Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Park

My favorite thing to do on the weekends is to take Lydia to the park down the street. I push the trike, and she rides there, then we walk wherever she wants to go. She runs. I chase her. She picks up leaves, pine cones, and sticks, and we go to the lake to look for fish. It is too cool for them now, but when it was warmer we watched them dart from the banks as we approached. I'm so happy that this park will be part of her childhood.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Fall and Halloween

I'm finally semi-caught up. Nothing like a little wine and hot tea with Austin City Limits on in the background to motivate me into posting!

I took Lydia to the pumpkin patch at Saint Peter's Episcopal Church this year. Each fall they cover their side yard with pumpkins and sell them as a fundraiser. Last year Lydia's nanny Sunny took her, and the year before Lydia was too small to leave the house! I can hardly believe this is Lydia's third fall.

Lydia loved seeing all the pumpkins. She chased them, tried to pick up the really big ones, and said "pumpkin" no telling how many times. She wouldn't sit still for a picture. She did really enjoy gathering sticks, too. Imagine that! (She loves picking up sticks).

For Halloween, Lydia wore the same little lamb costume from last year. I swear I wasn't being cheap or lazy. I asked Lydia about lots of costumes (Tinkerbell, Peppa Pig, spider, etc) but the only two she agreed to were lamb and mouse. I get lots of "No" out of this little girl lately.

The Melissa and Doug restickable stickers are some of our favorites these days. Lydia knows so many animal names because of them. Even octopus!

Lydia and Mimi

Lydia and Mommy

Help Mommy

We've been working on a shady area of our yard. We laid sod here last year and it died because there is no sun in this area. It also gets a ton of water and stay soggy due to all of the runoff coming off the large hill in the background. We put down some river rock and large rock, and I decided to do 'Sweet Caress' Mahonia between the walk and the rocks. On the day I planted the mahonias, Lydia was so pumped about helping me. Since I had my big shovel and bucket, she got out her shovel and bucket so that she could (in her words) "help mommy". 

Those are the 'Sweet Caress' Mahonias there on the right.

Then, we played and enjoyed the afternoon in the backyard.

Lydia LOVES to pick my flowers. Blooms don't last long around here. She picks them all. This is my only bed that gets "full" sun. I have herbs - rosemary, oregano, thyme, lavender, and basil - and a few perennials. That's sedum 'autumn Joy' that Lydia is picking.

First Day of School

I am only about three  months behind, but I wanted to share the photos I took on Lydia's first day of school.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Two Years Old

Goodness gracious, I don't have a baby anymore. Lydia turned two last Saturday. Two years old! And gosh, this is such a fun age. Lydia is learning new things every day.
Enjoying a morning in the park

Attempting a somersault

Going for a swim

She can talk. Over the past few months Lydia has moved on from just repeating what we say to actually communicating with us. She tell us what she wants to eat or drink: water (sounds like "wager", juice, milk (sounds like "mulk"), peanut butter (sounds like"pita butter"), ice cream, cheese. She tells us what she wants to play with or do: outside, run, walk, blocks, bubbles, balloon, nap, sleep sack, bed. And how she feels: sleepy, scared, happy. The list goes on and on. It is so wonderful to be able to communicate with her! Although sometimes when I ask her what she wants for lunch or supper she'll say, "Ice Cream!" Gotta love that! Her birthday weekend she said a 4-word sentence, "I want this pizza!" We are trying to teach her to say "excuse me", "please", and "thank you". She likes to say them, but never at the appropriate time of course. Case in point, one afternoon she danced and played outside with bubbles while saying "excuse me" over and over. Ha. I still can't get her to say "please" when she asks for water. She just kind of freaks out and yells WAGER WAGER over and over until you get it for her. If I ask her to say please, she basically has a meltdown.

She can sing. At any moment she might break out singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, the Alphabet Song (it's a jumbled mess, but she loves saying "X"), Itsy Bitsy Spider, or This Little Light of Mine. I play the Pandora Toddler Radio station a ton. She just loves it so much. We sing and dance together to it in the mornings while I get ready for work. She loves songs that have movements like London Bridge (we do our arms up and down on the first verse, side to side on the second), Ring Around the Rosie (she loves to say "Ashes Ashes...FALL DOWN"), Wheels on the Bus, and If You're Happy and You Know It. I have so much fun teaching her all of the movements, and at this age she just eats it up!

Lydia is really easy to entertain these days. She likes playdoh, coloring, and bubbles. She loves being outside where she can gather sticks, leaves, "eggs" (egg-shaped nuts from the hickory tree), and pick all my flowers. We are working on colors. She can point out the correct color when you ask ("Which color is yellow?") but she can't tell me a color with accuracy quite yet ("What color is this?). She can count to ten, but six is her favorite :) For a long time it was 1,2,3, 6,7,8,9,10! I have started on 11 and 12, but she hasn't said those yet. The child LOVES Peppa Pig. She asks to watch it all. the. time. We try to allow only 30 minutes per day, but it is tough!

Lydia's daily schedule and routine hasn't changed much. Up by 7 am with a bedtime at 7:30 pm. The biggest new development with her routine is that she started at Montessori school! That's a whole new post that I'll get to this weekend I hope.

Lydia is finally tolerating cow's milk! Gosh that is such a relief for me. We had to do toddler formula until almost 20-months because dairy made her terribly constipated. We now do 8 oz whole milk (from Oxford's own Brown Family Dairy) in a bed time bottle and 6 oz in a morning sippy cup with a scoop of PediaSmart (like PediaSure, but not full of weird chemicals) added for extra calories. We're still trying to fatten her up. At her last checkup in July she was only 17 pounds... still not on the growth chart.
Lydia and Mimi

Lydia and Mommy
We've had some challenges since she started at school. A stomach bug hit us hard the second week, and Lydia's had trouble with dairy again every since. We're working through it. Also, we've started potty training, but it isn't going well. She's scared of the potty. I don't know why because we've had the potty for months, and I let her pretend to go on it for months before actually allowing her to go in it. I'm hoping that the resistance to it is related to starting school at the same time. Also, this past week she really, really disliked me and wanted her Daddy constantly. It broke my heart, but Friday she finally warmed up to me again.

So, about the blog... I don't get a chance to post nearly as much as I'd like. It is just hard to find the time and hard to know what to share or document here. I guess when I feel like writing, I'll write. And here's a hint: it will be about my garden, my kid, or food.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vacation 2014: Back to the Mountains

We headed back to western North Carolina for family vacation again this year. Every year I look forward to a week in the cool mountain air. This year was no exception. We rented the same Nantahala Lake home that we rented last year. It was as beautiful as I remembered.

On the trip up there, Lydia was such a doll! We left around 7:45 AM on Saturday morning. This year we took Hwy 78 to Birmingham then I-59 to Chattanooga. We had one small detour in Birmingham, but other than that, I loved this route way more than the north Alabama route we have taken in previous years. For the first leg of the trip from Oxford to Birmingham, Lydia and I played with some new toys that I had purchased and saved up for her. There was a travel magnet set, a couple of Melissa & Doug's Water Wow pads, and a Color Blast pad (they sell all these Melissa & Doug toys -and more- at Square Book Jr!).

The Water Wow pads are AWESOME! I filled a little brush with water and as she "painted" the pages, color and images appeared. The best part is that as the water dries the color and images disappear, so she could do these over and over again. She is obsessed with pigs (blame Peppa), so I think she spent an hour just painting the pigs. Those toys lasted us all the way to B'ham! I was so surprised. After lunch at Chickfila, she napped in the car for a couple of hours. Then, we were in Chattanooga for grocery shopping at Fresh Market. The last few hours in the car we played on the iPad. Her favorite apps were If You're Happy and You Know It (especially the Peekaboo game), Itsy Bitsy Spider by Duck Duck Moose, and Elmo Loves 123s. The Elmo app was a little too advanced for her, but she loved hearing Elmo's voice and the search and find numbers game. After she got tired of the apps, she watched a few hundred (it seems) episodes of Peppa Pig on the iPad. My child will scream out, "Aaaaaa PIG!" whenever you sing that little song to her. Gah.

We grilled burgers Saturday night at the house and just took it easy Sunday (Father's Day). That evening the Rebels played their first College World Series game in Omaha. I was excited to see them play in the big tournament, but I really got tired of watching baseball almost every night. Vacations are supposed to be where you play board games and watch goofy movies. The Rebels hijacked my evenings! Chip did teach Lydia how to say "Ole Miss Rebels" which I have yet to get on video. So cute!!
Splashin' in the cold river

Monday morning Chip, Ray, and I took duckies down the Nantahala River. I had a crappy run (pulled my shoulder a little and almost tipped over on Patton's Run) and didn't do the Falls. I was definitely out of practice since I hadn't paddled anything in the year since I'd last been up there. We ran the river again on Friday, and it was really the perfect run. Misty on the river, cool in the rapids, warm in the sun, and I nailed the Nantahala Falls. Yay!

Lydia's wild morning hair (just like mama's)

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we went to the Biltmore in Asheville. I wasn't sure how that would work out with a toddler, but there were lots of things for her to do. We went to the farm on Tuesday and saw baby goats and chickens. Then on Wednesday morning Chip and I rented bikes and a trailer for Lydia. Wednesday afternoon we tried to take Lydia swimming in the hotel pool, but it rained ( I found out when we were leaving that there was an indoor pool, too... Boo). She loved the hotel room room though! The windows were low enough for her to look out of, and it was carpeted, so she walked from one end to the other. So sweet! She slept great in the hotel crib, too.
Our view from the hotel room

The gorgeous room

Chickens! (bok-bok!)

Afternoon nap on mama

To me family vacations are all about spending time together. Relaxing. Making memories. We sat outside a lot. I cooked a lot. Some people might think that's weird (cooking, on vacation?)... but to me cooking for my family is how I show them love. I'm not a writer and do not claim to be one, but Amber Wilson over at for the love of the south is, and her post about her kitchen is so simple and sweet. A love note to cooking and making dishes for those you love.

The mom I want Lydia to have cooks her good food, and the family I want her to have sits down at the table together to share a meal. Maybe one day when she grows up we'll all play a game or cards together. But for this trip I was happy to blow bubbles over and over, color, paint, dig rocks, and look at bugs. Precious time with my precious girl!