(Hydrangeas in my master bath)
This weekend is the Penny Mac Hydrangea Festival over in Douglasville, and I can't wait!
Saturday is my birthday (my 30th birthday), and the festival is the perfect way that I want to spend it. :o) Penny McHenry was a lover of hydrangeas and very well known among the gardening clubs around town. The "Penny Mac" hydrangea is named so in honor. Isn't she cute?
There will be garden tours, plants and antiques for sale, a flower show, and lectures (including one by Tara Dillard).
The very first time I opened a hole in this little patch of earth I call mine was for a hydrangea. Now I have about 15 plants, and I am in the process of making lots and lots of new babies. :o)
(Hydrangeas in Jack's room)
(Hydrangeas in the family room)
(The little "vases" I'm using are actually apothecary jars that I found for less than a dollar each at Goodwill. Their narrow necks make it hard to get anything out of them, but they make perfect vases!)
Now, for the Amelia Kate update.....
I am very happy to report she is well. Bless y'all for your sweet prayers and well-wishes. Thank you! She is back to her normal little self. Earlier this morning I caught her standing on the table and jumping to the couch. Wellness confirmed. Orneriness also, many times over, confirmed.
Poor Jack, he is going to learn all her wicked ways. I don't know what I'm going to do when he gets too big to contain in an empty bathtub while I get some cleaning done.
Later this afternoon, actually while I was cleaning the bathroom/taking pictures of Jack in his playpen/bathtub combo, I came out to find Miss AK on the telephone. It turns out she was talking to Aunt Kiki and had been on there for about 10 minutes. She told Kiki all about Jack's dirty business today in detail, all about the spider outside the window, and when Kiki wanted to know where I was, Amelia told her I couldn't come to the phone because:
"Momma has work to do."
So I guess I better get off the computer before she catches me blogging and cracks the whip.
The confederate jasmine has just about bloomed herself out for the year. Even though the blooms are small, I think they are so incredibly pretty, complex, and interesting...and that's without even talking about the gorgeous scent.
How fun would it be to try something like these (found at Southern Living)...
On a completely unrelated note, Amelia Kate has been one sick little girl the past few days. She has consistently run a fever of about 102 degrees. :o( Sick babies are the worst!! Every single time I was sick, without fail, Daddy would come sit by my bed, hold my hand, and tell me that he wished he could take it instead of me. I fully understand what he meant. But I'll tell you what....since she has slowed down for a couple days, I've had the chance to give her some serious loving, for which she is usually otherwise too busy. And while she has been sleeping, I've been granted some sweet one-on-one time with Jack Jack. He's all about giving me sugar these days...which is more like an open-mouthed headbutt....and there is always hair-pulling involved. Let's just say we've got lots of work to do before Jack starts to hunt a wife. ;o)
Now, about that momma of Jack and Amelia's...
She tries awful hard to be a good listener to them...but sometimes she tunes them out.
She tries to keep her eyes on them all the time ... but sometimes she just gets preoccupied.
She wants to encourage them to do the things they like ... but sometimes she struggles when it's not what she wants.
Law, the woman tries to have patience, but sometimes she just goes certifiably crazy.
And she's always dang silly.
But one thing is sure.... she is undeniably and uncontrollably...
Momma loves you, sweet babies. :o)
So today I entered the world of brining. And I'm so happy I did! I have wanted to brine chicken for several years, but I am not exactly sure why I haven't till now. I brined bone-in breasts (that I had cut in half) and glazed them with a maple-bourbon glaze. They were so delicious, and I'm not even going to tell you how much I ate of it. Or that I ate everything else on my plate. And dessert, too.
And I'm not sure if you can tell from the above photo of seemingly white clouds, but I also made homemade whipped cream tonight. And I just promise right here and now I am never going back to anything else. If you have not done this before, you have to go do so immediately. (Whip 1 cup heavy cream till it stiffens, add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/3 cup granulated sugar, continue till sugar is dissolved.) But don't dare come over here and blame me if you find yourself eating it all in one sitting. Because I will only encourage you to enjoy it.
Even better than my brined chicken and whipped cream is the beautiful wave petunia that Jack and Amelia got me for Mother's Day! It is right outside my kitchen window....and it's so gigantic that it's already smashing blooms into the glass panes. I love it!
Today I had the brilliant idea to haul the babies to one of the better parks in the area....just like every other mother in Cobb County. I forgot about spring breakers. The place was beyond packed. I even had to wait in line, then circle the parking lot a few times before finding a spot. And parking my behemoth vehicle is no easy charge.
Bubbles have been high on the popularity list around here these days. We have been through lots and lots. The little ones we have here are some that Chewmomma found at Walgreen's. They are the best! They blow tons and tons of bubbles, and as a bonus, they are scented. :o) They look like little coke bottles, making them the perfect size to keep in the car, diaper bag, stroller, or beside my bed (when a distraction is necessary so I can get in "just five more minutes"). (Kidding on the last one.) I am going to go back for more...can't remember the name. I had considered getting the little wedding kind, just for convenience, but I'm completely sold on these ones.
The other (cheap baby entertainment) thing I'm loving these days is a little plastic sprayer that came in one of those little toiletry sets from Wal-Mart. I fill it up with water when we are going out in the heat and spritz the babies to cool them off (and myself when I'm walking on the trail). It entertains Jack and Amelia for a good 15 minutes straight, then I periodically re-introduce it every so often in rotation with all the other forms of distraction/entertainment I've concocted so I can keep them in the stroller while I walk. HAHA!
I think he was just contemplating which plot of land to graze upon first...
Amelia met up with "The Girls" at the park. The Barbies, as you can see.
I never dreamed she would love Barbies so early! Kelly Jo and I used to play with our Barbies for at least 3 hours every Sunday after church. And I did that till ... well, I won't tell you how old I was when I put them away finally. It cracks me up how she wants to take them everywhere and play with them.
Um, one problem...y'all, they are always nekkid. I even overheard a little pack of boys at the park making fun of the little girl with the nekkid Barbie doll. Hehe! ;o) Honey, she just loves 'em so...
After spending almost 3 hours at the park, I gladly gave up my parking spot to one of the 10 lined-up mommas waiting on a spot.
Then, we went to the mall to hoof it around for a while. I actually was (and still am) on the hunt for a bathing suit. If y'all had any idea how much I dread bathing suit shopping...oh, it's torture! It doesn't help now that I have a toddler with a loud, carrying voice that feels compelled to provide commentary whenever we get inside the dressing room.
Jack E. Toos logged about a million steps.
And between Jack Jack and all the mannequins, Amelia logged about a million hugs.
Like I've mentioned before, I think she loves the mannequins because they are just giant Barbies. Only some of them don't have heads, and we always have to stop and discuss the why-fors and where-tos of the headless models.
Like this case, for example.... "Momma, Momma! Where their heads go?"
When it came time to head home for dinner, these babies were just plum tuckered out.
Couldn't hardly keep their little eyes open....
Please!! Not these babies!!!
They managed to muster up enough energy to sing "The Wheels on the Bus Go 'Round and 'Round" over and over and over for the entire 20-minute drive home.
(For the record, I was not driving at these moments.)
All about Amelia Kate these days...
She is two years and nine months old now. She weighs 27 pounds, her head is taller than my kitchen countertops, and she wears a 4T and size 9 shoes.
She has 20 teeth. She loves to brush them with her toothbrushes and "push-paste." She unfortunately also loves to bite with them. (We are working on that nasty habit, for which Jack Jack is most grateful.)
She will eat anything. I mean...the child will eat anything and everything. However, she does have favorites: raw carrots, straw-babies (strawberries), blueberries, any and all meat, noo-laws (noodles), water-welon (watermelon), cheery snows (Cheerios), sweet tea, and muk (milk). Oh, and don't let me forget shrimp. Loooves shrimp. In fact, she told everyone at Christmastime that Santa was bringing her shrimp for Christmas. :o)
She had her first "sick" doctor appointment just before Christmas. For a mild case of swimmer's ear. Bless her heart, she just loves bathtime.
She loves for us to read books to her. That one took a while, now she begs for it. :o)
She can write the letters A, X, M, W, and O. And she can count items up to 30.
She is the perfect mix of girl and tomboy. She adores her Barbies and always wants to wear my jewelry and wants her nails polished (even though she is not allowed yet). Yet, she is always more than willing to play with the boy toys and dig her hands in the mud. And she can (and unfortunately does) take down boys twice her size.
She is all potty trained up! (Except nighttime...which she is about 75% there.)
She has an iron will. I'm talking, hardcore IRON will. But she also has a momma that's ready! ;o)
Even though she is sometimes strong-willed and oftentimes wild enough to shoot at, she is always my sweet girl. She is a great big sister (little mother) to Jack. Despite the occasional "love" bites, she is very protective of him.
He is 9 months old now and weighs 22 pounds. He is wearing a size 2T in his clothes and a size 4 on his feet and a size 5 diaper on his hind end. He has actually lost 2 pounds since he has been so mobile lately.
He stood up in his crib before 6 months, which had me fearful that he would walk early. Thankfully, for me, he is still just holding onto things and walking around. He will stand up without holding onto anything. But now free steps yet. Phewww.
He has liked everything he has tried in the food department so far. I hope he is as good an eater as Amelia!
He is still breastfeeding strong! :o)
He is MINE! Our little family totally plays out the dynamic of "Daddy's girl and Momma's boy." Amelia is all about her daddy. But, honey, Jack Jack is momma's. :o) I do promise I won't raise a wussy momma's boy. I fully intend to raise this son to be an loving and thoughtful and faithful gentleman for his future wife!
Both of my babies will probably never know how much I love them. They will probably never know how much I pray for them.
In an attempt to impress my children, I did a cartwheel in the playroom, and my foot landed on a Fisher-Price chatter phone on the way down. On the looooong way down.
At least it was better than the bunny incident. I had told Amelia Kate her crawl tube was a bunny hole, and I tied a strip of white tulle around my head like a headband and told her they were bunny ears. After she fed me a few real carrots, I slipped into the "bunny hole"...and got majorly stuck. Oh, it was real cute...imagine it, folks...my rump sticking out of one end, and Amelia looking through the other end at what I'm sure looked more like an 80s Madonna than a bunny. I laughed till I cried. Then I cried because I was stuck. Then I laughed again. Then I un-wedged myself...thankfully before Mike came home from work.
I already know I am totally going to be the momma that embarrasses her kids. I get it honest, y'all. Momma used to climb up in the trees in our front yard and wait for us to get off the school bus!
I reckon I have a few more years before they start getting embarrassed...hehehe....
We are down here f-f-f-freezing and dreamin' of those good ol' summer dayz.....when we can throw on some bathing suits and cute flip flops...
...and I can pull out Jack Jack's sweet plaid shorts...
...and Amelia Kate's seersucker sundresses...
...and ooohhh, y'all, we will be warrrrrmmmm, and we will run, run, run in the hot, hot sun....
We are planning an afternoon excursion to Fabric and Fringe today. We will most assuredly be singing "Heat Wave" all the way there and back. I'll be Martha. The babies can back me up as the Vandellas.