May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

We kicked off our Memorial Day weekend with Charlie's 4 month check up. The pediatrician suggested he start using his Bumbo and he was not so sure about it.
Ha. I love his faces below.



My family has this thing where we travel for food. Particularly bbq and tamales. I don't know when this started or why, but we do it and we love it. My dad and I had a craving for Helen's in Brownsville, TN. So we loaded up the family van and hit the highway. It's only an hour or less from Memphis, so it wasn't a big deal.



My brother and I were stuck in the far back together. Flashbacks to growing up!





Nothing like a holiday weekend in the South like sitting on the side of the highway eating bbq on a picnic table.

Mom picked out a slew of drinks and I was so excited to drink Orange Crush. I'm pretty sure I hadn't had it since I was eight. Delicious and perfect with our meal.

By the way, Dad ordered some bbq nachos at Helen's. They were cheesy doritos covered in bbq sauce, bbq, and nacho cheese. Ridiculous.



Charlie gave us some 'tude on the ride home. But he'd had his shots that afternoon so we forgave him.



Saturday morning was a sweet time of lounging, snuggles, farmers market. I worked in the garden some too.



Saturday night Bryan and I had our first date night in a month or more. We started at the Tennesee Brewery with drinks. Then walked up to the park to see some of the Sunset Symphony Airshow. You can see the plane in the middle of the picture above in the white cloud. Then we walked down South Main for appetizers at Cafe Pontotac and dinner at 5 Spot.

Sunday was church and hanging around the house which was nice.



Monday we went to Bryan's parent's house for a cookout.

It was nice to have a long weekend to start the summer off right.  Hope you had a great holiday weekend!


May 25, 2015

Quick update

Here's a quick update on this Memorial Day. 


Saturday I planted the rest of my tomatoes. I purchased a bunch of new cages this year and they are quite colorful! I used a different color for each variety. There are still some plain metal ones in there, but I kind of like the color right now.


The other exciting news is this! Figs!!!!  We may only get two this year but I'm thrilled.

We spent the last hour weeding and cleaning up our front and side yards. 

Hope you are having a marvelous Memorial Day weekend!


May 19, 2015

Charlie Goes Places

We started taking picture of Charlie at places we go joking about a Charlie Goes Places hasttag. The kid's been a few places. Here's just a few places he's been since April.



Rendevous, after touring the Redbirds stadium to view their latest renovations.



The Tennessee Brewery.



Panchos.



Double Decker festival in Oxford, MS.



Huey's 45th Anniversary party. Okay, so this was in the neighborhood. Hardly counts as going somewhere when it's regularly part of our neighborhood walk.



Cafe Eclectic for breakfast one Saturday morning.



The zoo for a short visit to renew our membership. I'm sure we have many more, longer visits in our future.



Hog and Hominy.



The Botanic Garden.

This kid gets around!

May 18, 2015

Monday Morning Garden Update

Alright, so it's no longer morning, but whatevs. Here is this week's garden update: the big news: seedlings! Lots of sprouts from the beans I planted last week and some cucumbers and basil starting to show.




Edamame sprouts


I've loved watching the beans sprout. I noticed the first hint on Thursday. By Friday they were poking out and here they are on Sunday, already several inches tall! 


Confession: right after I took this picture I ate it. 


Tomatoes. I plan on planting the rest this week. I'll have a few leftover to give away. 


Second set of peppers sprouting! 

We had some lettuce this week from the garden which was so nice. 

More rain in the forecast for this week so I'm not sure when I'll get the tomatoes in the ground.





May 14, 2015

Subtle, Non Obnoxious Baby Gym DIY

Ugh, baby stuff! Often its plastic, brightly colored, and obnoxious.  I promised myself I'd try not to bring much obnoxious baby crap into my house when I got pregnant. We didn't register for an activity center or baby gym thinking they were superfluous and our baby would never find those types of things especially amusing. Well, after watching Charlie the last few weeks I could see some value in a baby gym. He enjoyed when we held toys over him for him to swat at and pull and touch. But holding a toy over your child for long portions of time just didn't seem like an effective use of my time, although I'm sure it would eventually build up some nice arm muscles.

I got on Pinterest and started searching for attractive do-it-yourself baby gyms. There were several options and they looked easy enough to do myself. It was easy, in fact. It only took maybe an hour or two of work. Tops.

Supplies you'll need: 

  • 5 24" long dowel rods  (I purchased 2 longer rods and sawed them down in the store.)
  • 2 PVC 3-way connectors
  • 4 PVC caps (optional)
  • Sand paper
  • Toys to hang

The hardest part was finding the right PVC connector pipe. Below is what I ended up purchasing. I wish that the angles for the legs were a bit closer together, but this was all my small Home Depot offered.



Regular sized home improvement stores might have a larger selection. I don't know.  I had to run to the small Home Depot close to me while Charlie was napping. Sacrifice.

I went to the dowel rod section after finding the connector and chose dowels that fit the PVC. I can't remember what they were now. But the center dowel is slightly skinnier than the legs. I sawed the dowels down right there on the same aisle. Okay, so I started to saw them down and then a sweet Latino customer felt pity on me and offered to do it for me. He was quick and a much better sawer (saw-person?) than I am. Thank you, kind stranger!



Back at home I spray painted my PVC pieces gold so that they wouldn't look PVC-y. I also sanded down the ends of the dowel rods and put some masking tape on each end to help it connect better with the PVC. (I had read this on several other blogs, and I found it was necessary in my case as well.) I also used some Liquid Nails to keep the caps secure.



And here's my finished project! I couldn't decide if I wanted to use fabric or ribbon to hang the toys. Initially I used some scrap fabric velcroed at the ends. But this did not work. I ended up purchasing some plastic clips from Target for this sort of purpose. I think they were about $3.50 for a big pack.



Action shot!



Charlie loves his new toy. I picked up a few more toys to dangle in front of him from Target. What I love about this "gym" is that I can change it around whenever he gets bored. Adding and subtracting toys as he grows and changes. Also, it's not hideous. And it packs away pretty minimally when we need it out of the way.

Overall I spent about $25. Basic gyms are around that cost, so it's not like I saved a ton of money, but I'm pleased with it aesthetically and that I was able to make it myself. I have a feeling I'll be making more toys for Charlie as he grows older!




May 12, 2015

Charlie: 3 Months



Currently Charlie is 3 and a half months. I've quit counting the weeks, but I think it's like 14 or 15.

He's growing like crazy. Some of the 6 month clothes we have for him are a little snug. I wish baby clothes were consistent. It's hard to know what will fit and what won't.



Everyone said that things get better at three months. They were right. He's sleeping consistently. Eating well. And is starting to show some of his personality.



He loves laying on my legs facing me and talking. Every day he makes new sounds. Yesterday were more G sounds, today it's more H sounds and squawking. It's precious.



He's starting to pull things toward his mouth. So I started trying to help him put his pacifier in his mouth himself. He wants to do it and is getting better and better every day.



He doesn't care to be held too much. Preferring to lay on the couch cushion, floor, or in his swing. But he does tolerate us holding him up to look out at the room. He's almost got full control over his head. Almost.



He's beginning to play with toys. Especially with his baby gym.



The Rock-n-Play is pretty much the greatest baby contraption ever and I'm going to be really sad when he outgrows it. He naps in it every day. And we will put him in it when we are outside in the garden or eating on the front porch.

The last few days we've been transitioning to a new schedule/routine. He is eating every four hours instead of three.

We still swaddle him, but I'm wondering how long we should continue to do so. I like to do it because it's a signal to him that it is nap or bed time. But he almost always gets out of it. He does sometimes wake himself up with his hands. I have a feeling that the swaddle will end within another month or so.  But I'm sure a lot will change in the next month or so. They grow up fast!




May 11, 2015

Soggy Garden Update

Good morning. It's a bit wet here today but I ran out between rain showers to snap some photos. 

I was finally able to get some plants in the ground this past weekend! Nothing makes me more anxious than having things that need planting but not finding the time. 

Here's what things are looking like as of this morning: 


Garlic, Aspargus, carrots, volunteer potatoes. I planted some edamame seeds on Saturday on the right hand side. I've heard garlic and beans do not do well together. We'll see what happens. 


I planted some basil seeds and cucumber seeds in the far too right bed. Peppers and tomatoes will go in the middle bed over the next few weeks. 


It's nearly impossible to see in this picture but I planted a jet star tomatoe in the top left. Some potatoes coming up in the bottom right, but it's mostly just weeds. Peppers and tomatoes will go in middle bed soon. 


The back bed was completed this weekend! Three types of beans planted and four types of tomatoes. Glory! 


Hello, sweet young things! 


I was also able to convince Bryan to plant two hydrangeas I purchased at a plant sale under the redbud and spread mulch. It's amazing the difference this makes. 

Now if we could just do something about the weed infested yard! 

I'm pleased with the progress and anxious to see the rest of the beds planted. The rest of my tomato starts will be planted soon enough. My peppers are a few weeks behind since the first batch never sprouted.