Tag Archives: 21st century baby

Summer Shenanigans

14 Jul

We’ve been having some fun this summer! It’s all Walter, all the time… as it should be!

IMG_20160618_181933Walter’s first movie theatre experience: Finding Dory. He liked it so much he says he wants to go see it every day. He’s not one for moderation yet.

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Learning to throw water balloons with daddy in our new backyard. I love that you can’t see any other houses in this photo.

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Lunch dates with mommy and the chips of course. Don’t be fooled, they tasted stale.

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Doing art projects like learning to work with “paper ma-clay”.

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Enjoying the new exhibits at the Atlanta History Center, especially the architectural model of Atlanta. He wants to build an exact replica at home.

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July 4th sparklers! Our neighbors were shooting rockets off all night. Definitely going to join them next year.

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Getting our swimming legs at a neighborhood pool with friends!

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Having a great time with cousins visiting from Miami! I had to bribe him with M&Ms to get him to sit down for the picture.

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This picture makes me laugh because he had a blast at the Botanical Gardens, especially going through the scary jungles with Nini.

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We have a three year old!

23 Aug

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I can’t believe he’s three already. I’m still waiting for it to become real that he actually grew inside of me – as a result of two data points meeting in the right environment, – came out, and now walks and talks.

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I never had a birthday at school before, being a summer baby. Walter gets the best of both worlds: summer birthday and a special day at school! So his Nini made yellow cupcakes for him to share with his friends. Of course, he didn’t want one. He just wanted to go home once he saw Nini show up at school!

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Well, at least we sent the rest of the kids home with a sugar rush.

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Then this weekend we threw a water party!

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There is nothing better than seeing him have a really good time. He told me when it was over, “But I just want the party to stay!”

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Warms my heart to see this. I love all of Walt’s little friends and their curiosity and joy for life.

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While we were cleaning up our party, our new neighbors, who are apparently very well-known in the Ormewood Park community, invited us to a housewarming party they were throwing later in the day. We decided to stop by after nap time to introduce ourselves. Well, it was a true back yard affair! I got the green monster in my eyes a little bit after seeing their yard. Two decks, an amazing view, and enough green space to have the biggest water slide I’ve seen outside a water park. Walter convinced his daddy to take him up there two times. I’m glad I didn’t have to fight the crowd to go with him cause we saw one kid making his way back up the hill with a bloody nose! We ended up staying longer than we had anticipated (surprise surprise) because we found several friends there, including two of Walt’s preschool teachers from last year. I love when the world is small like that.

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We had such a good time celebrating this kid!

Jolly July

22 Jul

Because of the stair refinishing at our house, we’ve been at my in-laws for a week. It is kind of like a vacation because they have a very nice house with a pool. We’ve never stayed this long with them before, as we live in the same city, so it was a treat to be with family for an extended period of time. And the house was full! Walt’s great-granny and cousin were also with us for most of the time.

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Amazing woman.

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They love their Mimi!

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Lego peace treaty negotiations.

All of a sudden, everyone left. Granny and the cousin went back home, and Walt’s grandparents went up to their annual airshow in Oshkosh (Mimi is a pilot). But we haven’t been too sad. Last night Dave got home early so we all went swimming in the spa, which brought back my early memories of learning to swim in my parents’ spa in California when I was three. The night before, as the sun was setting and a summer storm was brewing in the distance, we played catch with the dog amid fireflies. And luckily they get their yard sprayed so there were no mosquitoes to contend with. Both were beautiful moments in time. And the boys have been playing the piano every night, which I love. I am becoming more aware that Walter’s first memories could happen any day now, and I want them to be good!

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He told us he wanted to sing the song by himself. I love his independence.

Connections

1 Jul

Yesterday was a very interesting day. I met two strangers with whom I had brief conversations, both of which made me feel, at the very least, entertained.

I had to drop my car off at the Nissan dealership to fix the airbag that may or may not kill everyone in the car if I got in to a wreck. Since Walter was at my mom’s, I decided to Uber my way to her house to save her the hassle of picking me up. Enter: Henry.

Henry is a full-time limo driver and Ubers on the side. He usually carries around rich people in his limos, so we talked about the difference between Uber riders and limo riders (well, besides the amount of cash they might have in their pockets). He said rich people are usually more reserved and keep to themselves. We speculated if that might be because they are always thinking about money (haha). But he said the ones who open up talk about the same type of stuff we all go through, but say, for instance, if rich dude’s sprinkler system breaks, he calls his lawn guy. If Henry’s hose breaks, he goes to Lowe’s to get another one.

He said, “We all have the same issues, we just talk about them differently.”

After thinking that that was a pretty profound thing to say, I then said that I didn’t think I would like to be mega rich, because you would never know after that if people only liked you for your money. I said a million dollars would probably do very nicely. We spent the rest of the car ride talking about what we would do with a million dollars. Henry told me he would like to go back to South Korea, a very cool place with really good food. And then he recommended a place on Buford Highway to patron. The restaurant with a red roof right next to QuikTrip off of 285.

I left the car feeling refreshed, to be honest.

I spent the rest of the morning hanging out with my son and mom. This included some castle building and a walk to the playground and a small bridge nearby on a nature trail. Luckily a friend of mine texted me that the Cyclorama was closing its doors that day. I had been putting off and putting off going, even though I had wanted to visit it for a while. I thought I had til the fall before they were closing the doors for their big move to the Atlanta History Center, and I even had a date scheduled with one of my friends to go visit next week. After picking up my car, Walt and I hurried there and went to the second to last showing in their current location.

There was a long line to wait in before we could buy our tickets. The air conditioning was not sufficient to keep the place cool. Because I had never been, when we walked in and saw the big train “Texas” and no giant painting, I asked out loud “Where is the painting?” This gentleman with long sideburns was standing nearby, and he said, “Oh you haven’t been? You can’t just walk up and look at it. It’s a show. You watch a video first, and then they take you to another room for the viewing.”

He then said, “But there are cool things to look at upstairs while you wait. Is your son a Christian?”

Hm, I thought. “I don’t know. He’s only 2,” I said.

“Well, is he a Gentile?” he asked.

“Um, what?” I said.

“Is he a Gentile?” he persisted.

“Oh, um, I don’t know,” I said.

“Well, do you see that cannon right there? You know how they used a cross and thorns and other things to kill Jesus? That’s the same type of cannon they used in the Civil War to kill General Hood. It ripped right through his chest and before he knew it he woke up in heaven,” he told me. Then he said some other things about how he brought his crazy to Atlanta from Macon, and how I couldn’t have possibly known I would run into him today and talk about this kind of stuff. Dave thinks he might have been a KKK recruiter.

Before I said goodbye to him, I said, “Well I don’t really like to label him right now. He’s too little.” And he said, “Yeah, he’s not a little lazy white boy, is he?” before he left and I didn’t see him again for the rest of our visit there. It was one of those encounters in life that I really appreciate because it just goes to show you how many different types of people there are in the world. And some of those people make me feel really lucky that I am who I am, and not them.

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Supposedly we’re not General Johnston’s kin, but maybe he’s some distant cousin we don’t know about.

The Cyclorama visit was interesting. While I hate seeing it leave our neighborhood — especially since the painting shows the 1865 dirt road version of Moreland — the Atlanta History Center is one of my favorite places in Atlanta. They do a beautiful job displaying exhibits and bringing history to life. It seems like the Grant Park Cyclorama gave up after the ’70s. The best part of the video they have you sit through is James Earl Jones’s commanding narration. The upstairs museum was hard to read, the infographics were confusing, and the pictures were falling down. The carpet covering the auditorium seating at the painting was ridiculous. I think they keep the lights dim so you can’t see what you’re actually sitting on.

But, the painting is pretty badass. It’s the largest oil painting in the world. And I’ve certainly never seen a 360° painting before that you experience from the inside. All in all I was glad to bring Walt there to see it before it moved. Now I only hope we put something else awesome in that building.

An extra pair of hands

4 May

For the past 2 1/2 years, Walter has actively taken away the use of at least one of my hands on a regular basis. A mom pretty much learns how to live life with one functioning hand (and I usually use my dominant one to hold him).

The other day was the first time [of hopefully many] where he has provided me with an extra set of hands. It was glorious.

Since Christmas, we’ve gotten in to Magnatiles. One of my pet peeves of Magnatiles, however, as an OCD/math-oriented person, is that if you take all your long triangle pieces and put them together on the floor, they will not form a circle. What?? How can that be?

But then I figured it out. No matter how many triangles you use, if you make it an upright cone, all the bottoms of the triangles will rest on the floor. I easily put together 3, 4, and 5 pieces. I tried seven and eight, and then, of course, 9. However, the cone was so wide that when I attempted to add the last triangle, it would collapse to the ground and I’d have to start over. I did this several times, even propping it up with support, but it turns out I needed something more dynamic. Like another pair of hands.

Enter Walter!

Usually he is more destructive than helpful when I try to play Magnatiles or Legos with him. But today, of all glorious days, he did what I asked, pushed in when I instructed, and we got the cone standing!

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He was pretty pleased about it too!

Living in a staged house isn’t quite like Arrested Development, but close.

22 Jan

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The house is certainly the prettiest it’s ever looked, but all my books are packed away and most of my crafts placed inconveniently in the back of the guest room closet. There are barely any personal photos to find around the house and the garage is about to burst with “extra” furniture.

I left my sewing machine out but I either have to use my knee or one of my hands to press the foot pedal since it’s on an end table (that used to be Dave’s craft table when he was Walt’s age). I wanted to make some place mats for us to use at the kitchen table (to tie the room together!), and I must say that my little ones were quite helpful.

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Sensing that I needed to accomplish something…

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…Petra pre-warmed my fabric. While there was a sewing needle in it.

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And Walt tried out the pedal for himself.

But yeah, the place mats did turn out great, and I got some chuckles in the process!

Magna-tile Love

16 Jan

One of the things I love best about my fellow church members is how family-friendly they are. College friends and other friends you’ve had your whole life can have an expectation of you that you are childless (this might even be a subconscious thing). Sometimes even family can fall into this category. But there is a general air of “we love children” around our church friends, and it’s really a relief. Because a toddler is in-your-face-oh-yeah-it’s-family-time.

We went to brunch last weekend at a church friend’s house and there were people we knew and people we were meeting for the first time. Walt was the oldest kid, but there were babies and pregnant women and even childless comic book friends who loved playing with Walter. After Walt was done devouring all the honeydew he could find, he took his Magna-tiles over to the other room and forced some very nice young gentlemen to play with him. One guy literally became Walt’s play table.

The really hysterical thing about Magna-tiles though is that once someone starts playing with them, they don’t ever want to stop. It doesn’t matter how old you are. They were all looking up how to buy them and how much they cost; one of our other friends was busy putting Magna-tiles on their baby registry!

Walt loves these and Legos so much that I swear I see the Georgia Tech engineer in him already!

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Things I swore I’d do before I became a parent

4 Sep

It’s fun to look back and see if I actually accomplished my goals.

1. Never use a pacifier

— Kinda! We never relied on pacifiers. But we started using them in the car when Walt was an infant because he screamed bloody murder every second I was driving. Nothing helped… except a pacifier. We didn’t need it after he moved out of his infant car seat at six months.

2. Breastfeed exclusively

— Yes! This one was very difficult. There were times I hated breastfeeding, especially at the beginning and intermittently til Walt was 10 months old. Then it clicked. Maybe because I stopped pumping (a great device if you are out of the house but it stressed me out so much) or because at 10 months they’re starting to eat, so you don’t have to rely 100% on boob. Either way, we’re still nursing now at 2 years+

3. Not have the whole house be one giant playroom

— Nope! There is at least one toy (more like mountains of toys) in every room of the house. Except maybe the bathrooms. Oh, sweet sanctuaries.

4. Immediately put the baby on a sleep/feed schedule so he’ll sleep through the night

–Nope! Ha, ha, am I right?

5. Use cloth diapers

— Kinda! Oh boy did I try. Try and try and try. About six months ago we gave up cause Walt always seemed to have a diaper rash (and I mean always). Now we don’t get frequent rashes, and when he randomly gets them we can use the type of cream that gets rid of them (we had all sorts of natural, cloth friendly creams that did nothing). Oh well. Maybe it’ll work on future babies. I still believe in cloth diapering, and we still use cloth wipes.

6. Natural childbirth

— Yes! 100% drug free, quick birth. I was lucky.

7. Homeschool

— Don’t know yet! I’ve always said I’d put Walt in preschool for early socialization, which we started this month going two days a week and he loves it. I plan on starting around 4 or 5. A lot of people I know homeschool their children, so it doesn’t seem quite as contrary as it once did.

This kid likes to have fun

17 May

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Left-handed sidewalk chalker.

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Working from home.

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Coloring.

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Building forts, then destroying them.

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Hiding in Daddy’s clothes.

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Over-watering Nini’s plants

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Legos!

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Gardening at Mimi’s

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“mama, my cat sat on my homework”

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Being silly.

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A brief moment of a lazy Saturday morning.

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Feeding Daddy blueberries.

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Bathtub mayhem!

Play Dates

5 May

I see lots of other moms on social media whose children have “best friends”. They’re always so good about getting together with other moms and taking cute pictures of their kids having fun. With cousins living out of town and most of my friends sans kids, it’s been hard to get Walter some friends.

But luckily several months ago, one of our church friends decided to become a stay at home mom, and I was thrilled — play dates aren’t just for kids, you know. Her daughter, M, is a week older than Walt. It’s so fun seeing them interact together. We used to go to story time at the library before it was canceled, and now we attend a Music Class every week. Maybe swim lessons during the summer too? We have also started doing other things like going to the zoo and just playing at home.

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Walt was more interested in the trees and the mulch than the exotic animals.

Whenever M sees Walt, she points at him and says “Wal Wal”.

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Classic. He has no idea what to do with a girl’s attention.

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Aw, see? BFFs. Lots of good times ahead.