Saturday, May 30, 2009

All about fish

Allen's cough was pretty bad today, so he and I stayed home. With a note on the shop door that we were open by appointment today, Allen and I were able to snuggle in Mommy's bed and watch Finding Nemo ... four times. At least. I lost count.

We stayed in our pajamas for most of the day, until just before Daddy got home. Then we got all pretty/handsome for Dad, and decided to go out to eat (since I hadn't been downstairs much, I hadn't taken anything out for dinner). We went to a restaurant that we've been driving by for two years now, but I've never eaten at. It's called Gilligans, and it's probably going to be a regular place for us ... primarily because there are fish tanks next to all the booths. So we got to eat with Nemo and Marlin ...
Here's a lousy picture (stupid camera phone) of Allen eating his corn with no hands.

And here is a short video of Allen "eating" his corn. Just before I started recording, he told us he was "trying to sing the corn song."

And then there were ...

So, we lost another fish tonight before dinner. We were so perplexed. Until we went to Wal-Mart and found out that we were feeding the fish the wrong food and not treating the water correctly. That's the bad thing about being given free fish and not asking what kind they were before being sent out to purchase all of the necessities.

After this brief, Wal-Mart quality, education on fish we decided to purchase a few new ones along with a new tank and lid. Here they are ...
As we were checking out tonight I pointed to the orange fish and said to Allen, "What should we name that one?" And he said, "Orange Paul." At least this time they're all different colors ....


Friday, May 29, 2009

Southern Supper -- Fashion Report

Brian's ensemble was slightly modified, since it was ridiculously hot and humid last night, but overall I think we looked cute (except for my chubbiness. Fortunately one of the new trainers at the new gym offered us two free assessments with accompanying fitness plan and one month's gym membership for free because we gave him our pack-n-play).

The evening was fun. However I must state for the record that I'm pretty sure "open bar" means an OPEN BAR, not just beer and wine. So I was disappointed in that. But there were some pretty yummy wines. I stuck with white (which I usually don't drink) because it was cold. And as previously mentioned, it was hot (and there was no circulation under the tent).

The auction was awesome. Our lovely pirate ship was auctioned off for a little over $12,000, and it will stay in the neighborhood. The school house was donated to the new school along with $10,000. Backyard Broadway will be leaving our neighborhood (sadly) and delivered to one generous family in Beaufort, as will Frog Hollow (not the same family, two different families). Unfortunately the WeeStream did not meet its reserve, so it will auctioned off on eBay.

In my opinion, the night was a huge success, with about $30,000 being raised for the school. Way to go Jody!! Here I am at the end of the night ...

Tired, but happy. The fundraiser was a success; Brian and I had a great time out having grown-up fun, and Allen was tucked into bed, sleeping soundly.

School Update ... the novelty has worn off

My friend P -- over at And Always Very curious -- warned me that Allen's great attitude about school might not last: "As far as his reaction at dropoff, just fair warning that it could change after a few days. Now it is fun. When it sinks it that this will be a regular thing, you might see resistance."

Boy was she right. This week when I dropped Allen off on Wednesday, he said, "C'mon Mom, let's go see the kids." So we went into his classroom together. Then he said, "OK, I'm done now. Yet's go!" And when we told him he was staying, he was not happy. But he went with Miss Charlotte to get the ball (Apparently he's done this before). He got a little emotional when I picked him up, but Miss Charlotte told me that he kept coming up to her to tell her, "I'm having a wonderful time." (He's very in tune to other people's concerns and emotions, and he's becoming increasingly aware of how his behavior can affect others. So I think he was trying to reassure her that he was OK).

I thought yesterday was going to be much better. We had a great morning at home. He got to watch all of Finding Nemo before going to school, and I got to play off that by saying, "It's time for school. It's time for school!" like Nemo's dad does at the end of the movie. He talked about Miss Charlotte and Miss Yvonne, and when we pulled up, he even told me which door he wanted to go into. But then I opened the door to get him out, and he FREAKED! Started sobbing and screaming, "I can't go to school. I need a new school. Yet's go home and get stuff. Yet's go home and snuggle together!"

It was awful. I'd had my hair in a ponytail and had to take it down so he could play with it. He wouldn't let go of me. When I finally walked out, I nearly burst into tears. Fortunately, the rest of the day went better, and he again told Miss Charlotte that he had a "wonderful time." Evidently, he'd recovered enough from the trauma to create his first piece of artwork.I didn't realize that sending him away from his home would be quite this traumatic. And I have to fight against all those maternal protective instincts and realize that the socialization is good for him. He talks about the "kids" and "friends" at school very positively, as well as his teachers, so I don't think he's unhappy with anything that's going on. But boy did I want to scoop him up and run out of there yesterday morning. And tell him that he never had to go back there again. And that he could snuggle Mommy as much as he wants.

A few weeks ago, in anticipation of Allen's new experience, I bought this book (we're big fans of Llama Llama in this house).

It's about Llama Llama's first day at preschool. He feels shy and alone without his Mommy, and by lunchtime he's so upset that he starts to cry. But his teacher and the other kids reassure him that Mom will be back, and once he starts playing he has a really good time. So he realizes that he can love his Mommy and school.

We decided to save the book until he had either gotten so used to school that the story wouldn't upset him, or until we needed it to show him that going to school was OK. We took it out tonight, and read it. Twice. As we read it, we asked him questions and talked about Llama's feelings. I asked him if he ever feels shy and alone. He said, "Yes." I said, What happens when you feel that way?" "I cry," he replied. We said, "Why do you cry?" "Because I yove you, Mommy."

He must have identified with the story a lot. After I read it the second time, he said, "I can go to school again sometimes." We discussed some coping techniques as well (like bringing a lovey that reminds him of home). Then while we snuggled before bed, he talked a lot about the kids at school and about going to school. So the book seems to have done the trick ... I hope.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cars, School, Movies, and More

I haven't posted about the kid much lately. But it's not because I don't love him. It's probably because I've been watching him extra closely over the past week or so, that by the time I sit down to post, I'm so overwhelmed by all the stories that I don't know where to begin.

But I finally felt guilty enough about it this evening that I decided to take some pics and post about the kiddo.

Here he is playing with his cars ... I wanted to shoot a video of this, but Brian was fixing the garbage disposal, and I didn't think ya'll wanted to hear that in the background.
Sadly I missed the best part. He lined up all the cars neatly in a row, sat back and looked at them, and then "crashed" them and sent them tumbling all over each other. Such a boy ...

Allen has show-and-tell tomorrow. He has to bring something that starts with the letter J (their letter for the week). We decided to bring our jet. Here he is showing it off.

Somehow, Finding Nemo ended up in the DVD player upstairs in our room. And recently, for some reason (I have such a horrible memory), we put it on for him while we were trying to get ready. And now he's obsessed with the movie. It has to be watched every morning. And apparently, every evening now too.

But, it can't be watched downstairs. It has to be watched in "Mommy's yoom" on "Mommy's bed." He needs to watch it. It's evidently a life or death thing. And sadly, Mom and Dad have given in and let him watch it the past two nights. Here he is watching it on our bed tonight. Could he be more male?

I told Brian that the only thing missing is his hand resting in his unzipped pants ...

Other Allen higlights ...
  • He now can say the entire alphabet correctly.
  • He evidently witnessed to his teacher today and told her "something about the moon and stars" (he likes to tell people that Jehovah made the moon and stars. I'm guessing she didn't understand the Jehovah part).
  • He told his teacher that he loves her.
  • He got very upset last night because he "needed" to go to "Pantsypainan" (Pennsylvania) to "check Nana and Papa." The only thing that calmed him was Skittles. When he found out he could get those, he immediately stopped crying and said, "I'm so happy!"

There are so many more stories, but sadly I'm so sleepy that I cannot recall them. I will try to post more soon. I'll also be sure to post some pics of the Southern Supper tomorrow night!


And then there were three ...

We're having some issues with our fish and the fish tank. It's getting unusually dirty fairly quickly. And the fish are getting sucked up to the filter. So we've gone from seven to three.

Here are our three Pauls. One white Paul and two black Pauls remain (Allen named them).

Murphy love

He's taken to laying on the steps. He doesn't have a preference ... any step will do.

Isn't he cute?

I love my job

I really do adore it. It's fun ... I get to interact with all kinds of people. I get to exercise both my left and right brain. I'm my own boss. All in all, it's a pretty good gig. Especially when I get to take home awesome stuff.

These sconces were one of our initial Joli purchases -- debuting at the opening of our shop in October 2007. I have no idea why they didn't sell. They're fabulous. Fab.u.lous I tell you. See?

I love them. They make me so happy. Ironically, I had to go to another shop in Beaufort to purchase the tapers, but hey, we can't carry everything ...
So tell me, my friends ... what do you think of my new sconces?? (And can you tell who picked out the TV? It sure as he** wasn't me.)


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Southern Supper Fundraiser -- Brian's Ensemble

After my last post, someone asked me what Brian would be wearing ... I think he's going to wear this:He wore this to Tim and Annie's wedding almost three years ago. Linen pants and a linen shirt. It should be nice and cool, but still a little bit dressy.

So, do you approve? And do you have any thoughts about how I should wear my hair?


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Southern Supper Fundraiser

Brian and I are going to the Southern Supper and Live Auction for the Playhouse Palooza playhouses, hosted by Habersham, this week. Since Joli was a sponsor/designer of one of the playhouses, it's pretty much a given that we need to be there. Mom will be up in Pennsylvania packing up the house (yay), so we are the representatives for shop.

Being that it's a fundraiser, it's one of those cost-per-head events. I've never been to an event like this, and I started to panic about what I should wear. It doesn't occur to me that it will be overly fancy, but I don't think it's a jeans and a t-shirt event either.

So Mom and I went to Belk today, and I picked out this dress and these shoes. I think I'm going to wear this necklace that we have in the shop. What do ya'll think? Is it appropriate for a Southern Supper?

Southern Supper Outfit


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Day of School Celebration

We don't celebrate birthdays ... or any other holidays for that matter. And we don't miss it. But we do tend to make "celebrations" out of what some may consider more mundane things. Like Allen's first day of "school." Kristen flew in from Chicago. She made a cake. We bought presents. Oh, and we watched the alligator in Nana's pond.

Here are some cute shots from the evening.

Allen and Daddy walking back from viewing the gator.
The cakes. It was supposed to be a whole teddy bear (a Build-a-Bear cake pan set from Williams Sonoma). Sadly, the heads fell off, and one body got stuck in the pan. So Kristen did the best she could. And it was pretty beautiful, I think! Allen loved them, and said, "I need to eat the eye."

Here's Allen looking at his book from Mommy and Daddy. It's Choo Choo by Virginia Lee Burton. He loves Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by the same author, and Nana just got him a Thomas the Train wooden train set, so we thought it was appropriate.
Mom and Dad's book was no match for Aunt Kissy's present: Skippyjon Jones and the Bones.
Nana's present was also better than Mom and Dad's: a wooden school bus with wooden children, bus driver, and dog(?) included. Very cool!
Obviously, Allen had a good time opening his gifts. And while he had a great first day (the director said he didn't ask for us at all, and that he kept going up to her and telling her, "I'm having a good time!"), his face lit up when he saw us come to pick him up, and he ran over and gave us huge hugs (and patted my back). So, he still loves us, which is a huge relief.


First Day of School

I've been so remiss when it comes to posting. I apologize to all of you, especially because some of you who don't see me or hear from me regularly rely on the blog to get updates. And when you don't see updates you worry about us. So please accept my apologies. Nothing is wrong. We haven't been sick. We've just been busy and preparing for some transitions.

A big contributor to the busy-ness has to do with Joli. We had our "Sparkly Happy Sidewalk Sale" this past weekend, so we've been a little crazed. But even bigger than that, we have been preparing for Allen to go to "school."

Mommy calls it school, but it's really more like daycare with a focus on education. I call it school for two reasons. First, Allen is thrilled at the idea of going to school. Second, in my tremendous new mommy naivete, I said that I would never put Allen in daycare. (I also said that he would never taste fast food, and he knows exactly where Chick-Fil-A is.) It's not that there is anything at all wrong with daycare. I'm just a nervous mom, and I didn't really know what to expect. And in reality, after looking into a few preschools, this "daycare" came out at the top when it came to mine and Brian's comfort levels. It's the cleanest, most secure, most friendly, most attentive, and smallest. All important things for us.

In spite of how comfortable the staff and facility made me, I still went through some depression and anxiety over the fact that we were sending Allen to school (this decision was made for a combination of reasons: money and the fact that the wonderful Miss "S" is in Europe for a month and then off to med school). In some ways this was a devastating decision for me. But, I focused on the positive aspects and moved on.

After all these decisions and emotions, we get to today: Allen's first day at his new "school." We have been preparing him for about a week. We visited it together last week; we talked about going to school and playing with friends; we discussed it over dinner last night. And we assured Allen that we would stay at school with him as long as he wanted us to. We wouldn't leave until he was ready.

Brian stayed home from work this morning so we could take him together. We packed his new Cars backpack (thanks Aunt Kissy), and got his nap-mat ready. I even ironed the shirt he was going to wear. We talked about it all morning (his response: I'm so lucky!). As we pulled into the driveway, Allen exclaimed, "My school!!" The next few moments went by in a flash ...

Once he got that backpack off, he moved so quickly, I couldn't take pictures. He marched right up the steps to go find Miss L and the kids.

Mommy: Can't you give Mommy and Daddy kisses goodbye?
Allen: Oh, yeah. (stands there waiting for us to come to him)
(kisses and hugs quickly)
Mommy: Bye. Have a good day. Love you!
Allen: See ya yater! (walks away)

We were in and out in less than five minutes. It was so anticlimactic. We were relieved that he was so excited to be there, but a little sad that he wasn't more attached to us. One of our dear friends/neighbors/customers told me though that his reaction means that he has a strong sense of self, and that means that we're doing a good job with him. He feels secure and loved, so he feels confident. That made me feel really good.

Read the next post to find out about the pick-up and the first-day-of-school party.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Here We Go Again ...

Last night Allen ate a Fudgesicle. By himself. It got a little messy ...
See those scratches under each eye and on the bridge of his nose? Well, on Friday night he was going a little crazy. First he slammed his head down right onto a toy helicopter (hence the scratch under his right eye {your left} ). Then, he tried to jump on a laundry basket of clean clothes, but since the laundry basket is collapsible, he fell right down and slammed his poor little eye and nose on the corner of the steps. He's definitely becoming quite the little bruiser.

This morning, he woke up, and decided he needed juice treats. So he sits up, and says,

"Mommy, I need juice treats."

"OK. Ask Daddy. He's going to go get coffee for me."

"Daddy I need juice treats please. Daddy wake up. Here we go again ... Daddy's sleeping."

"Here we go again" was the phrase of the morning. And tonight it was "absolutely not."

Mommy: "Allen, can I have a kiss please?"

Allen: "Absolutely not."


Pirate Ship Revealed

Since the Playhouse Palooza site has revealed the final pictures of all of the playhouses, I figured it was OK to share a few pictures that I shot on Friday night of the Pirate Ship (and the WeeStream). So, without further ado ...

That's little miss "E" in the picture above. Isn't she a little sweetie? Allen had a great time playing with her on Friday.
Visit Playhouse Palooza to see pictures of all the playhouses!


Friday, May 8, 2009

How do i look?

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I let Allen play with things that I know he'll make a mess of just so I can finish what I'm doing. That's what happened this morning.

I had an eyeshadow case out (to use as a second mirror to check the back of my head ... I was trying out a new style ... more on that later) and it was sitting on my vanity. I was done with it and had moved onto my makeup (I don't use the eyeshadow in said case any longer). Allen asked to see it. Then he asked me to open it.

Here's where the mental debate came in ... if I open the case, he'll make a mess. But if I don't, I risk a tantrum (which these days is pretty much a given). If I open the case, I can finish putting on my makeup in peace. But, I'll have to clean up a mess ... Check out the pictures to see which side won ...

Does he not totally look like he's saying "Mom, how do I look?" in that last photo?

I did have a mess to clean up ... but it was better than a tantrum.

Onto my hair ... So I decided to go with the "messy pigtail bun" look today. Sadly I have no pictures of myself in this sassy little do, but I did find this picture in my google search (be warned: if you search for "pigtail buns" and look at images, you might come across some questionable photos).
Anywho ... my hair looked similar to the image above. Once we were ready, Allen and I went right outside into the hot and humid air. The 'do was perfect for the weather. But, alas, I forgot about the fact that as soon as Allen gets grumpy/sleepy/snuggly he wants my hair DOWN.

The things I do for love. So, now I ask you, "how do I look?"

It's so pretty isn't it? It's like Kristen's new hair on steroids. Waaaay over the top flipping!


Pigtail bun photo by Karen.