Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Staycation

I took a week off work around Columbus Day. I told my boss in September that as soon as the weather cooled off and it wasn't going to be rainy that I was going to take a week off so I could do stuff around the house. And actually enjoy my time being outside, unlike all summer long.

It's not that it's so hot here in Houston, and it does get very hot and humid. It's that it stays hot and humid for so very, very long. I put up with it in May and was still taking Declan out to the playground in the evenings in May, and even in June. By July, our outings were limited to the park on the weekend mornings, early, and we were still both sweating like crazy after 30 minutes. By August, we were mainly outside just to go to the car, or for a few minutes after dinner. By September, I had given up. Declan brought me his shoes and I just said no. Six months of super hot, super humid is just too much for this transplanted Yankee.

Anyway, the first week in October the weather finally changed. The humidity went away and the temps cooled down. Hallelujah!

Saturday, I went to the Galveston County Master Gardener sale to get some native plants to put in my yard. It was fun, and a bit of a madhouse. Apparently, the fruit tree sale in February is ten times as crazy. Anyway, I got some pretty ginger plants for all my shady areas and some spider lilies for the front flower bed. Once I got them all in, my front yard looks a lot nicer suddenly. I think I need to put some more flowers in, but not right away. I spent a lot of money that week, between the flowers and all my numerous trips to Lowes/Home Depot.

I also ended up building a raised bed and putting in tomato plants and my one cone flower plant from the master gardener plant sale. Then Daniel suggested that I build a second raised bed that was half the height and twice the area and put it around the first raised bed. I thought that was a capitol suggestion and made one that afternoon. I put it out, but I still don't have any dirt in there, and the herbs I bought for it are still in their little store pots. On the plus side, my lettuce seeds I scattered around the tomatoes are growing. I've started thinning them out. Hopefully I'll have lots of greens through the winter.

I bought some more wood to make a raised planter, but I haven't had a chance to put that together yet.

I also finished constructing the first cubby drawer for Declan's new bedroom furniture, and I built the second cubby. Still need to build the second drawer and paint the drawer front. After that's done, I can move them in and move the baker's rack out. And then...I can build the hutches to go on top of the cubby drawers. It's taking me a while, especially since I can only work on it a few hours a week at most.

As for the decorating front...I finally (!) finished painting our bedroom. The old wallpaper is gone!!! I have yet to put up anything on the walls, even curtains. We have some temporary paper blinds on the windows while I figure out how to cheaply hang the Ikea curtains I got. I'm going for a romantic, dreamy, white bedroom with hints of pink and green. Hopefully Daniel won't think it's too girly. I'm going to hang an old lap-size quilt on the wall, and I've been collecting picture frames and old pictures of roses to hang up. The picture frames need repainting, so I'm playing around with that. I don't mind playing with a $2-5 picture frame. If I screw it up, it's only a couple of dollars, and it lets me experiment with paint and color and techniques. Eventually, I plan to make a new quilt for the bed in the colors of the bedroom, but for now, I've got a pretty white duvet cover (also from Ikea). Hrm, maybe I should check out their curtain rods and shelves next.

I also got some naps in, and I started rereading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I watched a lot of movies. Oh yeah, I got to spend a lot of time playing with my son and we got to take lots of walks outdoors, now that the weather is tolerable. I have to say, it was one of the most relaxing and fun vacations I've ever had.

Friday, October 08, 2010

18 Month Update

Took him to the pedi this week. The doctor was pleased with his progress. He's in the 60th percentile for height and weight. The doctor said he'd be about 5'10" tall when he's grown. I thought you couldn't tell until they were 3. My nephews are going to by 6'7" for Garrett and 6'5" for Devon, so maybe a little bit of height runs in my family. In my nephews' case, I think it's pretty clear it comes from their mom.

Declan can say "bye-bye" pretty well, and he may be saying book and ball; it's kind of hard to tell. He can point to his nose, ear, chin and hair, and he knows at least 8 signs (milk, juice, water, cracker, dog, sleep, diaper, book). He's a climber, too. Loves to climb the couch, the stepladder (we're painting the bedroom), the coffee table, the chairs, anything he can.

He's also starting to throw temper tantrums and hit me when he's mad. So I asked the pedi for suggestions about discipline, because unfortunately, my first instinct was to smack his hand for hitting me. Not a very productive thing to do, I admit. So I didn't, but I was lost for options. She suggested a few things to try, like starting time-outs in a playpen.

He loves to play games. Like peek-a-boo, scary monster (where one of us hides behind a door and grrrs at him when he opens it), chasing and being chased. He charms all sorts of people when we go out and he says "bye-bye" and waves to them over and over. It's very cute.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Has it really been 2 months?

Okay, I knew it had been a while since I posted anything. We went on vacation to my parents' house in August, and I was trying to catch up from that. Then...well, it's been a few weeks and I forget. But then I started ripping the wallpaper off the bedroom and prepping that room to paint, and that project took 3 weeks. I'm still in the middle of priming. Yeah, I could have finished it this week, but the paint is not the no-odor kind, and I wanted to be able to paint in the morning and have the room open all day to air out. It's low VOC, but still pretty smelly.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that I'm finally getting around to posting pictures from our trip to Illinois. Mainly toddler pictures. I took a lot of landscape pictures, but that's for another day.

He sort of enjoyed his airplane ride. This is the second time he's flown, but the first time, he was 6 months old and slept the whole time. This time, he was squirmy and we spent a long time walking up and down the aisle of this tiny jet.

He got the chance to climb around on my dad's antique farm equipment.

Actually, it was really nice to be able to let him run around without having to worry about him running into the street, or into someone else's yard. I didn't have to watch and make sure he didn't step into a fire ant nest, and there were no mosquitoes. The only thing I had to watch is that he didn't get too far away or too close to the hill or pond.

Here he is with his Mimi and the antique bell they've got.

He's playing one of his favorite games here. We call it "blue ghost." He puts his blue blankie over his head and runs around yelling. Maybe it's more of a blue poltergeist. That's his cousin Devon with him.

Here they are having fun with magnetic letters and the dishwasher.

We went into downtown Marshall so I could take my watches to the jeweler there. Yes, I took them 1000 miles to a guy I trusted, and he fixed all three of my broken watches in 15 minutes. Afterward, we walked around the courthouse square. Declan thought it was awesome to walk on the curbs, and Daniel and my mom helped him jump off the posts.

So many things to explore at my parents' house.

The back door:

Practicing yoga on the porch:

Helping Mimi weed the flower bed:

My mom had a rolling garden seat, and Declan had the best time rolling that thing all over the yard, the side walk and the driveway.

We went to a newly constructed covered bridge.


One day we went to St. Louis to the Gateway Arch. It was very hot that day.

View from the top of the Arch. Here's the Mississippi River.

Declan looking out the Arch window.

This fancy building is the Historic County Courthouse where the Dred Scott case was tried. Thanks to Scott for correcting my assumption about the building.

We may not be the most photogenic family around, but we love each other and have lots of fun. Oh, and you can see that we are 630 feet off the ground at the top of the Arch.

At my brother's house, Declan discovered a new game. He could pull out the kitchen drawers and push them back again. Wow, was that ever fun! He giggled and laughed and did it over and over again. Don't know why my brother's house's drawers are better than mine, but they are.

Just a cute picture of the little guy.

Here he is with his other cousin, Garrett. They all love little babies and kids, and they had a blast.

Devon loves the Transformers, so he had to show Declan his costume.

Back home, it's still hot as blazes, so he gets lots of fruit popsicles.

Here he is on his Elmo toy plane. He loves to chase us around the house on his plane.