Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Devon's first birthday re-cap

How old are you? One!

Devon's birthday was great! We woke up around 7:30 and we had waffles and bananas. We all hung out, I let him play in flour in his high chair while I baked his cake and played toys until he took a nap. When he woke up I put him into his "My first birthday" onesie and we were off.

Joe and I aren't first birthday party type parents. He has enough toys and he won't remember who gave him what anyway. BUT we figured that we had enough family in town and it was a nice excuse to all get together.

I cleaned the house the day before which saved me from headaches because I ALWAYS leave that til the last second and then I get really stressed. All I had to do today to get ready was get a few things at the grocery store and stop by the party supply store. It's his little birthday ... I didn't want him to spend it running errands.

After nap and lunch we went to story time at the library. It looks like "pill poppin'" time at the library based on the picture, but it is a shaker full of rice. My friend Emily and her son Roman weren't there and it was a pretty pathetic turnout to boot so it wasn't as fun as it usually is when there are more people. None of the mom's were very chatty so we were out of there as soon as it was over. A quick trip to the store and then home.

Grandma and Grandpa Turner

This is Crystal's husband Jordan. Devon LOVES him. He just snuggles up to him and stares.

Crystal and 2 out of 3 of her girls.

I got "baby's first birthday" decorations: balloons, plate for the cake, candles, party hats and streamers. Everyone started showing up around 5 and we had a taco bar, carne asada, burritos, pork-something-or-other, salsa, ceviche .... it was great. My parents and Jane's girls (she is out of town so my parents are watching them) Joe's parents, his sister, Crystal and her family, his other sister, Michelle and her family and the company secretary, Erika, and her daughter. All in all there were about 20 people there. It is a lot of work to get enough food and your home ready for that many people, but it was nice to have them all there. I didn't get to eat until after the party unfortunately. With everything that was going on it was impossible to stop, sit down and eat so I just waited until afterwards.

I had Devon in his high chair for dinner and by the time he was done eating everyone had arrived. I gave him his cake with a candle, we sang to him and then we dug into the food. I made his cake from the "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook. It was a carrot cake mixed with cauliflower and cream cheese frosting. I am not sure I loved it, but it wasn't bad and I think it was a good compromise for a little baby. He LOVED it. I have to admit I got teary eyed when we sang Happy Birthday to him. It was a MOMENT. It sounds cheesy, but as much fun as it is to watch him grow up it is sad to watch him grow up. Right now he just literally follows me around the house. He's my little shadow. He wants to be around Joe and I, he gives us hugs and we play. I'm sure that some day he will decide that he doesn't want me in his room, he swears that he must be adopted, he's too cool to hug his mom in front of his friends, that I suddenly embarrass him and $20 bills will start disappearing from my purse. Life is long, but time is short .... very short. I wasn't really thinking all of this in that moment, but I was just over taken by how quickly time goes by.

I really wish that I had told everyone to not bring gifts. He's a baby .... he doesn't need tons of toys. Plus, he won't remember anyway, but people did bring gifts and they were all so generous. They were really thoughtful and he loved them all. Of course I ended up opening them for him, but you could definitely tell the ones he liked. Joe and I got him an absolute pile of puppets (were talking 12 of these things), a T-shirt, a music kit and a sock monkey. Joe also picked out a toy cell phone and a set of real kitchen wooden spoons ... cute Daddy.

I don't think this picture converys the cuteness of these puppets. They are so bright and colorful, super soft and he just loves them. I always bring one in the car with us and sometimes he even takes naps with them. There are 3 sets of 4 groups. There are dinosaurs, bugs, jungle animals and lizards.

I can tell you that Devon had a great time at his party. There were so many people there I thought he would have freaked out, but I think he liked interacting with everyone and he does have a few, clear favorites ;)He was having the time of his little life. It was really a special day for the 3 of us to be able to share it with our family. It really meant a lot to me to have all of them over and celebrate Devon being a part of our family.

12 months: Devon (September) First Birthday

Happy Birthday little one. Devon is one year old as of 7:33 this morning. He is still the happiest little kid and doing new and exciting things everyday. He stands very steadily, goes up stairs, still working on walking and started clapping this week. He loves to play with puppets, his keyboard and microphone, and anything that jingles. I got him into a "Movers and shakers" class twice a week. They stretch, do summer saults, hang from the bar, blow bubbles, crawl through tubes and play with other babies. It is nice to have some sort of scheduled activity twice a week. I fill in the rest of the week with story time, a play date with Jane at her house and a play date with my friend Emily and her super cute son, Roman. They are also in our M&S class as well as story time so we get to see them a lot which has been fun for us to see familiar faces. Joe watches Devon every Sunday while I teach yoga and this past Sunday they went to the park to feed the ducks (which Devon loved) and to the hardware store. Very manly shopping. Devon goes to bed at 7:00 on the dot nearly every night a gets up around 7:30. He loves to eat cantaloupe from the garden, pasta, Raman noodles, and strawberries. It has been fun to introduce new foods to him and it has been so much easier to give him food that we all can eat instead of making him a meal made up from random, soft food. I still can't believe that he is one and I get a little teary eyed when I think about it. He has just brought so much light and laughter to us we can't wait to see what he will do next.

This post feels a little lame, but I think my post ABOUT today will be better. This was more of an update of his milestones. Birthday blog about today's activities and festivities .... tomorrow.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New drapes

These are not the new drapes. These are the old ones.

I made the drapes for my living room when we first moved into our house nearly 4 years ago .... and I hate them. OK .... I don't HATE them I just don't like them in the living room. OK I am probably just tired of them. I like the fabric and I like the way they let light into the room, but that's about it. I want something has has more color. We were originally going to build our house and sell it as a spec so everything I picked out had to be "user friendly" and neutral. Now I think I want something with a little more depth and color.

I am going to move them into the master bedroom and bathroom to let light in, but still give us some privacy. They will stay there until I decide to re-do that room as well ;) I heard that my favorite fabric store was having a blowout sale so I thought I would give myself a $100 allowance to re-do the living room drapes. That is not a lot of money to cover 3 large windows in top to bottom chenille, but I thought I would see if they had any good fabric that was on sale.

I made a tablecloth out of this beautiful fabric and I thought it would make beautiful drapes as well. I made it a few years ago, but they had more of it in stock. I thought it would be cool to match the tablecloth to the drapes so I bought out the 13.5 years that they had and got some green fabric to make a duster for the bottom. I spent a little more than I wanted (this seems to be my usual, but really I think it's because I under budget what I will need to spend in the first place), but I only spent $130. The awesome part is if I had bought that fabric at full price I would have literally spent $350! Go me!

I laid the fabric down in the living room and used the grout lines to make sure I was cutting it straight. 17 yards of fabric is no joke to cut. It took me over an hour just to cut it up!

The picture on the left is the back and the one on the right is the front. I LOVE that the fabric is double sided. That way when you look at it from the outside it still looks pretty and I don't have to sew extra fabric to make it look finished. Quite the money saver.

Before and after. The funny part about this picture (and NOT so funny at the same time) is I sewed the new panel UPSIDE-FREAKING-DOWN so I basically had to take it apart and do it again. SO aggravating, but it would have been more aggravating had I left it that way and not realized my mistake. I'm not totally sure there is a "right side up" in this fabric, but it looked upside down to me. I did one panel a day for 5 days. It took longer than I thought, but it was worth it. I thought I could get all of them sewn in 2 days, but even though it is just straight stitching it is still really time consuming.

All finished! Not perfect, but I think it is an improvement.

I haven't decided if the drapes and the table cloth are too "matchy matchy", but they are staying put for now regardless.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Devon's nursery

This is the "before" picture of half of Devon's room. I wanted the "after" picture to have more of an impact so I didn't even clean the room before I took the picture. It usually isn't this bad with toys out, blanket (that I made P.S.) draped over the side of the crib, the humidifier on the dresser and the elephant missing from the mobile .... tacky!

When I first found out that I was going to have a baby I started thinking about a theme for the nursery. I consider myself to be reasonably practical (with the exception of fancy handbags and shoes) and wanted a theme that could work for a boy or girl since we hopefully will have more than one kid that will use that room. I went with an alphabet bedding set, but there wasn't enough stuff that went with it to coordinate the way I wanted. I didn't want to paint the room since I didn't want to have to re-paint when we someday sell the house. I didn't want it to look bad or over done so I figured if I didn't do anything that I couldn't go wrong. So I never did anything with the nursery and it has been sort of a sad, semi-decorated room. Not fun at all.

Until a few weeks ago.

I went to Joanne fabrics and the idea hit me. I found these great wooden decals that are already painted that were animals, boats, bugs, etc. I got one for most letters of the alphabet. (ie: apple, ball, cat, dinosaur, etc). I also got these 4 inch letters that I painted with the same colors from the bedding. I also fashioned a name plate for the door to his room. All together with the paint, the decals and the letters it cost me about $50. That is more than I wanted to spend, but I will definitely be able to use this theme for 2 kids so I think it's worth it.

I made a border of letters and pictures around the room and I think it turned out pretty great. It adds "just enough" decoration to make it look like a real nursery bringing the theme together without going overboard. It brings in color and brightens up the room. Devon and I go over the alphabet everyday and say the names of the decals that go with the letters. I point to them as I say them and he has started slapping the letter as I say it. He LOVES to do the alphabet and it is his favorite song. He starts pumping his legs when I try to leave the room without going around the room first. If he is ever cranky I can always go to this simple activity to cheer him up.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

1st family trip to California

Let me start off by saying that I am so, totally sick. I don't really want to blog right now, but I wanted to get this posted before too much time passed. I worked on this over a few days so it is longer than I anticipated. You can just look at the pictures if you want ;)Plus, my spell check wasn't working so .... no judgment.

We went to Califonia for our 1st official family trip. Joe was competing in a jujitsu competition so it seemed like a good way to kill 2 birds with one stone. Having flown with Devon by myself in the past I can say that it was definately easier to have 2 people there for him to go back and forth with on the plane. I also didn't have to worry about him bumping the person next to me. He put his little arms in the air (in the picture) like wings when we landed.

SIDEBAR: We rented a car and they said that they had a carseat for us to use. Great. That way we don't have to lug our own through the airport. P.S. Not-so-great. They charged us $10 a day, but didn't tell us that until we got to Califonia so we had to do it. The hotel did the same thing. Do you have a crib we could borrow? No problem! ALSO $10 a day. Next time I will save myself the $100 on both these items and bring our own. Carting a pack-n-play is not an ideal packing situation, but by the time I was done renting one I could nearly have bought a new one. Bring your own stuff if you can. I will also tell you that the carseat they gave us was a total piece of junk. The seat tipped over TWICE in the car, on the freeway when the seat was strapped in tight. Scary. He was totally fine (asleep and didn't know it happened), but it sent me into a wild panic as I jumped over the front seat to secure it. This is Devon making his "old man face". This face also includes various moaning and groaning sound effects. HIGHlarious.

Devon got REALLY sick 2 days before we were supposed to leave. 102 (nearly 103) fever, cough, congestion, lethargic, runny nose .... it was so sad. The first day I literally carried him around the house in the pouch with a coold towel on his little forehead. I would put him down to sleep and he slept for about an hour and then he was up for an hour then back down. This went on into the night. At night he was up for 45 minutes and slept for 15 .... EVERY. HOUR. Until 5 am. Brutal. The peditrician said it was probably croup, gave him a 2-day steriod and said we would be good to travel since it should clear up while we were gone. It turned out to NOT be croup so he was sick a good portion of the trip, but we spent some down time in the hotel relaxing in the evenings and I think he really enjoyed that. By the way those are pants on his head ;)

The 2nd night at the hotel Devon would not sleep in his crib. He couldn't breath well due to the congestion so we put him in between the 2 of us and had a sleepover. It. Was. Awesome. It reminded me of when he was really little and I put him in the bed next to me. He slept through the night since we propped him up on pillows and he was able to breathe. Watching TV with Daddy.

We stayed in Whittier, but we went to Hollywood to see downtown, the wax museum, Ripley's Believe it or not, the Guinness book of world records, the Hollywood sign and Grauwman's Chinese Theater. It was a lot like any other big city, but it definately had it's own, cool vibe. It was fun to see names on the stars like LaVar Burton ;)and Marylin Monroe.

You can't see it, but that Hollywood sign is behind us.

We went to Manhattan beach and Devon loved it. He was so excited and was thrilled with everything. The water, the birds, the sand .... all of it he loved it. It was really relaxing and I think I actually heard my brain sigh.

He got to put his toes in the sand and he stood up like a champ.

Later that day was Joe's fight and he did great. The only downside to it was we showed up at 3:30 to watch some of his friends fight. He was supposed to fight at 5:30, but didn't fight until 7:30 which made for a really long day for us. I am not a fan of strollers so I opted to carry Devon in the pouch for the trip. I know I won't be able to do it for much longer so I want to take advantage while I can. I really enjoy it and I think it comforts him. Plus, it is SO much easier to move in crowds, you don't have to worry about stairs, he gets to see what you see and it gives you more freedom to move around. BUT carrying him for 4 hours straight, on top of all the carrying I did the previous day, my back was actually fine, but my shoulder stared to ache. Anyway, Joe did amazing and it was so cool to see him in action.
Devon discovered his love of ice at the hotel. We rented a movie nearly every night and just hung out. We weren't sure how it would be with this being the first time we would be traveling with a baby and that "limiting" our options, but hanging out at the hotel was probably my favorite part of the trip. Having Devon there enhanced everything we did. It was also great for him to have 5 whole days with just the 2 of us. I'm sure he loved having his Daddy around all the time.

Sunday we went to the Getty Museum and the aquarium. I don't have any pictures from the Getty because the camera fell out of my purse and hid under the front seat. You have to take a shuttle from the parking garage to the museum on top of the hill and by the time we realized that the camera wasn't there it was sort of too late to go back for it since we were on a time crunch. We definately would go back to the museum and spend a half day there looking at all the art as well as having a picnic lunch on the amazing grounds overlooking the city. I had to explain to Devon that the soft green stuff was "grass" and that he wouldn't see any in Tucson ;)

I got Devon these really cool puppets for his birthday. His birthday isn't until the 30th, but I needed an emergency airplane toy that was new in case he had a melt down. I had a lion puppet and I would do the whole routine,"What does the lion say? ROAR!" When we got to the lion fish tank he started saying "Roar!" You can see it on his face that he is really proud of himself for remembering. We were laughing so hard. It was really cute.

It was cool and creepy to see the sharks.

We held Devon up to the sea lions and they rolled over and put their noses right up to him. He loved it.

We also went into the aviary, but Devon wasn't too sure about birds.

He learned to color! Joe has been working with him on this. I can't take any credit for that one.

All in all it was a great trip. It is so fun to show Devon all these amazing things! Imagine seeing the ocean, the beach and fish for the first time! He is totally at that age where he "gets it" so these exeriences are not lost on him. Of course he won't remember, but I feel that exposing him to this stuff now is laying the groundwork for the future, his education and hopefully his love of travel. I have more pictures that are A-MAZ-ING, but I wanted to save a few for his first birhtday post. Which .... is right around the corner.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's a baby with a rattle

This is the small one.

This is the big one.

Most people relax and BBQ for the Labor Day holiday, but Joe took the morning and touched up the exterior paint on the house. So helpful. After 30 minutes of being outside he comes inside and said,"Guess what? I found a baby with a rattle." Which, in our house, means he found a rattlesnake. Last week Joe accidentally grabbed a rattlesnake that was wrapped up in a bush when he was cleaning the yard. That one was only 2 1/2 feet long and very thin. I go outside and this 2nd snake (in 2 weeks) was HUGE. Like .... huge. It was probably 4 feet long and very thick. (*That tube-like thing hanging out from the back of the snake is actually it's penis. I know .... gross. It's called a hemipenis. I didn't know this, but apparently rattlesnakes have 2 "arms" on their penis .... who knew?) We are not see-it-kill-it people .... unless we happen to see a scorpion and then we apologize in advance to it for what we are about to do, explain that we have a crawling baby then smash it with a shoe. I called around and since we don't have a "subscription" to the fire department it would cost us $350 for them to remove it or $75 for a private company to come and take the snake away.

Joe decides that he "can take him" and gets pumped up to do-it-yourself poisonous rattlesnake removal.

Joe got a long paint roller, a garbage can and his wife to video his rattlesnake catching event. (This video available on my Facebook).It probably only took about 10 minutes, but he got the snake into a tall garbage can, lid taped on top and he released it away from the house near the neighbors ;) GO JOE!

In other, less exciting news we have doves. I know it is not earth shattering, but we have lived in our house for nearly 4 years and every single year these dodo-bird doves try to build a nest in the tower above the front door. The ledge is too narrow and the nest inevitably falls and the eggs are lost. I asked Joe to make something so the foundation of the nest would be more secure. If you look closely you can see that he wrapped twine around some sticks and actually drilled the sticks into the pillar so they would never fall out. Yesterday we looked and there was a happy family of 3 sitting up there. I was SO thrilled after all these years to have a baby bird in the nest. Yeah for Doves!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

1 boy in a house full of girls

I took Devon over to Jane's house yesterday and we got to visit and play in their amazing toy room. Jane has four, count 'em four girls ages 2, 4, 6, and 8. The 6 and 8 year old were at school so we got to hang with the 2 younger ones. They adore Devon. Chloe tickles him under the chin, hands him toys and dotes on him making sure he is OK. I love that the headband he is wearing is covered in pink roses with a train down the back. So lovely.

Sadie gets a little jealous when her mama is holding him, but I think she likes having someone smaller than her around. There are a few "boy" toys in the room, but they are nearly impossible to find among all the pink stuff covered in Hannah Montana (Hanah Tanna as Sadie calls her) or princesses so THIS is what boys play with. A baker's hat, a cookie and a piece of bread. He is a baker after all. Check out that belly ..... so funny.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Joe's 30th birthday

I have been with Joe since he was 16 and I CAN NOT FREAKING BELIEVE that he turned 30 yesterday. My teenage boyfriend turned 30 .... wow .... like .... wow. We joke that 30 is no big deal and that it's 40 that's the killer, but there is something about 30 that is suddenly serious ;) I get to be 29 for 5 whole months so my new mantra has become "I'm still in my 20's" until that time runs out. I try to slip that phrase into conversation at least once a day. We usually plan a day of activities for each other, but also try to keep things low key and relaxing.

Really though it is so not a big deal this whole turning 30 thing. I think since we are where we want to be in life (even though 30 feels like some sort of superficial milestone) we really are OK with it. We are done with college, in a house, have a baby, in good shape and good health .... we are totally good.

We all slept in yesterday (even Devon) and it was great. We got up around 10:00 and had breakfast at home. The sitter arrived at 11:30 and I gave Joe the option of going to a yoga class or a movie. He loves yoga, but wanted a really relaxing day so we went to a movie. We made it home just in time for the massage therapist to arrive and set up. I got his favorite masseuse to come for a special treat of having the massage done at our house so he wouldn't have to drive. I also hired a friend of mine play the violin during the treatment as background music. Admittedly it sounds sort of weird to have live violin music, but the massage was done in the study with the door shut and the violinist was in the living room. From what Joe said it was the perfect volume. "Over the top. One for the books." was how he described it. I racked my brain for months trying to find the perfect birthday gifts that were thoughtful and just for him and I think he really liked them. I also got him his own yoga mat (a Manduka .... it weighs 8 pounds and will last a lifetime of yoga-ing), a couple of t-shirts, some mustaches (I'll get back to that one) and a Kindle with a leather case. I am so jealous of the Kindle because I would love one. I definitely see one in my future .... I am turning 30 in February after all.

I found this HIGHlarious mustache kit at a game store. I figured since Joe was officially a distinguished older gentleman that he needed a mustache to complete the whole look. He wouldn't let me take his picture, but we got some of the baby and I was DYING in fits of hysterical laughter.

I went and picked up wings and beer for his after massage lunch as well as the cake. OK. lemme just say I am in love with Tasty Foto Art. You email them a photo, choose how many and the size you want and in 2 days they will mail it to your house on sugar paper ready to go on a cake or cookies or whatever. I used my favorite picture of Joe when he was 4. This is not AT ALL how I asked them to decorate the cake, but I sort of love how ghetto it is with that stupid cone thing on his head. Joe loved it too. It says Happy 30th Birthday Joe around the side. The cake is from our favorite ice cream place Marble Slab. Joe doesn't like cake, but he does love vanilla ice cream with heath so that's what I got.

We lounged around the house for a few hours and then sitter #2 showed up at 7:30. Devon has been having a bit of separation anxiety lately so we decided to have the sitter come later so we could get him in bed before we left. He fell asleep at 7:00 on the dot. Perfect. We went to Maynard's for dinner (Joe hadn't been there before) and then on to Club Congress for after dinner drinks. After that we went home and had the cake and tried on all the mustaches. It was a really great day to spend as a family and to celebrate Joe on his special day.