not too long ago that I was calling him that quite a bit.  The only thing I can think of is that Oliver's brother, William, referred to Oliver as "bubba" (brother) growing up, and William now goes by "Uncle Bubba" for Griffin.  But Griffin is neither my brother nor my uncle...obviously.  It's not a nickname I would have consciously chosen for my child, but it is what it is.  Hah. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Apr. 9 - Snug as a Bug

I will never know how it can be comfortable for him to sleep this way....

Friday, April 8, 2011

Apr. 8 - Birds and Boys

Dad, Cindy and Jaxon's last day with us was spent in Columbia at our house and out at the zoo.  Another lovely day, another lovely zoo outing!  Also, how cute are my boys?  Too cute.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Apr. 7 - Bikes and Beaches

So, I'm officially 20 days behind on posting my daily photos, but I'm not admitting defeat!  I've kept up with taking the photos, and I will now begin the massive project of catching up on blogging.  Going back 20 odd days, Griffin and I were enjoying our last day on the Isle of Palms with Dad, Cindy and Jaxon with a long bike ride on the beach and around the Wild Dunes.  It was Griffin's first bike ride and second time playing on the beach.  Hopefully, we'll have plenty of more bike and beach play time ahead this summer, because he really enjoyed it, and so did we.  It was fabulous.  For dinner, we went to Jack's Cosmic Dogs, a retro diner that has the best hot dogs on planet earth, stuffed with blue cheese slaw and sweet potato mustard.  Yum.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Apr. 6 - Griffin and the Gals

No photos today, strangely enough.  We had a lazy morning, and then Cindy and I went out shopping near the Isle of Palms.  Tonight, we met Bill and Carroll for dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse....YUM.  That was Cindy's and my first time eating there, and can I just recommend the Parmesan Crusted Chicken and the Mac 'n Cheese?  Wow.  Ridiculously good.  Of course, I have an abundance of pictures from the past several days, so here are a couple from our family photo session near our condo.  I have plenty more to share, but I'll make sure to post them in a Facebook album or on our family blog.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Apr. 5 - Bad Movies and Brothers

Enthralled in the first of two terrible movies on the Sci-Fi channel.  It's sort of become a family tradition to seek out and watch the worst movies on TV, usually on the Lifetime Movie Network or the Sci-Fi Channel.

Brothers...  I love Jaxon's face in this one.  Classic.
Last night and this morning, it rained.  So, someone had the brilliant idea of turning on the Sci-Fi channel where we proceeded to watch two (yes, two) of the worst movies of all time.  Strangely enough, they were both about sharks.  We can't remember the name of the first one, but the second one was the cult classic Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.  Absolute classic.  There is no movie that is as terribly made, with worse acting or worse special effects or worse dialogue or worse ideas than in that movie.  In the afternoon, it was time for Chas to get to the airport for his flight.  The boys dropped him off while Cindy, Griffin and I went downtown to do some shopping.  Another great day of vacation!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Apr. 4 - Staged and Silly

It was tough to pick photos for today because we took so, so many for the day.  We spent time playing tennis, lounging around by the pool, taking family photos, and hanging out in Charleston.  It was another gorgeous day around 80ยบ, and I think we're all a shade or two more tan after all the time spent outdoors.  Griffin got his first scraped knee and stubbed toe today, the first of many I am sure.  Yesterday was a bloody nose and the day before was a goose egg.  Poor kid!  But I suppose that's the nature of being a toddler boy in summertime.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Apr. 3 - Green Grass and Blue Pools

What gorgeous weather!  We decided to play outside and visit the pool area for a bit, and we discovered that Griffin was very interested in the interested that he actually wanted to get in (and it is absolutely freezing cold).  So, we got him in his swim stuff.  We couldn't believe that he wanted to be in the icy water, and he had a blast.  After Fall and Winter, I can hardly remember how good it feels to sit in the sunshine and soak in the breeze, warmth, and sounds.  It was heavenly.  In the afternoon/evening, we all went downtown Charleston for some sightseeing and dinner at Tommy Condon's.  As we were unloading from the car, Cindy noticed that Griffin's pants were wet.  We quickly realized that he had had a major poop blowout.  As Oliver and I cleaned him up, we realized that we didn't have an extra pair of pants for him!  We wandered around Charleston looking for pants to fit him, but alas...there were none to be found (unless we wanted to pay $20 for Harley Davidson sweat pants).  So, poor kid ate dinner in a diaper....I'm sure not too much psychological damage was done.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Apr. 2 - Goose Egg and Dirty Feet

So, it has been decided that if there is more than one photographer in the house, I'm allowed to post two photos per day...Welcome to double photo week!  Today, we grocery shopped for the week, hung out with Bill and Carroll in the condo, and enjoyed being together.  When Griffin was being looked after by Dad and Jaxon, he fell and got his first goose egg...poor baby.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Apr. 1 - Comings and Goings

Oliver took this today as part of a photography project...Nice, right?!  Mom and Morgan left yesterday morning, Chas flew in last night, and Dad, Cindy and Jaxon arrived this afternoon.  Man, I'm loving all this family time!  We all drove to the condo on the Isle of Palms and got set up for a week of spring break.  Woo hoo!!