Sentimental Gifts

First of all, Merry Christmas! We had a busy day visiting with family today. Jack was able (and more than willing) to unwrap presents this year. Last year, he pretty much slept through the holidays. He was excited to get a slide, a robot blanket, cars, a tricycle, and a wooden toy box made by my parents. My husband and I only got him a couple small things knowing he would be spoiled by everyone else. He’s become attached to a stuffed bear dressed as batman that my husband picked out. He enjoys chewing the bear’s snout. I think it helps relieve some of his teething (and boy are we teething!).

The present I have been working on for the past few months is a short adventure story in which he is the hero. I am currently finished writing the story, but I have been busy working on some illustrations to go along with it. The idea for the story came to me just after Jack was born. When I would sit in my gliding chair nursing him for hours, I would brainstorm little stories where he was the main character. I jotted down a brief outline, wrote a couple pages, then promptly forgot about the whole thing. It wasn’t until October that I picked it back up.

One of the ideas behind the story is that Jack becomes acquainted with people he will not be able to know in real life. Three of the characters that he befriends are based on three special people: my grandfather, my husband’s grandfather, and our dog Dusty. Both grandfathers had passed away the year before Jack was born. We had to put down our old yellow Labrador Dusty earlier this year before Jack was even crawling. I wish Jack could have known Dusty when he grew up. I imagine them playing fetch together and being best friends. In my story, Jack is six years old and has his dog Dusty by his side. On their adventure together, they meet many new friends, two of which are named after our grandfathers. Even though they are in animal form in the story, I tried to capture their personalities. I wish Jack had been able to meet them. By writing this story for Jack, he will get to know them in the book and become familiar with them in a way that he could not before.

During this time of year, when families gather to laugh, sing, and exchange sentimental memories, I give to my son the gift of a bigger family that he did not meet, but still can know. Merry Christmas everyone!

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We Have a Crib Chewer

The title says it all. A few weeks back, I discovered gnaw marks on Jack’s crib. He only has two teeth, but he sure figured out how to do some damage.

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I looked online for advice and found this great, easy solution. No sew crib rail cover! The only thing you need is a tape measure, scissors, and a couple yards of fleece. Luck was on my side, because Joanns was having a sale on all of their fleece. Here are some pictures of Jack ‘helping’ and our finished solution to his crib chewing problem.

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Hello Again!

Well, apparently I subconsciously decided to take a year off from my site. Sorry for the hiatus. It has been a very crazy but happy year.

On October 8, 2014, my husband and I welcomed our baby boy Jack to the world. For those of you who need stats, he was born at 6:38 am, weighed 6 lbs 13 oz, and was 20 inches in length.

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Since his arrival, I have been lucky enough to enjoy being a stay at home mom. We spent the winter hibernating, cuddling together with blankets in my rocking chair, and generally just getting to know each other. Spring consisted of building and planting my raised vegetable garden and Jack’s realization that tummy time is not actually evil and can be quite fun once you learn how to roll over. Summer was all about crawling around, learning how to interact with everything, taking walks together, and (on those sweltering hot days) staying indoors with the ac on while baby wiggles around in only a diaper. Fall is now here. We continue going on walks, but our big project is Jack’s first birthday party! Our little man is growing so fast!

Throughout this year, my craftiness has not abated. I will share with you all some of the things that I have been working on. One new thing for me is the Etsy shop that I have opened. If you have seen some of my paintings on previous posts, I am now selling prints, so feel free to check it out here: ArtsyAro.

And of course, I cannot end this post without sharing a picture of my little big boy Jack!11753700_10102532020272929_8311412558419177986_n

Robot Art for the Baby Room

I just finished making some art to hang in the baby’s room. We are doing a robot themed room for our baby boy due October 13th. Here are the robots I made using scrapbook paper:

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I can’t wait to hang them in his room above his crib. My pregnancy seems to have flown by, and I can’t believe it is almost time to meet our baby boy. There is a lot to do until then to get ready.

Relaxing Weekend

It was nice that I did not have any plans this weekend except for the dentist on Friday. I spent some time each day outside working on our yard. I try not to do too much at once though. Yesterday I planted my tomato plants that my mom gave me. She grew them from seed this year.

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I’m hoping I did not plant them too close together. I plan on building a raised vegetable garden this year so it is ready for plants in the spring. Until then, I just had to find a spot for these tomatoes. Our ground is very rocky though, so it takes me a long time just to dig this small hole. Around the tomatoes, you can see all of the rocks I had dug up to make the hole.

Today, I planted a couple hostas. I have already planted around 12 groups of them, but I still have more to put in the ground. I’m just going to try to plant a few whenever I get the chance. I also have a couple of lily plants that my brother gave me last weekend for my birthday that I still need to find a spot for. I love getting plants from people, because, when we bought our house last year, there was only one plant (a hydrangea) on the property. Eventually I hope to have a lot of garden beds full of flowers. Spending time outside also puts me in a good mood and helps me feel accomplished even if I only have the energy to put one plant in the ground.

Besides spending time outside, I also baked a loaf of banana bread. The house smells really nice, and I might need to have a piece tonight even though I made it for breakfasts for the week. I’m not patient when it comes to fresh baked goods.

I also had a great dinner. So far, this is my favorite way to make salmon.

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My husband has been doing all of the dinners lately. In the warm weather, he loves using the grill. He isn’t a fan of salmon though, but I prepared myself a piece, and he put it on the grill for me while he made himself a cheeseburger. I put the salmon in tin foil sprayed with cooking spray. I drizzled it with lemon juice and sprinkled it with a little Mrs. Dash and parsley. Lastly, I topped it with a couple slices of tomato and folded the tin foil around it. In another piece of tin foil, I put some sliced yellow squash. Travis cooked them on the grill for me. This is my favorite way I have made salmon so far. The slices of tomato kept it really moist. I think I will have some banana bread for dessert.