Friday, May 29, 2015

5 on Friday

I actually started this post last week...and am just now finishing!  Oh well, thank goodness you can do 5 on Friday ANY Friday!

O     N     E

We are headed back down South one week from tomorrow!

We are going to be gone a little over 3 weeks total (but that includes about 6 travel days), and we are all pretty excited!  We will stop in Nashville for a day on our way down to see friends (and my goddaughter!), spend some time with Bech's family, go to the beach with my family, go to a friend's wedding, then spend some time with my grandparents.  Finally, we will stop in Memphis and Canton, Ohio, on the way home.

As usual, I am planning on some snow cones and sonic drinks, plus a good margarita or two.

And maybe a tan?

T     W     O

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how we are spending every waking moment outside.  We have been keeping that up!

Last week, we headed to one of Bech's professor's houses for a pizza night.  Liz has been so sweet to us the past two years.  She has fed us multiple times in her home and she always has something fun for Jack to play with or borrow.  Bech, Eric (the other second year MFA student), and I decided to do something nice for her.  So we cooked homemade pizza for her in her bread oven.

By the way, when we talk about what our dream home will look like and have, this is always near the top of Bech's list.  Bech wants a wood fired bread and pizza oven so badly!

Liz let Jack chop some wood for the fire.

Here is Eric working on a pizza at our makeshift table.

The weather was perfect and we had a wonderful time!

Since then, we have played outside, celebrated Memorial Day with a cookout, and visited the city pool.  We gotta soak up this warm, beautiful weather while we can!!!

T     H     R     E     E

As Gil gets old, it is so fun to see these two little boys of mine become friends.  Gil absolutely ADORES his big brother.  He thinks Jack is hilarious (which he usually is).  And Jack is (most of the time) pretty darn sweet to Gil.

I love Gil's face in this picture.  He's not so sure about a big brother kiss.

Jack loves when the two boys get to wear matching outfits.

A couple of months ago, Gil started taking baths with Jack at night.  It is just way easier to only get one bath ready.  They both love it, even though Gil can't play that much yet.

This relationships helps so much with them sharing a room.  Jack thinks it is so cool that Gil is in his room.  Just this morning, I heard noises from their room at 6:30 and walked in to find Jack in Gil's crib talking and laughing with him.  I love my sweet little boys!

F     O     U     R

I've been reading Big Mama and Boo Mama's blogs for YEARS now.  I think I started reading their blogs when we were living in Malawi.  I have even read a couple of the books that they have written.  I just love these two writers.  They are sweet and funny and very Southern.

They've been doing a podcast, Big Boo Cast, for years now, but I've never listened to them.  Podcasts used to terrify me because I had no idea how people accessed them.  But two Christmases ago, my friend showed me how to get the podcast app and then subscribe to podcasts.  So when the bloggers referenced their latest podcast, I decided to try it out.  

Y'all, I am hooked.  It is hilarious.

If you are wanting something serious, this podcast is not for you.  But if you would like to basically listen in to a phone conversation between two Southern women while they discuss their skin care regime, how boot cut jeans are coming back in style, and their shared love for Amy Grant, this, my friend, is the podcast for you.  

F     I     V     E

We are currently in the midst of night training Jackie boy.  Ohmylanta, this is not fun.  I liked regular old potty training better, when I didn't set my alarm for all times of the night.  Why, oh why didn't I do this before Gil started sleeping better?  I could have killed two birds with one stone!

So here's what we are doing:  I cut him off from liquids about an hour before bed.  He goes to the bathroom right before bed (7 pm).  I wake him up to go to the bathroom when I do Gil's dream feed (10:15ish), then again at 2 am then again at 5 am.  It worked last night and we had dry sheets.  But I'm exhausted.  How long do I need to keep doing this before I stop waking him up and he does it on his own?  Any and all advice would be helpful!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Gil at 8 Months

Baby Gil is 8 months old!

We went to the doctor about 2 weeks ago for the second round of his flu shot, and he weighed close to 17 lbs (side note, that means he is about the same size as Jack 3 months!!!).  He is in mostly 9 month clothes, but he can wear a few 12 month outfits (they fit him lengthwise but are a little big in the middle!).  I just moved him up to size 3 disposables at night.

This month has been a game changer sleep wise.  We did a little cry it out at 4 a.m. right after he turned 7 months old, and, for the most part, since then he has been sleeping from his dream feed (10 or 10:30) until morning.  Sometimes he wakes a little on the early side.  And sometimes he cries out once in the middle of the night.  But, for the most part, he has gotten pretty consistent with this.  It has been so incredible!  I finally feel rested again!

Of course, the past two nights have been awful.  He would do that right before I post this!  Seriously though, he's teething and has a little cold, so I think he is just feeling really rough.

Speaking of teeth, Gil's top 4 teeth are coming in all at once!  The top left one just broke through the skin last night (I don't think the middle of the night waking was a coincidence), and I think the other 3 are close behind.

We just switched Gil to a 4 month schedule.  He is doing amazing on it!  He theoretically gets up at 7 (but it's usually more like 6:30), goes down for a nap at 9, sleeps until 11, goes down again at 1, and sleeps until 3.  And then he is up until bedtime at 6:45/7.

We have had a much better time with solids in the past couple of weeks.  He is starting to gobble them down.  So far, he has tried:  green beans, sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots, apples, blueberries, pear, mangoes, banana, and avocado.  His favorites are apples and green beans!  He is not a fan of the puffs yet.

He is SO close to crawling.  He actually can crawl...backwards!  Doesn't that seem like it would be harder?  He gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth, then goes the wrong direction.  I think we are really close though.  He is really good at getting himself to a sitting position from lying down.

This is just such a fun stage.  Gil has been fussy the past week or so with teething, but he really is so smiley and fun!

Likes:  Jack (seriously, Jack just has to look at him, and Gil bursts into laughter!), cuddles, singing, eating grass

Dislikes:  not getting the toy he wants, teeth breaking through his gums (who doesn't?)

Happy 8 Months, sweet Baby Gil!  You are an absolute delight!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Aslan is on the move...

It is officially spring here (and has been for a few weeks) and it is GLORIOUS!  

I love snow, I really do.  Perhaps more than most people.  But toward the end of winter, when I see the snow start to melt and the green poke through, I always say out loud, "Aslan is on the move!"  

(No, I don't have a C. S. Lewis obsession...why do you ask?)

One of the biggest differences I have noticed between the North and the South is how excited northerners are for Spring and Summer.  Yes, southerners are excited about summer break, the beach, all of that.  But southerners can be outside for extended periods of time in the winter.  And southern summers are SO hot. 

Up north, winters can be brutal, but late spring and summer are absolutely wonderful.  Sometimes we will have days mid summer that are in the 90's, but usually it stays in the 70's and 80's.  And since everyone is so tired of being cooped up all winter, they spend all spring and summer outside!

We are taking advantage of the beautiful weather.  State College has some ah-mazing parks around the town, and we like to hit them up often.  Plus, we have a great little backyard in graduate housing that we share with other families with young children.  We have been eating dinner outside most nights, sitting out on the picnic table late talking to friends, and just soaking up the beautiful days!

Here is Gil with his best friend, Theo.  They don't actually know that they are best friends (yet), but his family is moving to southern Vermont, so we will keep the friendship alive!

Uncle Hunter (Bech's little brother) stopped by during his move from NYC to Mississippi a couple of weeks ago.  I sent him outside with Jackie-boy to enjoy the weather.

Gil does a lot of blanket sitting while Jack runs around.  Which means that I do a lot of pulling mulch, grass, and dandelions out of his little baby hands!

Another one of Gil's friends, Charlie.  Charlie needs to teach Gil a thing or two about smiling for the camera, because he has got it down!  We are at a local park that is only a few blocks away from our apartment and has quickly become one of our favorites.

Gil is a fan of the swing!

Jack got to take the class stuffed animal home last night.  It's a kangaroo named Joey, whom Jack insists is a girl and keeps calling "Josie."  Most days, after I pick Jack up from school, we hang out here in our little backyard, Gil on the blanket and Jack running around playing.

Ah, it's Pirate Jack.  This is actually a mix of a pirate and Peter Pan.  Jack has decided that this shirt (a screen printed "Everything is Awesome" shirt from one of Bech's students) and these blue and green striped shorts are his official Peter Pan outfit.  I know, there are easy patterns for a real Peter Pan costume, and I plan on making one soon.  But for now, this outfit makes him so happy.  

Also, that face.  He is one little wild man.

We had a cookout with friends two weekends ago and one of the girls snapped this picture of the kids table.  I love these little boys so much!  

I plan on soaking up every bit of outdoor fun time in State College this summer--visiting all of the parks, swimming in the pool, eating Rita's Italian Ice, and sitting outside with food and drinks and friends.  As excited as we are about our next chapter in Burlington, we do love this little community we have found in State College.

Monday, May 4, 2015

It Must Be Beautiful in Vermont This Time of Year...

It is no secret that I love Vermont.  Yes, I know, it is cold and it snows a lot.  And to a Southerner, that can be really terrifying.  But it is absolutely gorgeous.  And it is full of things we love--good and local food, beautiful vistas, amazing summers, all things fall (again, my thoughts on that are no secret!), and community minded people.

I have always wanted to live in Vermont.  I think my obsession started young, with the movie, White Christmas.  Then I read lots of books based in New England.  And I went to Vermont with my grandparents when I was in 7th grade.  

And then we got to live there for two years, which was amazing.  There were some times that I was just done with the snow (but, let me tell you a secret, native Vermonters feel that way too by a certain point), and I definitely had some periods of homesickness, but there was so much about living there that we loved.

We found out a while ago that the director of UVM's Living/Learning Pottery Studio would be retiring this coming May.  So we have known about this possible job for a while now.  And, while we have tried to guard our hearts and not hope too much, I'm going to tell you that we were not very successful at that!  The job got posted a little over a month ago, Bech applied, had a phone interview, and then flew up there on his birthday for an interview.  We just found out this past week that he got the job!

So at the end of this summer, we will be moving to Burlington, Vermont.  

We are both so excited!  We have explained it to Jack, and he seems excited too.  But, honestly, we could tell him we were moving to, well, anywhere, and he would think that was great.  But I do think he is going to love Vermont.  How can he not?

I could make a huge list of all of the things I am excited about--let's be real, y'all know I will probably do that soon.  The only think I love as much as fountain drinks, stripes, fall, and fair isle (which is like Christmas + stripes!) is making lists.  But for now, I'm going to say just two things:

1.  I am excited to move somewhere we have lived before.  We know the area.  We know people there.  When we moved to State College two years ago, I had never even been here and I knew NO ONE here.  That is more than a little terrifying.  We have moved so gosh darn much and it is always somewhere new.  But we know Burlington.  We know the good and the bad and we still love it.  We have drank the Vermont Kool-Aid (or craft beer/local cider) and are proud of it!

2.  I am excited about our church, Redeemer Burlington.  When we lived in Burlington, this church plant was just starting our last year there.  We were able to be a small part of that.  And now it is growing and meeting on Sundays.  Seriously, take a look around that website.  Pretty cool vision, huh?

This church is huge part of the draw Bech and I feel to Burlington.  Joseph, the pastor, referenced Keller once in a conversation with us, talking about how, as Christians, we are called not to leave the cities and places bereft of Christians for our nice, safe suburbs, but to go into those places and love them.  Burlington is the most unchurched city in the most unchurched state in the nation.  And that's where we want to be, there, among those people and at this church.

I am sure there will be more posts about this in the weeks and months to come.  And y'all know this means there will be a plethora of fall pictures and posts.  Sorry, I'm not sorry!

Friday, May 1, 2015

5 on Friday, Movie Edition

This Friday, instead of a random list, I wanted to share 5 shows/movies that I've watched lately and really enjoyed.  

O     N     E


Okay, I'm going to jump on the bandwagon with this one.

But it was really good, definitely a not just for kids movie.  My mom and I took Jack to see it over spring break, and I loved it.  And now I can't wait for Beauty and the Beast!

T     W     O

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Let's all be honest...Helen Mirren in anything.  Yeah, it's going to be good.

Add in French food and an Indian chef?  


I absolutely loved this movie.  It has great acting, yummy looking food, and, best of all, it's so clean!  We watched it after Jack and Gil were asleep, but they could have been in the room.  I love good movies that I can watch around the boys.

T     H     R     E     E


This is a British show but it's available on Netflix.  They have released the second season in the UK already, but only the first season is available on Netflix.

This is a British show but it's available on Netflix.  They have released the second season in the UK already, but only the first season is available on Netflix.

This show is amazing, but it's tough to watch.  It's definitely a darker show, which I am normally not a fan of.  It's about the murder of a young boy in a small British coastal town.  What made it so hard is that the story is stretched out over eight 45 minute episodes.  And like I said, it's a small town.  So the murderer is going to have to end up being someone you've seen throughout the episodes, someone with parents, children, a spouse, a back story, etc.  I probably wouldn't watch this show alone, but it is really good.

F     O     U     R

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Y'all, if you haven't watched this show yet, you need to do it ASAP.  Seriously.  It is amazingly funny.

It's got an incredible cast.  Tina Fey is one of the creators of the show.  And it's all that's on Netflix right now is 13 episodes, and they are short.  It's perfect for watching a couple before bed.

F     I     V     E

The Imitation Game

Bech and I have been wanting to see this movie since it came out to theaters.  Sadly, it wasn't playing yet in Mississippi over Christmas (when we had free babysitting!), so we had to wait for it to come to Redbox.

We finally got to watch it last night, and it was even better than I was hoping for.  The story is incredible.  I love Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.  But one of my favorite aspects is just how clean it was.  The film told a really tough story, but it wasn't filled with gratuitous sex, violence, or language.  Any subject matter or language in the film was necessary for the story.  Of all of these shows and movies, this is by far my favorite!

I have a couple of movies I am really wanting to see:  

The Theory of Everything 

Pitch Perfect 2

Woman in Gold

Have y'all seen anything really good lately?