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  • Archive for May, 2015


    This time last year I was starting 100 Happy Days and gearing up for my baby showers. This year I’m just trying to stay on top of things around the house and anticipating Forest’s first birthday in 3 short months. 3 months, y’all! I was looking at the photos and videos from the days surrounding his birth and thinking that we didn’t take enough video! But, I think I’m going to put together the videos I do have and share them on his birthday. I forgot how tiny he was! It’s easy to forget sometimes.

    Our summer is full, full, full…at least the first half. We haven’t planned the second half yet. A month ago I sat down and came up with a rough came plan for our weekends until mid-July. With three sets of grandparents and two sets of aunts and uncles, everyone wants to make the round to see the baby every 2-3 months. With balancing all of those visits, plus trips for ourselves and time at home, it is essential that we get some kind of game plan months in advance. Forest is getting better at travel, though by the end of a trip gets really fussy about having to be in the car yet again, so we’ll be able to make trips to DFW more often where we can see groups of people at a time instead of having everyone filter through down here one weekend at a time.

    I’m looking forward to a vacation we’re taking with my parents to Port Aransas in July. I haven’t been on a vacation to the beach in years, muchless to Port A. I’m excited for Forest to visit the beach, too! I’m thinking of all the seafood to eat (no shrimpdon’t eat shrimp!), shopping, salt marsh explorations, soaking in the sun, jumping waves….ahhh, yeah!

    We’ve had such a wet spring here already and this last week or so has just really done us in. I’m sure a lot of y’all have seen the flooding issues around Texas. Thankfully what you saw in Houston did not directly impact us much. Though, the day after all of the major flooding in Houston proper, we got some rain that closed off roads around our house and office which had our office closed on Wednesday. The pond came up into the yard, higher than a usual small ‘flood’ but not as high as July 2012. A week ago I mowed our yard and had to avoid a few spots because they still had standing water and it was rather mushy. I was planning on mowing again this weekend but everything is still saturated too much, so I’ll be postponing it until later this week. I think we’re supposed to have some sunny weather this week which will help dry everything out a bit.

    The garden is quite a disaster, too. Well, the flower garden is mostly in order because I’ve been busting my butt with it the last two months. I only have to mulch 1/2 of one bed, and it’s a small bed, and finish pulling the weeds in the path and around the beehive. I need to get my suit on for this and do it one evening. It might take two evenings to do, though. The vegetable garden, however, is an utter disaster. Chris had kept it pretty maintained until March sometime and it kind of got left to Mother Nature after that. I started working my way through that yesterday but it is going to take some heavy duty work. The beds will be easy to pull but the path is more compacted and the weeds are harder to pull. I can’t work out there in the evenings because our baby monitor signal doesn’t reach that far out when he’s sleeping upstairs, so I’m really relegated to work out there on weekends or maybe if I come pull weeds for 20 minutes during my lunch break.

    Anyway, here’s a list of some summer ‘goals’ I’d like to accomplish:

    + Read three books. I miss reading a lot. I seem to spend my evenings catching up on blog reading, or my new habit—watching YouTube vlogs—, but I could spend 20-30 minutes reading a few times a week. When we went camping at Brazos Bend a few weekends ago I read the last several chapters of Outlander in anticipation of the last two episodes of the tv show so. Reading it really made me miss reading in general and I think I can bust out some books now.

    + Work one day a week for 1-2 hours on editing my book. I already started this one. I realized one day that I didn’t have to sit down and do it every day…sometimes I get in that all or nothing mode with creative endeavors. If I work one day week on it the book will eventually be completed! Small steps!

    + Continue to stay active in the heat. I haven’t run in a week or so—all this damn rain—but the last time I really ran the heat and humidity was pretty rough at noontime. I may be switching to rollerblading for the summer. I have a 5K on the agenda with a friend sometime in August and I really need to get my running up to that level by then. I can run a little over 2 miles straight at the moment, but haven’t pushed myself for 3 yet.

    + Organize my studio. If it takes me all summer, that’s fine. I just want to make it useable for fall and winter when I have a lot more time indoors.

    + Get the garden and yard in maintenance mode. I have a few ‘big’ things I want to get taken care of and then I want to get into a mode where I’m just maintaining it instead of having to do major work.

    Those are the big ones. We have several house projects and organization projects that need to get done around here. Plus, I’ve got a list of blog posts I want to write…oh, it’s never ending!

    What’s on your agenda for summer?





















    There’s a short vlog/synopsis at the front and then a lot of is clips from the San Antonio Botanic Garden, Sea World, and the San Antonio Zoo. There’s a lot more from the zoo…I got a little movie happy on that end. Sorry for the ad, I found a song from Free Music Archive that is supposed to be an Attribution license under the Creative Commons license but You Tube is claiming the owner is monetizing that song—so…I may revise that section soon. A little frustrating!

    It’s a long one….feel free to skim around! I’ll have some other posts later this week with photos! We had a great weekend and I’ll share more soon!

    Last weekend we made it out for our last camping trip of the season. It was borderline too hot and humid anyway, but we toughed it out. There was a chance of rain but nothing appeared until our drive home, thankfully. I would definitely like to visit this state park a few more times with Forest as he grows up. There’s a lot to do at the park with a ton of trails, a small nature center, plus the George Observatory. A lot of the trails were closed this weekend due to recent rains and flooding over the trails, but we made do with more of the front country trails instead. Our campsite was also much better and less open than it was at the Bastrop State Park site a few weeks ago. There were even lightning bugs just inside the woods beside our site once evening set in.

    Below are the photos we took plus two videos. The first video was shot on an old point and shoot we took on the AT because we couldn’t find our ‘good’ point and shoot, but I really liked using that camera again. For a point and shoot it does really good macros, usually. The second video was shot with the Go Pro on timelapse. Chris put together the three timelapse videos we shot using the Go Pro software and I tried adding music via Windows Movie Maker but kept having issues with that so I added music via YouTube’s editor. That’s a bit clunky so I didn’t get to do the fade out I wanted and had to add in an extra window to get the music to sync at the end…oh well, it works!

    These videos have been fun to make that they are inspiring me to go back to our Appalachian Trail and Florida Trail videos and merge them together into a movie.





















    Remember that trip to Florida I took last March while still in my first trimester of pregnancy? Well, I took a bunch of short videos in our ghost orchid slough and meant to make a video a year ago. Well, I finally got around to putting it together tonight! It’s only a little over three minutes but it gives a fun glimpse into the slough and several great shots of healthy ghost orchids, which were unfortunately not blooming at the time. Below this video is a link to Chris’ video from when we got the sphinx moth pollinating/visiting a ghost orchid back in 2007. We got a good laugh at his National Geographic-esque narration!






    In the last month Forest has decided to start doing a modified crawl. One weekend morning he just randomly started making his way towards me where I was sipping my coffee and reading the internet. I did a double take before realizing he was dragging himself along the floor and then jumped up so I could document it! I’d been waiting and waiting for this to happen and here he was, starting to really move. He hasn’t figured out how to put his knees up under him yet, but that’s coming soon I think. It’s insane how this stuff just happens overnight. I know they are preparing slowly, little changes here and there, but the big stuff just happens so fast!

    He’s sitting up better each day, though not on his own yet or for long periods of time. (Err since starting this draft he’s really mastered sitting up! He can sit for a good period of time and play with a few toys and not get cranky about it. I’m loving this!) I bought a foam mat for him to play on so he wouldn’t be bumping his head on the wood floor as much as he figures out the crawling and sitting thing. Sometimes he’ll just roll to get back to where he wants to go, other times he won’t. He’ll flail about on his belly and want someone to come help him back over. It’s hard not to get into comparison mode with him and other babies of his age. Some are sitting on their own now and a few I see have pulled themselves up and are trying to stand. Forest isn’t there yet and sometimes I wonder if we’re not giving him enough opportunities to try. I know, I know—stop worrying! All in due time, right? Gah!

    So, more of the all in due time thing is this solid food eating business. He’s just not into it. Sometimes I have half a mind to start baby led weaning again with him, or offering finger foods, because maybe he doesn’t like being fed. I don’t know!! Some days he eats a decent bit, other days it’s a bite or two, then closed lips and a shake of the head and pushing the spoon away. No more. I’m done, he says. So, I’m being patient…or trying. And since starting this I opted to let him try eating straight out of those baby food pouches since I had some in the fridge that had been open a few days. He really liked that option and I may look into buying the reusable/refillable pouches so maybe we’ll try food that way. On a whim I decided to offer up mushed bananas since he hadn’t had them in awhile. He ended up gagging on them—texture! He had done ok with them in the past, so I think I still need to be offering more textured/chunky items in with the purees. You know, apparently feeding a kid is some kind of science.

    He has really started liking when I offer him a sip of water off of the side of a cup. He was good at first but now he’s figured out how he can spill it because he’s so excited about water so I’m having to slow down on offering him sips without a lid. One of the sippy cups we have, he’s starting to figure out. At first he didn’t like it because it didn’t have the soft nipple like a bottle, but I think he’s getting it now. The kid loves his water, which I am thrilled about! Right now I just offer a few sips after he eats a little food and that’s about it. Sometimes on the weekend I’ll try to let him have a sip of mine if we come in from out in the yard, but it depends how excited he is and if his arms are flailing about.

    He recently had another ear infection and was sick for a few days. He randomly got a fever and I thought it was going to be for cutting some teeth, but no, just another ear infection. He’s been pretty healthy for awhile so I was bummed we had to go to the pediatrician once again. Now that he’s a bit older he’s now aware of the medicine even more and has come to start fighting it by closing his lips, blowing air, or turning his head. I’ll be happy when he can sip off of a spoon better and maybe we can give it to him that way instead of squirting it into his mouth with a syringe. At least he stops being hysterical a few seconds after we give the last squirt of medicine. He used to be upset for several minutes after.

    Overall, he’s doing really well! He can play be himself for awhile but really likes it if you are within sight of him.

    Since I started drafting this post he’s sprouted his top right tooth. The other top tooth appears to be coming but is probably going to take another week or two. He was cranky about it for awhile and on the outside it looked like it was pretty painful—swollen gums where you could see the tooth just underneath the gums for a day or two before it finally broke through.

    OK, here’s a bazillion photos from the last month!

















































    Chris and I first came across jeweler Dawn Vertrees at the Redland Orchid Show at the Fruit & Spice Park in Florida back in May 2008. Later that June Chris got me a ghost orchid necklace of hers for our anniversary, which I really love!

    Fast forward to the morning of Forest’s birth and he presents me with the necklace above. I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile and finally remembered to get a few photos the other night. Unfortunately babies and necklaces aren’t exactly a winning combination so I haven’t worn it very much. I could wear it to work but I often forget. A few weeks after we were home from the hospital Chris showed me Dawn’s post about creating the necklace.

    My husband is pretty cool! I could totally turn this into a collection. Hehehe!

    I made a couple of videos to share with y’all. The first I shot with our Go Pro—still working out the kinks on that one.

    Pumping Setup

    Our Cloth Diapering Routine


    Dear Forest,

    This time last year I was celebrating my semi-first Mother’s Day. It was a little awkward, do you celebrate when you are pregnant? Apparently you do, and your dad got me some flowers and probably some chocolate. I really don’t remember, I had preggo brain and now I have baby brain. It was still weird to think that in a few short months you were going to be in our lives. We still had Samson around with Leo, and life with a kid in the house still seemed like a foreign concept.

    Here we are a full year later and I can’t imagine life without you. I mean, I remember it—it was really quiet around here!!—but to have lived life with you for the last 8 months, it is strange to think that at one point I couldn’t have even imagined you.

    Forest, you are the best kid we could have ever hoped for! Those two months I was home with you after your birth are slowly fading from being a vibrant memory. I wondered often if you would ever stop peeing so much because we were constantly changing your diaper! We sat together on the couch-chair for hours on end, nursing and watching bad daytime television. I knew to soak in that time with you even if I felt I was useless in so many other ways. The days just filtered by and I wasn’t really experiencing them in my usual way, but instead I sat with you curled up on me or somewhere nearby. The sun would come up and we’d nurse and the sun would set and we would nurse, but I began to appreciate all of those sunrises and sunsets of nursing with you. It was our time together and still is our time together. We’re only 3.5 months out from my 1 year goal of breastfeeding you and I can’t imagine the weaning process right now. Many moms I hear go through a little bit of a depression when they wean and I understand why. Before long you are going to want to go-go-go, toddling around the room and spend time playing and exploring. When you take to food those nursing sessions will slowly taper off.

    You crack us up on a daily basis, even when you are cranky. Now that you’ve become even more aware of things you’ve been able to fight getting medicine, learning to blow air out of your mouth or close your lips tight and turn your head. It’s frustrating but adorable at the same time. We talk you through it and I think you are starting to learn that it’s ok, that the medicine in the moment isn’t very fun but it is for your own good.

    Even in some of the frustrating moments I still want to hold onto you and eat you up. Sometimes you wake up thirty minutes after I get you down for the night and I’m knee deep in weeds in the garden and have to come back in and soothe you…a lot of times I don’t want to put you back down when you get settled back in and comforted. You look so sweet and peaceful all cuddled up next to me as you reach up and splay an arm out across my chest, or dreamily try to stick your hand in my mouth before you head off to sleep. The best part when we’re nursing is when you grin but your smile is hiding because you are nursing, just pausing long enough to light up your eyes and crack a smile.

    The first few weeks we were home from the hospital I cried often, sad that the days had sped up, that you would no longer be so little. Today we packed up your 3-6/6 month clothes that you’ve really not worn much in the last few months. There were so many favorite outfits I loved seeing you in, but there are many more favorite outfits to come. Today I cried because soon you’ll be a year old and I’m already wondering where the time went and wondering if we spent it well. I know you won’t remember your first year of life, but I will. I may have to scratch my head when I’m 80 to think about some of the frustrating moments and I’ll look back with a gleam in my eye at the wonderful ones.

    Forest, you are loved so much! I’m so excited that we have this cool little person that we get to hang out with and share and explore the world with. Your dad says I’m so patient and that I’m a good mom, but you know, I’m just doing it the best way that I know and feel I can. There’s nothing special to it all, you just have to hang on for the ride!

    I love you munchkin! (and if you were awake I’d be chomping up your cheekies because you are so delicious!)




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