Monday, September 29, 2014

Family Camping ~ Part 1

Camping sounded like a great idea for this weekend.  The weather was supposed to be nice (it was great!), and we hadn't taken Matthan camping since last year.  We wanted to give it another shot now that he is older.  So with way too much  camping stuff in tow, we drove up to go hiking at Dukes Creek Falls, about fifteen minutes north of Cleveland, GA, before heading to our campsite.  

"Go bridge myself!"

The trail is about a mile, one way, to the waterfalls...which at 2-year-old pace was going to get us there by dinner... of next year.  The trail was about 1/4 paved, 1/2 dirt path, and about 1/3 graveled path... or something like that.  For the most part, the path was a very moderate descent down to the falls.

We had to stop and look at the "CAT-PAT-ter".  On our way back, at the exact spot where we had seen the caterpillar the first time, Matthan started yelling "want to see CAT-PAT-ter!".  A 2-year-old never forgets. 

Matthan loves "puppies" (all dogs are "puppies").  Some people stopped so that Matthan could pet their puppy.  When they took off to continue hiking, Matthan took off after them yelling, "RACE YOU PUPPY, RACE YOU!" (meaning he wanted to run with the puppy).  


Even though it caused a meltdown, we finally put Matthan in the backpack and finished hiking down to the falls.

Watching the water

It was getting to be past lunchtime so I provided Matthan with a snack for the ride back.  Notice the perched stash for his eating pleasure.

A ride and a snack.  Don't you wish you could hike this way?

On the hike back, Tim carried Matthan in the pack up the trail (up hill the whole way).  I heard a man say "now that's the way to ride" to Tim, and I looked up in time for the man's wife to come into view from just behind him...

...pushing a rather posh, very pink baby stroller... with their terrier puppy in it.  Now THAT'S the way to ride.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of it.

On the way to our campsite, we stopped for lunch at Downda Earth, a roadside restaurant.  It ended up being a winner with great food and great service.  The back deck was sort of closed in with bamboo growing behind it, through which you could hear sheep and donkeys from the pastures across the way.  Matthan charmed the waitress...of course. 

How to entertain a 2-year-old

Part 2 coming soon...

*Updated:  Here is Part 2 and Part 3

Friday, September 26, 2014

Frogs, Rainbow Eruptions, and Religious Candles (7QT's)

Happy Friday!  It's Seven Quick Takes time!  

By the way, if you missed my 7 Quick Takes post "... You Might Be Potty Training" last week (because I'm pretty sure that I forgot to actually add my link to the link-up, oops!), enjoy it here.

His happy place, I guess?

Matthan and I got to hang out with my sister and her family this week.  Traffic was terrible.  I think there should be a traveling-with-young-children lane because there is only so much sitting in traffic a mommy two-year-old can handle before going crazy or having to pee.  A pregnancy lane would be nice too, which of course would pass food establishments with exceptionally clean bathrooms every five miles.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, visiting my niece and nephew...

(From Top Left, clockwise) Maddox and Lailey; Me with my "trophy"; Matthan

I was pushing Maddox on the swing when he urgently yelled out "STOP IT!!! STOP IT!!!", to which I promptly halted the swing to inquire about the matter, to which he replied... "I have to scratch my nose." 

Lailey was building "trophies" out of legos and gave one to me.  When I asked what my trophy was for, she replied "For being the best Amy."  She makes my heart smile.

Our chiropractor had a customer appreciation day which included free consultations and chair massages.  I'll let you guess which one was the actual motivating factor for me to go.  They had a frog  for the event, with who Matthan made friends with instantly.  Matthan would run to me for "donuts" (muffin) and then run back yelling "FROG!! FROG!!" and invited the frog to eat donuts with him several times.  If the frog disappeared, Matthan hunted him down.

We went for a hike on our church's meditation trail.  Matthan loves to "visit Mary" (go see the Marian grotto) and walk on the stones of the rosary trail.  He counts the stones as he walks on them, which goes something like... 1, 2, 17, 26, 8, 10!

I made "Pope" magnets (technically Pope Emeritus and Saint magnets, I know) out of a pizza menu that came with a magnet on the back and a postcard that my dad had sent me from Italy.

I braved letting Little Man walk in the grocery store instead of ride, which put him right at the level of the religious candles in the international aisle.  I heard him exclaiming "Jesus! Mary!".  He was doing a little happy dance.

I found a use for my youth group shirts that I have collected from retreats.

I created one of the "rainbow eruption" activities for Little Man out of food coloring, baking soda, and vinegar.  I couldn't take pictures of all the cool colors because I was holding Matthan on a chair so he could see and was squirting the vinegar.  It was a hit!  Matthan kept hugging me and saying "THANK you, Mommy!" and "I love you, Mommy!".  Lol, this might have to be a weekly event.

I ran to the mall the other day, and hadn't planned on stopping at the fountain.  But, Matthan was having so much fun running around on the steps (one of his favorite activities), that when he headed towards the fountain, I couldn't help but let him go.  He kept stepping on the water which shot the water up his shorts leg.  It was very entertaining.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autumn and Two-Year-Olds in Dinosaur Towels (PHFR)

Autumn is my favorite season of the year.  It makes me so happy.  Of course, in Georgia, autumn lasts about two weeks with a couple of teasers thrown in.  So don't blink or you'll miss it.  I have been savoring the cooler weather with outside projects and crockpot meals.


The weather has been gorgeous!  Matthan has enjoyed his new sandbox. 

Autumn also makes me want to do little random projects that I've been putting off like making cards. I don't get to spend much time doing this, but I discovered that I really enjoy making homemade envelopes and hand-stitching cards.


We've been trying to tackle our garden beds little by little.  I ripped out the weeds and pruned my rose bush and realized that the pine straw we had was not adequate to cover the area.  I stole some from around Little Man's sandbox and of course he wanted to help...

... five pieces at a time :)


I love this "windows open" time of year"... which has nothing to do with two-year-olds running around the house in dinosaur towels... 


I was re-layering my compost pile (such riveting things to tell you, no?) when Little Man (in so many words) asked if he could smell the flowers.  I did not realize that his method of smelling the marigolds included picking them off of the bush one by one, smelling them, then tossing them in the yard before finding his next victim.  This picture does not do the flower graveyard justice.  My yard was scattered with marigolds.  

Once I realized what was happening, we had a in depth instructional session on how to smell the flowers without picking them.  He finally got the idea, and then asked me "May I smell flowers?" followed by him bending down and exclaiming "Leave on bush!".  Repeat 1,347,568 more times.

Head on over to Like Mother, Like Daughter, the hosts of the "Pretty Happy Funny Real" link-up.

Friday, September 12, 2014

...You Might Be Potty Training

People like to warn first time parents about the miseries of parenthood, especially sleepless nights.  But nobody warned us about potty training.  Here is 7 Quick Takes of "... you might be potty training"  (read this to the "tune" of Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might Be a Redneck").

If you'd rather be doing that chore that you hate the most and avoid at all costs...

... you...might be potty training.

If you get SUPER EXCITED because there is pee all over your floor... because he was in fact peeing on the potty, he was just aimed wrong...

... you might be potty training.

If you've been staring at your child's privates a lot longer than you'd like to admit...

... you might be potty training.

If "Let It Go" fits as the theme of the day (for you or your child, take your pick)...

... you might be potty training.

If your son has the aforementioned song memorized (and is running around the house yelling "LET IT GO!") because he's watched it 50 (plus 107,643,982) times because it keeps him sitting on the potty...

... you might be potty training.

If you have said things like "When the duck quacks you're going to go sit on the potty!"...

... you might be potty training.

If you have experienced the five stages of grief -

(after your child has successfully peed on the potty, but has had an accident) "He's never going to be potty trained!  He's just not getting this!"


I will give you all of the M&M's in the world if you will just poop on the potty!!!

I can't do this anymore.  My will is not strong enough.  They should revoke my parenting badge.  They should give badges for potty training.  We're going to be sending him to college in diapers.  I will be changing sheets every night until I die and I will never get a good nights sleep again.  Maybe a stiff drink will make me feel better about there being pee on my carpet.  

I can change sheets and underwear.  This won't last forever.  He is improving.  We are doing this potty training thing and we are not going back!

- all within a five hour period... 

... you might be potty training.

--- bonus ---

AND, if you considered taking a picture of your child's first poop in the potty AND posting it on social media (but didn't cause you have some self-control and dignity even after being peed on)...

... you might be potty training!

Happy Friday!!
And may it all come out ok in the end! 

(c'mon, I had to slip one bathroom pun in here)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Week of Birthdays (Part 2)

I can't believe our Little Man has gone from this... 


... to this, in just a year.  This year's stats: Weight - 26 lbs, 2 oz (25%); Length - 35 in (75%).  Click on the previous picture for last year's stats.

He barely batted an eye as the squeezed his finger and took his blood, but he still screamed bloody murder when we put him on the table with the crinkly paper.  The horrible crinkly paper.

The next day we had to get loaded up to head to Savannah.  Matthan had been begging me "go to beach!" since we had taken him for the first time a month ago.  He would wake up in the morning or after a nap and the first words out of his mouth were "Go to beach?".  I made the mistake of telling him "yes, we are going to the beach" because explaining to him that we were going in a month, or two weeks, or two days was so. so. futile.  Every. day. for. a. month... "Go to beach?".  Repeat 100 times a day.

Since we would be celebrating The Hubs' birthday in Savannah as well, I decided to make him his favorite cake and take it with us.  Homemade red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.  It looked like a crime scene in my kitchen.

Housewife in the kitchen with the measuring cup and spatula

We usually travel at night, so I had decided that Little Man needed to get some air before being stuck in the car for several hours.  It seemed like a good idea, but I did not account for all the sand, or the needed bath afterwards.

A little girl sat down next to him and started pouring on his shoe to which Matthan replied "Thank you!". 

We loaded up the car with all the necessities including "Puppy", "blankey", books, and "new puppy" (the stuffed dog my dad gave him for his birthday).  

The Happy Traveler with Puppy on left and New Puppy on right

In addition to celebrating birthdays, we headed to Savannah for the baptisms of two adorable babies, one of which The Hubs had been asked to be the Godfather.  

Praying for the babies on their special day

We ended up being the first ones there

Little Man fell asleep on the way to the reception

The main part of the meal following the baptisms was delayed, but Little Man was taken care of by his three doting cousins who supplied him with crackers and juice and never let either go empty.  His oldest cousin informed me that "Baby Matthan's plate looks low" (he had about 5 crackers) before darting off to resupply.  :)

We celebrated with The Hubs' family at his parents house...where "Baby Matthan" was in no short supply of food there either thanks to his cousins (and grandparents ;)  ).

Cousins Joey, Sophia, Ava, and Matthan

We celebrated both birthdays.  The Hubs was kind to share his celebration with Little Man so that his family wouldn't miss out on doting on Matthan for his birthday.  

The finished red velvet cake

Both boys received lovely gifts from everyone including a sand box which we magically stuffed into our car (just barely).  We have not set this up at home yet, because we are potty training... and I just think that is a bad idea (we will soon Grandma and Grandpa!).

I got caught taken pics of him :)

It was FINALLY beach day, and after breakfast I excitedly told Matthan "Ok buddy, let's get dressed and go to the beach!!!", to which he replied "NOOOOO!!!!" and ran away from me.  Two-year-olds.  He was very happy once we got to the beach.  We managed to take no pictures.  Sorry.

A sleepy boy after a long weekend

It was a wonderful week of birthdays! 

Finally home :)

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate!