Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We need a bigger house

Allen came to work with me today. And he wasn't really feeling it. By 10:30 he wanted pizza from across the street. And was really annoyed that I couldn't make them be open and get him pizza then. By 1:00 he was over his toys. Apparently his dragons, Leapster, and cars don't have the same appeal at the shop. He wanted to play on the computer. So we did some stuff ... then we looked at an email from Aunt Kristen.

You see, when we go to Chicago (on the 25th), we'll be going to Shedd Aquarium. It will be great fun. But, the show is holiday themed, so Kristen wanted to let us know that. She thought that if we really didn't want to go, we could check this out. Well, once we visited the website of this awesome children's museum, it was all over. We had to go. But Allen also wants to go to the aquarium ...

Fast forward to bedtime. As usual, I laid down with Allen until he fell asleep. He was feeling particularly talkative. So we talked about the aquarium. He decided that he was going to get a pet whale, sea anemone, coral, and fish. Mommy would get a pet shark. And Daddy would get a pet octopus. And they (along with Bailey, our Beta fish) would live in a giant fish tank in his room.

I finally got him to settle down to go to sleep. Then he whispered,
"In the paradise, lions are going to be nice right?"
"Yup," I replied.
"I learned that from you I mean the Bible book I mean the Bible."
I asked him, "And, what do we have to do to get to the paradise?"
"Drive?" he asked?
I laughed, "No."
"Walk?"
(laughing) "No. We have to obey Jehovah. Now go to sleep."
"OK." (silence, then whispering), "I'm playing with your hair so you can feel better."

Five minutes later, he was asleep ...

xoxo,
AHC

PS Allen says, "a long long days ago" when referring to something that happened in the past. I love it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dragons and Snowflakes

I'm not sure why, but Allen has started waking in the middle of the night and wanting to come to our bed. So he was in bed with me this morning. The two of us were sleeping in after Daddy left, and Allen wakes up, and says, "Mommy. TBS. The Boss Stinks." For those of you who don't know, that's a commercial on the station TBS for reruns of The Office.

So that's the way we started our day. A little weird, but fun. He played with his Chuggington trains downstairs, and then suddenly showed up with his pajama shirt off. Evidently he antagonized the dogs because they appeared in the bathroom while I was getting ready. Poor Murphy curled up right at my feet, while Mia jumped up on the bed in hopes she'd be safe there (something about throwing his rubber alligator, lizard, and snake at them, I think).

We took Daddy lunch, and Allen got to see the office dog, Dusty. He wanted to take her home. Renee said he could. We had to intervene and explain that there wasn't room for him at our house. "We can put her in the trunk," Allen said.

Onto Wal-Mart where we had some groceries to pick up, plus some glitter for my craft project I wanted us to take on. Of course, we had to visit the Cars area. We found a car and moved on to other things. Then as we were getting ready to check out we went past the How to Train Your Dragon display. After me telling him that we'd already gotten a toy today and maybe we could get this another time, Allen said -- very seriously -- "Mommy, I think I'd like to put this toy back and get a dragon instead." Well, how could I argue with that? Such a grown up reaction. So I bought him both.

Well, with a new dragon and a new car, we had little interest in the craft project (making snowflakes). Mommy ended up making them alone. She had far more fun than she should have (I love glitter!).

Tonight, after dinner, Allen "needed something sweet." So he got cookies ... notice how he's "two-fisting" it with the bag on his lap ...
xoxo,
AHC

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekend Random

Sorry, folks, no pictures. But I do have a few cute stories to share ...

Saturday morning was bad. Really bad. First of all, it was pouring out. Getting ready for service was challenging, as Allen couldn't find a certain car that he "needed." Crying ensued. We dragged him to the car. Then arrangements didn't quite work out the way we'd planned, or the way Allen wanted. So he threw a tantrum. In the middle of the Kingdom Hall. A foot-stomping, screaming, flailing tantrum. I dragged him to the car. After a talk (and discipline), he improved. We talked more at home. And everything was better.

Later, at Nana and Papa's, Allen came up to me and said, "Mommy, I want to have a talk in the living room about this car." I obediently followed him to the living room and knelt down to his level. "Mommy," he explained, "this car stays at Nana's." "Oh, did I put it in your backpack to take home last night?" I asked. "Yes," he replied. "I'm sorry," I said. Fortunately, he forgave me and all was OK.

This morning, he had to go pee-pee, and as he did, he let out a huge fart. "Now that's a fart," he stated. Then he dragged Murphy into the bedroom to play. Awhile later, Brian was coughing in the shower, and Allen, panic in his voice says, "Oh no! Daddy has the throwup bug!" It was so sweet.

Aunt Kristen, you'll love this! Before we left for meeting this morning, Allen looked at our calendar. He pointed to the 25th and said, "I know what we're doing on the 25th! We're going to see Aunt Kristen!" I'm not sure how he remembered that, but he did. And tonight he asked if we were sleeping in one of Aunt Kristen's guest rooms. I explained that we'd be sleeping at Uncle Peter and Aunt Eileen's. He said, "And then we'll go meet Aunt Kristen and Uncle Josh in the morning?" I think he might be a little excited about our trip.

This week should be interesting. Nana and Papa leave tomorrow for Pennsylvania to pick up Gigi. So Allen and I are manning the shop together on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fortunately, we have the Leapster and the help of the "girls" so I'm optimistic that it won't be horrible. Tomorrow, I think we're going to make snowflakes and put them up on our windows. And do laundry ...

xoxo,
AHC

Friday, December 17, 2010

Italian Nursery Rhyme

As long as I can remember, my mom and Grandmom have shared an Italian nursery rhyme with us (and therefore we share it with all the children we love). I can't begin to spell it out in Italian, but in English, it basically says this:

Meow
The little cat got married
She made some cookies
She wouldn't give me any
Meow Meow Meow

Allen has been a fan of the nursery rhyme on and off since he was born ... and tonight he was asking me to to do it ... here's a video so you can see/hear how it goes ...

video
And here's Allen's version of it ...

video
I'm not sure which version I like better :)

xoxo,
AHC

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Break Kick-off!

The official story is that to kick off Allen's Winter break, we had a sleepover. But the REAL reason is probably more like ... Mom's been sick since Monday night and she finally got to eat a real meal tonight after a late-ish evening with meeting and then we had to get takeout because she forgot to get anything ready for dinner and the meal made her feel nice and full and happy and snuggly and sleepy and it's already 10:30 and her child is still awake playing and doesn't want to go upstairs and go to sleep.

But whatever ... yay Winter Break ... and here's a cute picture of him asleep in our bed. Look at that mouth!!

xoxo,
AHC

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mean, Nasty Bug

Shortly after I finished Allen's scarf and posted those pictures, the little man woke up vomiting. And it lasted until about 6:45 this morning. Talk about hurting Mommy and Daddy's hearts. Allen's only thrown up a handful of times since he was born, and never like this ... so we really felt bad for him.

And as weird as this sounds, I was so proud of him for how in tune he was with his body. Other than the first incident, he woke up in time and was able to avoid any messes. Of course, it helped that Mom and Dad were barely able to sleep and were very aware each time he became restless. We read his signals ... the loud breathing; the thrashing around; the moaning ... and were propping him up with the bucket in front of him in no time. Sorry if that's TMI. It's an odd thing to be proud of, but I'm happy with how well we handled it (I've always had visions of huge messes and the "sympathy factor" coming into play).

Of course, his bed is not remade so he's sleeping with us again tonight ... so I can't be too proud of my mad motherly skills :) I like to keep myself humble.

In crochet news, I've begun my third (yes third!) project. "Wristers" (aka fingerless gloves) for Aubrey. I'm sort of making up my own pattern here, so I hope she likes them. Then after that comes a scarf for Mommy, Brian (my first project was OK, but he'd like one a little more masculine), Daddy, and me. Then I'm taking requests :)

xoxo,
AHC

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This is crocheting ... on Steroids

Literally ... with my most recent illness combined with an arthritis flare-up, my doctor put me on Prednisone.  I'm a wreck ... and very quick with a crochet hook.

Here's Allen's scarf:

He picked out the yarn himself :)

xoxo,
AHC

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Isn't he too young?

This morning on our way to school, Allen informed me that a boy at school (but not in his class) was knocking him down at recess. Through the discussion, Allen explained that this boy did not want to be friends with him -- had no interest in that -- he just insisted on knocking Allen down. He also told me that if he and one of his friends were playing together, they were able to knock this boy down.

I explained that he should tell the boy he couldn't be friends with him if he kept doing that. And that it wasn't right for he and his friend to push him down. That we should treat others the way we want to be treated.

He didn't quite seem satisfied. He proceed to ask me to come to his class with him and come with him to recess so I could see this boy.

I did stay in his class for awhile as he showed me several works. Once he seemed comforted and secure, I left. His teacher and I had a brief discussion, and she assured me that she's aware of the situation. And when Nana picked him up from school, his teacher assured her that he had a good day.

But then tonight at bedtime, he told me that the boy pushed him down again. I asked him if he told him to stop, and he said no. Then he said that I should come with him to school all day, so that I could help him (and protect him) from this boy.

Boy does the Mama Bear in me want to give this child a piece of my mind! But I know that's not the solution. What do I do? How do I handle this in the way that is best for Allen? Help!!

xoxo,
AHC

PS Photo from here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tonight's bedtime convo

"Mommy, will you sing to me ... do you remember when you sang those songs to me when I was a baby and two and three ... and I'm going to be bigger and bigger as big as the house ... I don't think worms have families ... I'm whispering in case you're asleep so I don't wake you up .... Love you love you blanket Mommy."

This was pretty much the way the entire afternoon went, too. Didn't stop talking for more than about five minutes all day. He also fell out of his bed before we laid down to go to sleep. Scared the bejeebers out of him ... but he recovered nicely and quickly ...

I'm off to start on Allen's scarf ...

xoxo
AHC

My first crochet project

It didn't turn out nearly as well as I'd hoped, but I guess it could have turn out worse. It's going to be Brian's, but because I'm, oh, a foot shorter than him, the angle of the pictures I took were "unflattering" so I have no pictures of him modeling it ....

What do ya'll think?


Monday, December 6, 2010

The promised photo ...

That would be Yolonda surprising the heck out of me for our anniversary gift. She and Tony and the kiddos rock!

xoxo,
AHC

Friday, December 3, 2010

An Inconvenient Illness

I have another sinus infection ... or maybe I didn't get rid of the first one ... anyway, once I'm feeling better I'll blog that awful picture of me with my mouth hanging open.

I promise ...

xoxo,
AHC

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My November So Far: A list

It's been a month like no other. So much to say, but not much time (and no pictures on my work computer). So I'll summarize with a list.
  • Tony & Yolonda surprised us with a weekend visit (Unattractive picture of me with my big ol' mouth open coming soon). Drove through the night to spend two days with us. And as if that wasn't enough, they also gave me a GORGEOUS handmade purse. We truly have the most wonderful and amazing friends.
  • Kristen and Josh came to visit. They got to see Tony & Yolonda too. And they spent a few more days with us too. It was great ... we played BezzerWizzer and had different drinks every night. Sadly, they also had to endure the next item.
  • In the midst of the visits, Allen got sick. Really sick. Doctor's visit revealed he had a double ear infection, sinus infection, and strep throat. Spent a week taking care of him.
  • I got sick. Sinus infection. Courtesy of Allen. At least I didn't get sicker.
  • Gigi (Grandmom) is convinced that she was robbed (again). Then she went into the hospital with Gall Stones, and had to have her Gall Bladder removed.
  • Mom and I drove up to be with Gigi. Spent five nights away from my boys.
  • Taught myself to crochet while away (with some help from Stephanie's tutoring four years ago). Making a scarf.
  • Came home to my beautiful boys, the little one hacking away.
  • Allen's sick again. Hoping it's just a cold.
I'm really hoping to get a little respite tomorrow. The shop will be closed. Maybe I can get some laundry done. And get some pictures posted. And take a nap ;)

xoxo,
Allegra

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It was bound to happen ...

Allen wearing my sunglasses. Unrelated to this post, but cute.

Well, actually, I'm referring to two different things, both of which "happened" today ...

The morning started out well enough. Allen in a great mood (after sleeping all night in his bed), relatively smooth ride to school, during which Allen replied to a question I asked him with, "Yeah baby!"

Then things started to go a little haywire. First, I received a phone call from my Mama letting me know that Gramma and fallen. She fell on her hip that she'd had replaced, and couldn't put any weight on it. Good news: she didn't hit her head; Bad news: she cracked her thigh bone, and was admitted to the hospital. I supposed it was bound to happen at some point.

Because Mama was still at the hospital with Gramma at Allen's pick up time, I closed the shop early and headed out to pick him up. As usual, he was excited to see me. He gleefully hopped in the car, ate his snacks, and then informed me that he "decided we should go to Dunkin' Donuts." He wanted to go inside and eat his donut there.

No sooner did we pay for his orange sprinkle donut, than he announced that he had to poop. I quickly asked the girl at the counter to hang onto the donut for us, and off we went to the bathroom. While we were in the bathroom (those of you know Allen well, know that when he has a "big job" we're usually in there awhile. Occasionally, playing games) I noticed that his eyes looked puffy. I made a mental note to keep an eye on it.

Twenty minutes later, we emerged from the bathroom and retrieved the donut.


As we arrived home, I noticed Allen kept sneezing, and he was definitely congested or something. I figured it was either allergies or he was getting sick. And I also noticed him repeatedly picking his nose. Several times, I told him to stop, and finally he said, "I'm trying to get this round thing out."

I looked up his nose. Saw something, but thought it might just be a big booger. Went to retrieve a Q-tip. It was unsuccessful. So then I got a flashlight and looked up there.
Me: Allen, did you stick something up your nose.
Allen: Yeah.
Me: What was it?
Allen: Bird seed, I think. From my school.

Thankfully, I was able to get it out with the help of a tissue and the aforementioned Q-tip. And when I called Brian, he said, you guessed it ... "it was bound to happen."

Hope ya'll had a better day :)

xoxo,
Allegra

Monday, October 25, 2010

Finally ... the Room Pics

So I finally made myself take pics of Allen's room last night ... and now I'm going to share more pics than ya'll probably care to see :)

Here we go ...
The view from his door, and my proud boy.
 The Bed
 Close-up of the bed
 New bookcase cubby (from Target)
 Totally random picture of Allen's dragon Tattoo (from the Harvest Festival)
 Of course we had to have Cars stuff ...
 Cool alligator chalkboard
 Chest of drawers topped with pics of family and friends
 Future reading nook
 Goodnight Moon Print (was a graduation gift for me back in 1995)
 New Transportation lamp (from Target)
 Starry Night print. Used to be in our room, but he learned about Vincent Van Gogh earlier this year at school, and has been obsessed with it ever since, so we gave it to him.
 Yay! We got a toybox into his room (and out of the living room)!
xoxo,
AHC

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's those eyes ...

Above is Allen's first self-portrait. Age 4, October 2010. His teacher, Ms. A, pointed out to us that we won't get many more drawings like this, since soon he'll learn the stick figure. But I love this drawing. Look at the eyes. Not only are they my boy's most striking feature (and, of course he knows this, since everyone remarks on them), but it occurs to me that it says something about how he views the world ... full of awe and wonderment over all he sees.

Ms. A also told us -- at our parent-teacher conference -- that Allen is confident speaking in front of the class (since he introduces himself to just about anyone, we were not surprised), and that he interacts with all the children -- even the shy ones. Our hearts swelled at the thought of our sweet boy caring about every child in his class, drawing out the shy ones ... we could not be more proud. Ms. A also mentioned that Allen loves geography (he knows the continents), is extremely enthusiastic (somehow, I'm not shocked), and is enjoying the pre-math works (whose child is he?).

In other news, my Mama is recovering from sinus surgery. Dr. Christian (the most wonderful doctor ever) told us that he cleaned out lots of junk from her sinuses (old nasty stuff too), and once he got that stuff cleaned out, he found polyps, which he also removed. She's in a lot of pain and is struggling with some nausea. And in true Cheryl fashion is extremely impatient about her recovery. But I think she's slowly accepting that it will take some time.

Soon I hope to backtrack to September and share with you details of the Farmer's Table and our anniversary trip to Greenville. Then I'll share with you the gifts I received ...

xoxo,
AHC

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Absentee blogger

Hi. It's been awhile, and, well, I could apologize, but ... I've done that before. Bottom line is ... TONS of blogworthy stuff is going on, but by the time I sit down at night to write about it, I'm exhausted. But I'll try ...

In case I don't get around to giving you more details ... here's what's been happening over the last month (in no particular order):

  • Allen's discovered that he likes the word, "stylish."
  • We had a delicious time in Greenville, SC (to celebrate our 10th anniversary)
  • In the past year, Allen's grown three inches, but he's only gained a pound and a half (oh how I wish!)
  • Nana (my mommy) is having sinus surgery tomorrow. I'm sad she'll have to go through the pain, but hopeful that this will be the end of the chronic sinus infections.
  • Allen LOVES to talk (and pray) about the Paradise.
  • I love to hear Allen talk (and pray) about the Paradise.
  • Allen is a little addicted to his Bubblegum-flavored Tylenol and his Orange-Cream flavored Mucinex. He keeps telling me that, "his fever is up," in hopes that he'll get more medicine.
  • Allen officially has real, big boy furniture. It's beautiful, and I promise hope to get pictures posted soon.
  • We sold Allen's baby furniture, which according to EVERYONE, means that I will now get pregnant. Nightmares have begun (don't get me wrong, I would adore a baby, but, um ... I just sold every last piece of baby paraphernalia I owned ... because we decided that we like our family of three just the way it is).
  • Allen's now going to school ALL day! And he loves it!
  • Brian totally rocks because he makes Allen's lunch every morning (along with coffee for me), straightens the house, and mixes me drinks when I've had a rough day.
  • I think I've caught Allen's cold ... so, I will now sign off and go to sleep. 
Love to you all, and I promise to try to post more frequently. After all, I have so many stories and pictures to share ...

xoxo,
AHC

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Up to my eyeballs

Hey  ya'll ... I apologize for my lack of posting. Right now I'm up to my eyeballs in Farmer's Table preparation. Like unpacking boxes ...
(All 26+ of them). And staging ...


And shopping for the perfect Farmhouse Chic outfit ...

I'll post a pic of the dress, once I decide which one it's going to be ....

So, basically, I'm super busy ... it's not that Allen's not doing hilarious things (because he is, as usual). It's just that I haven't had much time or leftover energy to blog about it. But I promise I'll try to catch up after Friday night ...

xoxo,
Allegra

Monday, August 30, 2010

Feelin' Groovy

As some of you may know, due to some health complications, I've been under the weather, for oh six months or so. But, after finally visiting my doctor again and some adjustments to my medication, I'm finally feeling fabulous! I'd say I'm feeling like my old self again, but honestly, I don't remember the last time I felt this good!

Anyway, I don't know how long this feeling will last (hopefully for a long time), but I'm taking advantage of every good minute that I get! I apologize in advance if I get to happy and positive for ya'll, but honestly I just can't help it.

Armed with this new energy and a beautiful day, yesterday Brian, Allen, and I went for a lovely bike ride through our neighborhood. We rode past the river, and down by Brian's favorite piece of property facing the water. We marveled at how out of shape we were as we pushed ourselves to go over the smallest of hills. We discussed whether it was lack of practice or added weight that made us so much less steady on the bike (remember when you could ride, no-handed?). The wind blew through our hair, the sun warmed us (maybe a little too much), and Allen provided random commentary (at one point announcing, "I'm a grown man, baby" from his luxurious trailer hitched to Daddy's bike).

Then we stopped at the park. Oh the park ... how Allen has missed you! We played hide-and-seek, and swung on the swings ...






I even climbed over the top of the monkey bars, at Allen's request:
All in all it was a fabulous outing. So fabulous that we decided to ride our bikes to Nana and Papa's house for dinner. Dad made homemade Margaritas (boy were they strong), and Allen found some new shoes:
What a fantastic day!

xoxo,
Allegra

Friday, August 27, 2010

Katrina

As I'm sure we're all aware, this weekend is the 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Honestly, I hadn't really given in much thought. I saw the news coverage this morning and watched with minimal interest.

And then I read this. And it moved me so much that I need to share it with you all. It's not just the story of Katrina that affected me, it's what Jen reminds us all to do. To not take things for granted, but to appreciate every moment. To open our eyes and see what -- and who -- is around us. And to enjoy it.

So often I get caught up in my every day life. I over-analyze myself and critique myself to the point where I no longer enjoy anything. I get tired and have to drag myself through my days, all the while wishing for the day to be over so I can go to bed.

But reading Jen's post today helped me to realize the futility in doing that. Why continue to beat myself up for what I'm not doing when I can enjoy all that I am able to do, all the happiness that is in my life?

Please, take a few minutes today to think of all who were affected by Katrina, and how their lives have been affected. And all that their experiences can teach us.

xoxo,
Allegra

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quiet and still


As I mentioned recently, Allen is back to sleeping in his own room (with the exception of his request the other night). This has been successful primarily because Mommy snuggles with him in his bed until he falls asleep. He always does so quickly and peacefully, and last night I was able to capture his restful slumber on camera (plus his new sleeping companion).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fun with Pixi

So, as I mentioned before, I'm in love with my new toy -- the Palm Pixi. She's cute (like me?). She's little (like me). And she's pink (OK, not-so-much like me).

She's got a camera that's pretty good, though it's not as good as some other phones. She can record video. And, well, she's cute, she's little, and she's pink.
Anyway, she's definitely been my focus for the past several days, much to Brian's dismay. Allen doesn't seem to mind though ... he's been asking to take pictures and watch videos. He's even played with an app that I downloaded for him.

Here are a few highlights ...



video

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What a day

I have pictures to share, but honestly I'm too tired/lazy to upload them from my phone. They're not that great anyway. Just from us messing around last night with my new toy. 

Today was a rough day.First thing this morning, we (the Joli girls -- me and Mom) found out that the design elements we've ordered for the Farmer's Table event probably won't get here in time (we're providing the event decor for it, and Southern Living is going to be there .... eeeek!). This means we have to redo the entire event design. Then, genius that I am, managed to lock my mom and me out of the shop during shop hours (we were doing a site review with the fabulous girl's organizing the aforementioned event, and I walked out without the keys to the shop). So we had to drive all the way to Brian's work to get his key so that we could get back in.

Immediately after work, Brian and I were off to our Parent Orientation at Allen's school. This was actually really nice (except for the teeny, tiny chairs we had to sit on which was awful). Allen's teacher, Ms. A., is so unbelievably awesome and enthusiastic that it makes me want to be in the class every day.

If Allen were writing this blog, he would tell you that the highlight of the day was when Mom and Dad came back to pick him up and they had the much-anticipated Chuggington toys with them. Allen's face lit up as soon as he saw what was in the box. He begged, pleaded, and tantrumed in an attempt to have us set up the train tracks tonight (mind you, it was after 8:00 when we opened the package, and we were still at Nana and Papa's). He also examined the back of one of the packages and began telling us about all the "chuggers" he didn't have yet. Then he said that he "wished" he had "all the things for Chuggington." So glad to know he's grateful for his gift :)

Tell me friends, do you have children who have started/will be starting school? What are you doing to prepare? Do your children show appreciation for their toys/gifts, or do they beg for more? What are your strategies for dealing with these?

xoxo,
AHC

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Growing Up

Allen working on his computer like his Mommy does

Have you missed us? I've missed you. I wish I could give you a good reason for my blogging absence all summer, but I really have none. A variety of factors contributed to my being away, but my new-school-year-goal is to blog regularly.

So Allen's official first day of school was yesterday, though he got to sneak in a a couple days early last week to get acclimated again (since he came to school late last school year). He's doing beautifully. Absolutely zero anxiety about school. It's like he never left. What's beautiful about the Montessori program is that children are in the same class from age 3-6, so they develop relationships and friendships with children that continue throughout the program. This seems to work beautifully with Allen's character ... which makes for a seamless transition.

In other news, Allen is successfully sleeping in his own room, in a temporary big boy bed. One of the contributors to my absence here was that Allen was sleeping with us every night. But we've successfully transitioned him back to his room, and now he's ready for his new big boy furniture. We've ordered it, and it should arrive sometime in October. 

As usual, Allen is full of amusing antics, stories, and sayings (right now, he likes to say "you wear me out"). I won't attempt to regale you with the stories of the summer, but I promise to keep you posted going forward.

Have a wonderful day, and please comment. I've missed you all so much, and look forward to reading your kind words again.

xoxo,
AHC


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Firsts, Seconds, and more

June has been a busy month so far. Allen's out of school, so more time is being spent with him, which I love. But it means I have less energy and time to update ya'll on what's going on. So, to update, I'll provide you with a list of the highlights ....

  • Kristen the Smart Chicken came for a visit. Allen was totally smitten. 
  • Allen's begun regularly praying for himself. The other night, in addition to thanking Jehovah for his food, he prayed for the paradise to come so he could see his Pop-Pop (my father-in-law who passed away one week before we discovered we were pregnant).
  • Allen's struggling with the change in his routine. Which has meant lots of, um, challenging days for us.
  • We're in the middle of a ridiculous heat wave (heat index between 105-110), so we're spending a lot of time indoors. See the above bullet point ...
  • Brian and I have pre-shopped for our upcoming anniversary gifts. We're celebrating 10 years this October. Very exciting. 
  • I discovered that my identity has been stolen. Again. This is delaying our tax refund. Which is supposed to be financing the aforementioned presents. Hmmm .... we may be celebrating a little late this year :)
  • For the very first time ever, I was bitten by a dog. It hurts. A lot. And it bled. A lot. And it wasn't even a big mean dog. It was an older long-haired Dachshund. I think he was grumpy because of the heat.
  • The other day Allen was laying on the couch with Murphy. It was cute. Then Allen sat up and informed me that Murphy was wet. I looked down to see a rather large wet spot on Murphy's side. I asked Allen if he drooled on Murphy. He replied, "No, I did it with this," and pointed to his tongue. Disgusting, I know. The worst part is that he was laying right next to me, and I didn't see him do it (even though I was checking on him frequently).
  • Allen and I went on a date yesterday. To see Marmaduke. Don't bother seeing it. It was pretty dumb. But we were cool. And Allen got to eat Dots. And I got to eat movie theater popcorn. So it wasn't all bad.
That's all for now ....

xoxo,
AHC

P.S. I'll have a picture of Murphy's tongue bath soon :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Since you've waited so patiently

Here's the video of my handsome boy singing "My Favorite Things". Sadly, it was very difficult to hear the children, but you can see my boy trying his best and holding his own. The lyrics (modified) are below.
video
My Favorite Things
Performed by the Morning Glory Class at EC Montessori
New words written by the teachers and children

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with string
These are a few of my favorite things

Ice cream at the airfield and Pigeon Point Park
Playing at the beach at Hunting Island State Park
Alligators at The Chocolate Tree
These are a few of my favorite things
(repeat)

When the pollen falls
When the gnats gnaw
When the thunder claps
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What do you think?

OK, so I've tried to figure out how to edit the video so that only my sweet boy's face is visible, and I've been unsuccessful. So I'd like everyone to vote. Should I post the video (which shows other people's children, whose permission I did not obtain), or not?

Vote on the right. Voting ends at 11:59 PM on Monday night, so hurry and give me your opinion, please.

xoxo,
ahc

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Amazing

My boy was awesome tonight. He's exhausted and sleeping next to me as I type.
I'm exhausted too ... all that excitement wore me out!
Stay tuned for the video ... hopefully. Trying to figure out how to crop out the other kiddos from the video, since I have no editing software ....

xoxo,
AHC

Pickled Pigs Feet

I'm giddy today. Allen's first stage performance is tonight. I haven't been this excited in a long time (of course winning Best Gift Shop helps, too). We will videotape the performance, so I won't tell you what he's doing. But I will share some other cute things he's said lately ....

Last night, he still had soap on his legs after the bath water drained. So I filled his bath cup with water and rinsed him off. He said, "Thank you Mommy. You're so kind!"

A little while later, I was singing a song to him, and he said, "That's enough! That's enough!" Brian asked him why he didn't want me to sing anymore, and he said "Because it's annoying."

Last week, as we were walking into school, we had the following conversation:
Allen: Mommy
Mommy: Yes, Allen.
Allen: I love you.
Mommy: I love you too, buddy.
Allen: And Mommy ...
Mommy: Yes
Allen: I really like your outfit today.
Mommy: Thanks, Allen. You look pretty handsome yourself.
Allen: I know.

Here are a couple random shots of my handsome boy ...

Stay tuned for a recap of tonight's performance.

xoxo,
AHC

PS I just realized I forgot to post about the Title. Lately, when Allen is insistent that he doesn't want to eat, but I know he's hungry, I'll say, "I know what you want ... Pickled Pigs Feet." This continues into suggesting all sorts of gross foods (like fried grasshoppers, etc.). Now, he says, "Pickled Pigs Feet" and cracks up in anticipation of what will come next.

Stormy

We had a bad storm Sunday night. Fortunately, Allen's rain boots had just arrived ...
but this storm was so bad that it was too dangerous to be out playing in it. And besides, Allen was terribly frightened of all the thunder, lightning, and wind. And the fact that we lost power. 

While I'm not usually frightened of storms, this one was downright scary. But I tried to remain calm and reassuring so as not to scare Allen more.

As I discovered Monday morning, I was probably right to be uneasy about the storm. While we were very fortunate and sustained no damage to our home, others in our neighborhood did not fare as well. Several cars have been crushed under tree limbs; roofs have been damaged; and we have lost large limbs from some of our beautiful live oaks.

Here's some of the aftermath right near our house ...

 Yes, those are two trees completely uprooted.
 And here's some residual flooding. In the background, you may be able to see the dirt and sand coating the street from the previous night's flooding.
Fortunately, we did not experience any true devastation, and all are safe and sound. But we sure had some excitement for the evening ...

xoxo,
AHC

Introspection and Hope

I read this post last week, and became inspired to be more hopeful. I generally am not a particularly hopeful person. I prefer to be a realist, preparing myself for disappointment rather than to come slamming down when something doesn't go my way.

Besides, being hopeful has a history of backfiring on me. Without going into too much boring detail, I have a tendency to have rather devastating days (hours/weeks) after a particularly good mood or day (many times due to my own self-destructive tendencies; but on occasion through events out of my control).

Anyway, thanks to some particularly introspective mornings (I love the quiet drive home from Allen's school), I have recognized my habit of sabotaging my positive mental state, and am determined to be happy and in the moment, if not truly hopeful.

Speaking of being hopeful -- something I dared not be with regard to the Beaufort Gazette Reader's Choice Awards -- I'm shocked, awed, and honored to tell you that our little shop, Joli, won as Best Gift Shop. Not only that, but most other fabulous businesses in our Habersham Marketplace won as well.

Thank you for patiently reading this somewhat random post. Now onto more interesting things ...

xoxo,
AHC

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why and Jam Session

Being a three-year-old means asking lots of questions. For instance, Allen just asked me:

"Why is a binky called a binky? Why is Mommy called Mommy? Why is a computer called a computer?"

This is why I'm always tired ....

Last night Brian and I were having a discussion about a song lyric. Which led me to Google the song. Which led me to playing the song. I am not going to share which song it is because, well, it's not a very nice song. But it's got an awesome dance beat.

Anyway, as soon as the song started, Allen started dancing. Then about half way through the song, he said, "I need my drum!"

So we got his drum (and other musical instruments), replayed the song, and had a hilarious little jam session, just the three of us.

In the midst of the jam session, I said something about getting the camera. But we were having so much fun that we didn't want to stop to get it. So, sorry, no pictures.

xoxo,
AHC

Friday, May 7, 2010

They love me they really love me!

Guess what! Our shop, Joli Home & Events, has been nominated as the "Best Gift Shop" in our local paper's Reader's Choice Awards! I nearly wet myself this morning, I was so excited!

If you love me as much as your comments indicate that you do, would you please head on over and vote for us?

Thanks so much!

xoxo,
AHC

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Quotable Allen

Heard this week:

At school yesterday ...
Miss C -- a teacher at Allen's school -- told me that her son (who just joined Allen's class) told her that he was going to play with Allen that day.
I replied, "Oh Allen, do you have a new friend?"
Allen nodded his head, and then announced, "And I wiped a boogie on him!"

This morning while getting dressed for school ...
Allen (to Daddy): You're Mr. Naked Pee.
Daddy: Well then you're Mr. Naked Poop.
Allen: We have to go get our costumes!

(Do all three-year-olds find bathroom talk hilarious?)


Tonight while explaining why he needed to get in our bed ...
Sometimes when my feet get in bed, they get scared.

xoxo,
AHC

Nana and Papa's Anniversary Dinner

My parents' (aka Nana and Papa) anniversary was April 19th. They've been married 41 years (awesome, I know). They have a beautiful home that has been exquisitely decorated by my interior designer mom. Buying presents for them is not an easy task because ... well, after 41 years, they pretty much have everything they need or want. Plus, Mom's very picky.

So rather than buying them presents, Brian and I decided to make them dinner. Allen provided a suggestion for the menu: chocolate cake. Good. That decision was made. However, now we had to come up with the appetizer and entree portions of the meal. We thought and thought about what they really loved, and came up with the following menu

Raw Oysters Served with a Ginger-Lime Relish and a Horseradish Sauce
Mixed Field Greens with Dried Cranberries and Maytag Blue Cheese
Moules Fromage Bleu
(Mussels in a Blue Cheese and White Wine Broth with Bacon and Shallots)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
Candy Dish

Here are some pictures of the delicious food.

Raw Oysters served on Mom and Dad's Screened-in Porch.
(We got the buckets at Target for $1 each)
 Moules Fromage Bleu
 Just one of the four buckets filled with Mussel shells
 The Chocolate-Peanut Butter Torte (made from scratch thankyouverymuch)
 Mom's Candy Dish with JuJu Bees and Red Vines
I would never have had the guts to do this if not for my very brave and talented husband. He reassured me constantly that we could pull it off, and he patiently shucked three dozen oysters that evening. Thanks to him we were able to pull off (what I hope was) a lovely evening.

xoxo,
AHC