Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Beautiful Welcome; Beautiful Words

Last night we added something to our front porch. It really makes such a lovely difference! While Brian was putting it up, I took a couple pictures of the flowers ... here's a close-up of a pretty purple flower (I don't know what it's called) ...

And here are my herbs ... they really are thriving, and they're being used frequently!
And here is our latest addition to our porch. This lovely sign was a gift from our sweet friends J&J. We didn't hang it right away because at the time we received it, Brian was having a few doubts about our house, and we didn't want to hang it and leave it behind (it's a permanent hanging system). Anyway, we're not going anywhere, so Brian pulled it out of the cabinet last night and decided we should hang it. Doesn't it look perfect?

"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

This evening, Allen impressed us with his skills, once again. Each night, I've been reciting the fruitage of the spirit (Galations 5:22, 23, New World Translation) to Allen each night before I sing to him. So, I asked him if he could tell us what they were ... check it out!!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Almost famous

This is so exciting. Check out this video. Watch the whole thing, OK? Recognize anyone?

In this video, you can see our shop! It's starts about 1:40, so it's near the end.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Delicious, chocolate-faced dancing boy

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this week, Allen's new word is delicious. I wanted to share with you just how cute it is when he says it.

Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever heard?

Also, if you have been reading my shop blog, you noticed my chocolate-y face the other day when I dipped into the supply of our new chocolate bars (seriously, ya'll, this chocolate is awesome. I don't normally like dark chocolate, but I'm quite smitten with this company's dark. Their milk chocolate is delicious too).

As I was preparing myself for the photograph (yes, it was staged), I wondered how in the world my child gets chocolate all over himself in mere seconds when he's just eating a Hershey's Kiss. So I watched him the other night as he ate one. I'm still not sure how he does it, but here's an adorable picture of him with chocolate lips.

He also decided to entertain us with his new found dance moves. Here's a still shot of it ...

Dancing seems to be an ongoing new thing with him. He's been showing off his skills throughout the week, like tonight when we were getting ice cream. He was sitting with Nana on a bench, and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" was on the shop's radio. Of course, I was dancing while standing next to him, and Nana was bopping around and singing too.

Suddenly, Allen says, "I need to get down," slides off the bench and starts dancing. We stifled laughter, as Nana asked, "Who taught you to dance? Papa?" Fortunately, he provided me with a brief reenactment tonight before his bath ...

Some other cute stories from the week ...

He went to Miss "S's" house Wednesday, where he played a piano for the first time. Miss "S" played the ABC song for which he gladly sang along. That evening, as we were leaving the grocery store, Allen said to me, "I need to practice my song." I asked him what song that was, and he started singing his ABCs.

After the meeting last night, Allen walked/ran his laps around the Kingdom Hall several times. He was having a grand time, so when I picked him to take him home, he began screaming and crying. As I'm carrying the screaming/flailing/rigid child out to the car (while everyone is staring), he starts yelling, "I need to go back in the meeting!" over and over again. It's hard to be frustrated with him when he expresses himself that way. I figured we should just be grateful that he wants to be there, right?

This afternoon, I was looking at a book about budgeting. Allen kept trying to turn the pages, and look through it. Then he says, "Read ponts atime!" I'm not sure how I knew, but I said, "You want to me to read, 'Once upon a time?' "Yes! Ponts atime."

I think those are the highlights of our week. What are you all up to for the weekend? I'll be painting a pirate ship for most of it. Can't wait till I can show ya'll pictures.


This is for you, Kissy

I know how much you love this song, Kissy!

But seriously, thank you so much for promoting the Joli blog on your blog. You are definitely a powerful blogging woman! Yay for sisters and for blogs! Love you!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back from the (almost) dead; word of the day

Miraculously, I am feeling better. And honestly, I thank the drugs. After four days of a hacking cough and a fever, I decided that I had to go to the doctor. And I was not above begging for some kind of drug(s) that would hopefully work some kind of magic on me so that I could function as a decent wife/mother/shopgirl as opposed to a walking zombie.

Fortunately, I didn't have to resort to begging. She took pity on me (maybe it was the coughing literally from the point they called me back through the entire nurse's interview), and prescribed a strong antibiotic to get rid of the infection and some steroids to reduce all that icky inflammation in my chest and sinuses.
Yesterday at 4:00 p.m. I had a fever of over 100 degrees, was bundled up on the couch with tissues at my nose about every five seconds, and was hacking away. This morning at 10:00 a.m. I was walking with Allen to the park (OK, still with tissues, but none of the other yuckiness):
It was a ridiculously gorgeous day here. This morning there was not a single cloud in the sky. Almost no humidity, since we had huge thunderstorms yesterday, and a lovely breeze. Allen and I walked to the park, met a stray dog that ran up to Allen and licked him in the face (I thought he was with a father and son, and the father told me it was a stray as it was licking my child's face), left the park after less than five minutes (he really likes the car-pushing more than the park right now), and walked home. We saw Miss "S" on our way back, and then discovered that birds have made a "mest" (as Allen calls it) in the beams on our front porch.
The rest of the day was pretty fabulous too. I got to sit outside while talking to my dear friend J. Allen and I took a lovely bike ride. We went to the park this evening with Daddy. And I was able to get the laundry done, read my magazine, make dinner (a recipe I invented that was actually pretty good), and have family worship night ... all before 7:30 p.m.
Oh, and the kid's word of the day ... is delicious (or, as he says it, "deyishus"). That he is. He had some genius moment's this evening before bed, but I feel like I've been bragging too much lately, so just post in the comments if you want to hear what they are, and I'll tell you.
Goodnight, loves. I am off to post on the Joli blog with the rest of this "roid" energy I have to burn off.

Soft shell crab festival

After a fabulous treasure hunt of sorts on Saturday morning (having to do with with our pirate ship playhouse), Mom-mom, Missy, Daddy, Mommy, and Allen went to the Soft Shell Crab Festival in Port Royal. I'm sure it was much more fun than my pictures captured, but at this point, I was running a fever, had zero voice left, and was coughing like someone who had smoked for 20 years (for those of you who don't know me, I have never even held a cigarette in my hand let alone smoked one). So I was trying my best to be a good sport, and I did find some potential new vendors for the shop, but for the most part I was just waiting until everyone had their soft shell crabs and we could leave.

Here are a few highlights from the afternoon (there was a car show which thrilled Allen and Daddy)


Friday, April 17, 2009

Sassy and sick

Allen has a cold. I took him to the doctor today, after four days of a fever, and waking up with no voice myself (after coughing half the night). The cough could be turning a little "croupy" so we got a prescription for his cough. For Allen, not for Mom. Mom gets no relief except from Delsym and NyQuil (and the joy of sharing my pillow with a dust-mop dog and a 2 1/2-year-old coughing in my face and somehow managing to get his foot down my underpants ... I don't know how he does it, but it happens).

Anywho ... tonight was our anniversary dinner with Nana & Papa. We took them to Wren. Pam and Missy came along too (they arrived here at about 3:00 this morning). Nana & Papa offered to us that we could reschedule, but I had already thought up my outfit, and Allen is actually better to take out when he's sick because he is very mellow (maybe subdued is a more accurate term). I had also already picked out his outfit for this evening. I was not about to give up the opportunity for the two of us to look so sassy and handsome.

Wren did not disappoint. Once again we all enjoyed a fabulous dinner. Most of us had either a salad or an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert (Nana even ordered one). Some of us enjoyed wine, a cocktail, or beer. Even so, the bill was extremely reasonable. I was really pleasantly shocked.

And other than Allen having a brief meltdown because he could not play with a palmetto bug (Warning: link will show a picture of the insect), the evening was fairly stress-free. (For those of you not familiar with the south, palmetto bugs-- aka roaches -- are very common down here. It's not like seeing a roach up north. In other words, it does not indicate a lack of cleanliness, nor is it any cause for alarm or to call the board of health or anything like that. Sadly, they're everywhere down here, even if you keep your house/restaurant/shop spotless).

We snapped some pictures of the sassy outfits before bed. Here they are (photos of my makeup and jewelry are included).
Given that he is really not feeling well, and barely uttered 10 words at dinner, and was nearly asleep until he heard the waitress say, "Here are your desserts" (and then didn't even finish his chocolate cake because he felt so bad), this was the best shot I could get of Allen.

Here's Brian modeling Allen's bucket hat (which Allen refused to wear at all this evening).
Here's me looking like a total idiot. But it's the only picture of the outfit we have because Brian thought it was "perfect." What paste is he eating. Anyway, as you can see "The tights" made another appearance.
Here's the necklace I wore this evening. It's an original Hannah Keim. She's the daughter of artist Elena Madden. She makes these adorable "clay creatures" (this one of her dearly departed Great Dane) and we sell them in our shop.
Here's a shot of my eye makeup and my hair. I had to take these myself because my husband quickly lost interest ...
And a closeup of the eye makeup. Sorry it's so washed out by the flash. If I wasn't so tired and feverish, I'd have photoshopped thse pics first, but I didn't. So you'll just have to deal with it.
Well, that's all the excitement for today (well, not really, but the rest of it was Joli related. You'll have to visit that blog for the latest news there. Which won't be posted until later this weekend because I'm sick, and I need to go to bed). We're off to the soft shell crab festival tomorrow, and working on the pirate ship on Sunday. What are you up to my friends?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And we have a winner ...

First I want to apologize to my three entrants (sad, isn't it) because I just now got around to this.
We have a winner with 10 correct words. That winner is Jenn! Congratulations J. However, I think she may have had an unfair advantage because I had told her about one of the phrases just prior to this little contest.

The other two entrants got 7 and 6 correct words/phrases. I've decided that I'm going to send each of you a gift as well. I have Jenn's and Kmag's addresses, but I'll need drevas'. Please email me with your address.

And in case you're interested ... here's what I was able to decipher from the video (not in exact order).
  • Turners (like Turner from Handy Manny)
  • Swings
  • Hammers
  • Shower
  • Don't want get cavities (not cowboys)
  • Crazy bugs (a few times) (this was Jenn's unfair advantage)
  • Dark
  • ABCs
  • Mommies (twice)
  • Daddies
  • Chairs
  • Won't you sing
  • Lights
  • Muscle man (OK, technically that was after he was done singing)

Congratulations to my winner(s)!!


photo found here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Weird eye photos; very grumpy

I've had my eye on this mascara (from Maybelline) for a few weeks now. I'm such a sucker for advertising, and those commercials just got to me. So when I saw it on sale in Walgreens, I thought I'd try it.
What do you think?

Allen was in a particularly grumpy mood Sunday afternoon. He had a good nap, and told me that I looked cute with sunglasses on my head (and my hair in a ponytail). But then I left for the drugstore, and got mad. Nothing made him happy. Nothing we did was right. He threw several tantrums. He looked at me at what point and said, "Your hair is not cute anymore," because he wanted me to take it down so he could play with it.
This was about the happiest he was all afternoon.
Turns out he's sick. He's been running a fever since yesterday, but I'm not sure why. He's not acting overly sick; just more subdued than normal. Thoughts, anyone?
That's all for now. Sorry it's such a boring post.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Performer; big brother material?

As you know, Allen has become quite fond of singing lately ... "ABCs," "Bushel and a Peck," and his own compositions (by the way, don't forget to enter my give-away). Well, last night we went out to dinner, and Allen sang those first two for a good ten-15 minutes. Loudly enough that other patrons heard. Amusingly enough that he was applauded.

This morning we went to IHOP. He decided to impress the little girl in the booth next to us with the ABCs. Then he broke into one of his own compositions. Loudly enough that other patrons heard. Amusingly enough that at least half the staff came to watch. Rather than the attention embarrassing him, it seemed to fuel him to form more. I'm glad he isn't shy, but at the same time it's sometimes a little much.

Tonight we finally got together with our good friends, the Easley/Stokes family and Allen got to hang out with Cai. We sat down to dinner, and Allen was at his typical spot at the head of the table. He looked around at everyone, opened his arms wide and said, "All these brothers ... all these friends!" It was one of the sweetest things he's ever said.

Based on the picture below, I'm wondering if Allen's ready to be a big brother. What do you think? He looks awfully happy to be interacting with Cai, don'tcha think?

Here's Allen sitting with Anthony.
And some new pics of Cai.
Cai wasn't too fond of Murphy ...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jurassic Park

OK, the title of this post is a little silly. But as cheesy as it is, it make perfect sense ... read on and see why.

This is Allen's favorite book right now. He really enjoys all of his DK children's books (we have a pretty nice collection), and tends to pick a new one to fixate on every few weeks. I don't normally mind because they're short and interactive and focused on the pictures so Allen absorbs them well. But, dinosaurs aren't really my thing. Especially not the meat-eaters and "fierce hunters" (as the book calls them). Not to mention that it's taken me weeks to prounounce their names fluidly enough that it at least sounds like I know what I'm saying.

So, you know how there was a lion in my bathroom a few weeks ago? Well, today there was a baby T-Rex and a baby Baryonyx (or was it a Barosaurus? I can't remember now). Fortunately, they stayed out of the toilet for the most part (except once when Allen decided to flush them). Where were these dinosaurs' parents, you wonder (because you know I was wondering why they left them for me to watch)? At the park, waiting to play with Allen (see, do you get my post title now?). He told me he was going to go in the house with Barosaurus, and ride the see-saw with T-Rex (sadly, I was actually envisioning this stuff and thinking, Barosaurus is way too tall to fit in the house, and you'll go flying off the see-saw once T-Rex sits down).

I wish ya'll could've seen my little boy holding these imaginary (or clear as his mom used to say) dinosaurs, petting them and saying, "Awww. It's OK baby." How ridiculously sweet (and bizarre). His imagination amazes me. He told me that they were hungry. "What do they eat?" I asked. Adult dinosaurs apparently eat "hot dogs," and the babies eat "juice treats." Who knew?

Hope you enjoyed this story as much as I did. More later, I'm sure.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Memorial recap

I'm so proud of Allen right now. He was such a good boy last at the Memorial. We discussed the Memorial events a few times this week (including reading the week's Bible reading with him), so I think he had an idea of what to expect. But, he knows what to expect every Sunday and every Thursday (typically) and that doesn't always guarantee a well-behaved boy.

First of all, he was very cooperative while we got our seats (we had about 285 people, so it was pretty crowded). We sat next to Sister Adjei. He talked to her quite a bit and asked, "Where's Brother Adjei? I need to go find him." Then he saw him in the back of the Kingdom Hall and said to her, "There's your brother Adjei!" It was so cute.

Then, he laid down on the floor for the beginning, getting up only to watch the passing of the emblems. He whispered to us a few times, but for the most part was very well-behaved. He sang during the closing song (so sweet), and said "Amen" after the prayer (after all of them, actually) ... and then, "It's all done? It's all done. Yay!"

He made quite the impression on the visitor sitting behind us. She said to me, "He was so good. Why was he so good?" And she wasn't joking around. She wanted to know why he behaved so well. I explained that he is always at the Kingdom Hall -- he's been coming almost since birth -- and that we also work with him on his behavior while there. And that we went over what was going to happen tonight with him last night. She was very impressed.

Like I said, I'm so so proud ...so proud, in fact, that I forgot until just now that a young, newly married sister approached me right after I came into the hall (after Allen) and told me that Allen reached up her dress and grabbed her butt. Hey, we're all imperfect ....

I managed to rig the camera on the stairs for a family picture ... and we got a few others (including shot of my awesome skirt find). Enjoy ...
He's shoving his face between the spindles of the staircase on that one. Pretty, isn't it? A nice close-up of his lovely chapped lips.


Elephant, regression

The second half of the week around the Craig household is pretty crazy. Mommy is off to work, and Allen is playing with "Miss S" all day. So when Mom and Dad get home, things are hectic ... trying to get dinner ready, and to finish laundry, and to talk to Allen. I think Allen has decided to take matters into his own hands.

Last night, he walked into the kitchen, and said, "Take a picture of me." And this is what we saw when we turned around:
Here he is admiring himself in the mirror ...
To add to all the craziness, one of my customer's asked if she could borrow some stuff for her grandchildren while they're here this week. We lent her Allen's Lightning McQueen trike for her 2 1/2-year-old grandson, and the exersaucer you see below for the six-month-old. Once Allen saw it, he seemed to regress fairly quickly, as you can see.

Once I cleaned up the above toy and loaded it in the car to take to my customer, Brian had to work to console Allen because he was crying so hard over the loss of his rediscovered toy. But once he found out that a baby needed it, he was OK.

Speaking of regression, Allen ended up in bed with us almost all night last night. Yesterday morning he awoke screaming. He told me later that he screamed for Mommy because "a big jet was hurtin' me" (we live in the flight path of the local Marine air station). I don't think a jet was flying at 6:00 a.m., but he may have dreamed about it. That fear seemed to stick with him last night. Hopefully tonight will go better because both Mommy and Allen were pretty tired this morning.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good mood; gems

Hello my friends. I hope you are all well this evening. Myself? Well, I had a pretty good day. My mood seems to be improving with each night that passes without two-year-old legs in my back and hands in my hair. We're up to three nights in a row now. We're very proud. So proud, in fact, that I bought Allen two little gifts today at Teaching Carolina. Here's one of them:Lovely nesting blocks from Melissa and Doug (which is where I got this lovely photograph).

Plus, I went shopping for some Memorial attire this evening. Brian expressed a desire for a new shirt and tie, and I wanted something new as well. He asked me to try to "be reasonable." And I was. I told him what I wanted to spend (on one shirt, one tie, and an outift for him), and I spent $2 less than my goal and got two shirts, three ties, and a skirt. Yay me! (I'm too lazy to take pictures of the clothes tonight, but perhaps we'll do a family photo on Thursday and post that).

Sorry, I digress. Back to the peanut. Three adorable interchanges stand out in my mind today. One is a little difficult to explain, but I'll share the other two.

Here was out after-nap conversation, as I was refilling his milk:
Allen: Mommy, I'm so happy!
Mommy: Really? I'm so glad you're happy!
Allen: See. Right here (pointing to his eye). In my eye.
Mommy: How come you're happy in your eyes?
Allen: *Blank stare*
Mommy: Is it because they're excited to be looking at your new toys?
Allen: Yes!

I have a (rather long) video to share with you that showcases the other adorable incident. But I'll provide a brief prologue first. After chasing each other around the house, pretending we were "Snapper" T-Rex (another story for another day), and as we were getting ready to sit down to dinner, Allen informed us, "I'm goin' upstairs to change. I'll be right back." After he finally let me follow him upstairs (at one point, he told me. "No Mommy. You stay there on the stairs."), Brian wisely suggested I bring the camera. Here's what I captured:
WARNING: This video is over three minutes long. I promise not to be offended if you don't watch it, or if you stop watching mid-way through.

And some cute stills of Allen changing:

I tell you ... it's never dull in this house! Speaking of which, don't forget to enter my first give-away!!