Sunday, December 28, 2008

What Fun!

It was a gorgeous day on the Outer Banks today. It started off a little cloudy and rainy but by mid-day, it was perfect. Nigel went surfing down South so Kingston and I spent the morning together. We went to the grocery store and took naps. I opened some windows in the house and when Kingston and I found ourselves in his room post diaper change, I realized that he was reaching up for the window and just gazing out at the trees. Immediately I knew what I had to do. Get that boy outside!! I put on my shoes, we got the wagon out of the van, and we went for a stroll up and down our road until Dad came home.

After Kingston had an afternoon nap, Nigel got the bikes out of the shed. I had put together Kingston's bike seat yesterday to get us prepared for the next sunny day. We put Kingston in the big box that the seat came in. (Yes, for some reason I seem to be obsessed with putting him in boxes!)
Of course he was cute as can be peaking out of the box! He found the handle slot and played peek-a-boo for a bit.
Then when Nigel snuck up on him he went in for the kill!

So back to today. . . We decided to take a ride over to Pappy's house, about a mile away. We were nervous that Kingston would freak over the helmet so we put him in the seat first, then strapped on the helmet. I think he was so interested in the seat that he forgot about the giant ball on his noggin! He didn't mind a bit. So off we went. I couldn't stop staring at the cute little fella! He was having so much fun.

The bike ride was a huge success. I can't wait for more beautiful days when we can ride all around town. We have lots of fun friends close by in our neighborhood that I can't wait to visit by bike. Look out neighbors, here we come!

Stellan Trouble

Prayer request again. Should I just change this to a prayer chain or something? I thought we were just supposed to be talking about fun and holiday-like stuff this time of year.

MckMama has posted (well, a friend has posted for her since she is at the hospital with Stellan) that sweet little baby Stellan is either having a really really bad cold or is having those heart issues feared before he was born. His heart rate is doing funny things and he is having trouble breathing. Go check her out and get updates.

Man, I'm lucky to have a healthy little boy who is unpacking all of the new camping gear from the box that I just put it all in last night. I'm lucky to have a little boy who woke up muliple times last night for no apparent reason and would totally freak out if I left the room. I am so lucky to have a little boy who went with me to a baby shower yesterday and was the oldest boy there (by 4 months) and showed off for all of the ladies. I'm lucky he was dancing, signing "dog" at the right time, waving, reaching for other people to hold him and stealing snacks from the other little boy and eating everything in sight. He is happy and healthy and I'm very lucky. Well, blessed, really.

Pray for Stellan. I can't imagine having to go through that.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Another Prayer Request

I feel like I'm always asking my readers (all 4 of you!) to pray for someone or something but I feel like blogging is a good way to reach at least a few people that I wouldn't normally "speak" to in other ways. My brother's best friend (and practically another member of the King family and the friend we stayed with in Wilmington this summer), Sam, just called to say that his dad is very sick with lung cancer. The doctors have given him a few months to live. Please pray for Sam and his family as they have some rough times ahead. I can't imagine what he is going through right now.

Damn cancer. Damn it.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It was Kingston's second Christmas! Well, it seemed like his first since he was 5 days old last Christmas and looked like this:

Of course he is still too young to really understand the concept, but our family sure had a fun time this year! I think the pictures will explain.

Kingston was tuckered out on Christmas Eve. He crawled over to Uncle Mark and told him he was ready for bed.

On Christmas morning I tried to get a cute shot of him as I went in to get him out of his crib. He was a bit camera shy but the bed head was too good to pass up!

We took a minute to do a self-portrait while we were waiting for Nigel to brush his teeth and get ready to see what Santa brought.

Santa really knows what a little boy likes! He brought this really cool wooden block full of fun (lots of assembly required the night before!). It was a big hit.

I think I could eat this little boy up. I mean, is this a cute kid or what?

I always do stockings for Nigel and Mark and generally the loot comes from the Dollar Tree. This year was no different. One year I found really nasty looking teeth and we all took a picture and emailed it to Mom as our family portrait. It was classic! This year I found "gold" chain necklaces and grills. They were a big hit. I knitted Uncle Mark a hat for Christmas so this was the total package. Yeah, yo! He is throwing up his gang sign, "West 3rd" (the main street we live off of).

Nigel is big pimpin, too, but for some reason his bed head is not as cute as Kingston's was!

After we enjoyed our time at home, we went over to Nana and Grandpa's for Christmas with the Kings. We got some good stuff! They always over do and this year was no different. Kingston got a bike helmet and seat so look for pictures of the Haynes family on bicycles some time soon! I didn't take any pictures over there since I was too busy enjoying my presents. Oops.
Nigel and Mark went surfing this afternoon while Kingston and I spent time with Nana, Granpa and Great Grandmama. When we got home, Kingston had dinner and then a cookie made by Pappy's (Nigel's dad) friend, Brandi. Thanks Ms. Brandi! Kingston loved his cookies!

After a very busy day, Kingston fell right asleep. Now I have the task of figuring out where to put all of the new stuff we got today!
We had a very Merry Christmas and we hope you did, too!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What If. . .

What if I blog Thank You Notes instead of actually writing and sending them? Of course I will email/call those who I am Kingston is thanking and tell them to check my super exciting, very entertaining blog instead of their mailbox to receive their thanks. I may need to send actual notes to the Great Grandparents for obvious reasons, but for everyone else, here goes. . .

Kingston says-

**Nana and Grandpa-Thank you so much for the Sandra Boynton book and the LIFETIME HUNTING AND FISHING (fresh and saltwater) LICENSE! Amazing. I look forward slaying the fish with you-you know, when I get old enough to actually fish. I also really love the 2 new shirts. I think I am going to look pretty fly in them. I love you!

**Pappy and Ms. Brandi-Thanks for the really cool handmade skateboard. It is really nice. Hopefully the wheels won't be bald by the time I get old enough to put on my helmet and lots of pads and go skating. (Hear that, Dad? Don't wear out my new skateboard!) Thanks, too, for the new book, Ms. Brandi. My favorite books 1. rhyme and 2. have things to feel. "That's Not My Monkey" fits both of those requirements. I love it. Mom also really loves the gift certificate for a massage. She really needs one after carrying me around all day! Thanks for coming to my party and celebrating my birthday with me. I love you!

**JB, Mrs. Elaine and Curren-Thank you so much for the toy gas pump! I have been playing with it a lot. I am really happy that it pumps ethanol gas made from corn. That's my favorite part. Well, that and the shape sorting compartment. I'm so glad you could come to my party. It was nice to have my friends playing with me on my big day!

**Will, Mrs. Sherry and Helen-Thanks a bunch for my fridge magnets. How did you know that I am always taking Mom's magnets off of the fridge, even if they are holding lots of papers up? I have discovered that they stick to the dish washer, too, and they even make a great clacking sound when I repeatedly drop them on the tile floor. I love matching the animals' front half with their back half, and sometimes it's even fun to cross-breed them and make things like cowpigs and horsesheep. Thanks for coming and playing with me on my first birthday. Let's play again soon!

**Mrs. Brandy, Emma and Sydney-Thank you for the fun puzzles and phonics DVD. I can't wait to play with them and watch the DVD in the van on the player that Nana and Granpa are getting me for Christmas I asked Santa for. I am going to be so super smart after playing with my educational toys! Thanks!

**Mr. Pete and Mrs. Brooke-I love my new truck! Even though it hit me in the face last night, I still love to push it around the room with the handle. I can press the sound button all by myself and I have already learned to pant and bark like the dog! I hope you will come over and play with it with me some time soon. Thanks so much!

**Hardys-Thanks for the really cool tractor. I like to watch the pig poke his head up out of the haystack when it rolls. I also really love the song it plays. It makes me dance! Really. I get my groove on to that little tune! Thanks for the fun!

**Great Grandma Rea-Thanks for the sweet note and the silver dollar. I will keep it tucked away in my piggy bank and try not to spend it! You are so sweet!

**Great Godfather Doug-Thanks for the cool chair. I love to sit in it. Now you just need to make one for Mom and one for Dad. Hint. Hint-hint.

**Mrs. Julie and Mr. Bill-I love my new book about where I came from. Mom read it to me tonight before I fell asleep. For some reason she got a little choked up. All it said was that God made me for Mom and Dad and that they love me. Don't know why that would make her get teary but it did. Oh, well. I love the book anyway. You two are so good to me. Thanks!

**Mrs. Shell and Riley-Thanks for the rad new shirt. I can't wait for Mom to finally do laundry and wash it so that I can rock it soon! I think I look pretty tough in things with skulls on them, so thank you!

OK. I'm sure there are some I have forgotten. I'm sorry if we haven't thanked you. I will try to get to it ASAP! We love you all and thank you for your friendship. Thanks, too, to those who emailed, messaged, and/or sent cards. You are too kind.

Whew! Thanks for reading all of that! Eventually I will stop posting about the birthday. But it is a pretty big deal . . . :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Without Further Ado. . .

We had a great day with the Birthday Boy! Kingston spent last night at Nana and Grandpa's while Nigel and I went to a Christmas party and got things ready for the big party this morning. Here are the details:

  • The birthday bash started at 11:30

  • The invitations and cake were decorated like Sandra Boynton animals, Kingston's favorites! I had fun making and decorating the cake. I cracked myself up with my likenesses!

  • The guest list: Nana and Grandpa, Pappy and Ms. Brandi, Grandma, Uncle Mark, The Breiholz and the Thorps. Mr. Pete stopped by and dropped off a gift on his way to work.

  • The menu: burgers and dogs, onion rings, deviled eggs, baked beans. Nothing green. Oops.

We had tons of fun playing with the kids and eating lots of food. We waited until the guests left to open the presents (as those of you with really young kids can understand!). Our first kid's birthday party was a success, I think. We kept it pretty easy and low key this year and that worked out great.

Kingston got a bunch of really fun toys! His little corner of the living room is beginning to spread out into the middle of the floor. Not sure how we are going to contain the toy chaos. I guess we will just step around stuff for the next 4 years or so! I'm really glad we decided to keep our toy purchases to a minimum. He got plenty of plastic, don't you worry!

The truck Pete gave him already overturned and whacked him in the face. The red spot on his cheek had gone away before he went to bed. No blood, no foul.

Pappy made him a skateboard. Made him a skateboard. Yes, he made the skateboard. Nigel plans to ride it tomorrow. We will put it aside until Kingston is old enough to ride it. It is a real treasure. It seems we have lots of talented friends/family. Pappy made the skateboard, Great-Godfather Doug made the adirondack chair, and special family friend, Crawford, made him a rocking horse (Grandpa is staining/painting it. I'll post pictures of that treasure when it is complete. Gorgeous.).

Some party guests took pictures and I will share them when I get them. I never picked up the camera during the whole party!

I can't believe Kingston is 1 year old. About this time last year we were still at the hospital, trying to figure out what in the heck to do with our sweet little bundle of joy! See this precious little nugget? Can you believe it?

Thanks to all of you who have played a special role in our lives this year. It has been the most amazing year of our lives. We are so very blessed to have such great support from our friends and family. My son is lucky to have so many people looking after him.

And to Kingston, who will one day read these posts I have written about him, I love you more than you could ever imagine. I know I won't be smart or cool until you are at least 25, I do love you and I'm proud of you each and every day. Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Happy Birthday!

Happy 1st Birthday, Kingston!

Much more later. Cake. Presents. Friends. Pictures.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lunch, Free Stuff and A Fun Surprise

Since so many people have commented and wondered what Kingston eats for lunch, I thought I would finally share that bit of information with everyone. Just kidding. Not only do I mostly get 0-2 comments on most of my posts (thanks, Mom!), but NO ONE has ever asked me what Kingston eats for lunch.

I got Kingston's lunch plate ready for him while he was napping on Monday so that it was ready for him when he got up. It looked photogenic, so I took a quick shot of it. On Monday, Kingston had leftover ham from the Hardy Party, cheddar cheese, grapes, and Veggie Booty. Looks like a lot of food! Even Nigel was amazed at the sheer quantity of food on Kingston's plate.

This is what things looked like after Kingston was "all done!" (Insert baby sign language sign here!)

He ate a lot! So there you have it. For all of you who were wondering. All none of you. Great.


Remember when I said I was signing up for all sorts of free stuff online? Yeah. Well, I had forgotten that I had registered to get a free Fruit Roll-up. When is the last time you ate colored sugar smeared on a piece of plastic Fruit Roll-ups? Their latest ploy to get you to buy the silly, sugary snack is to print stuff on them. Like a happy birthday wish, personalized to your kid. So when I signed up for the free sample, they asked what my kid's name is. I thought we would get a personalized sample.

Unless someone changed Kingston's name to Todd (and then I would have to change my whole blog set-up), they just send out a generic version and hope that you have a kid named Todd.

Don't worry. I ate the Fruit Roll-up before Kingston could even notice that it had some other kid's name on it.

I know I have mentioned several times before how much I love Brooke Mayo and her photography. Well, I love her even more now! Kingston and I went to the mailbox this afternoon (thanks for Kingston's birthday card, Missy!) and found a cute little package addressed to me. I LOVE getting mail, and especially packages.
Here is what was inside:

Man, that Brooke is one special girl. Kingston and I are now the proud owners of a bunch of play date scheduling cards AND a cute case to store them in. The cards have one of the pictures Brooke took on the front with my phone number and email on the back with a space to write in play date information. What a cute idea! Thank you so much Brooke! You're the best!
Tomorrow begins our 3 days of chaos. Lots of stuff going on. I'll try to keep you updated as things go along!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Holiday Tradition That We Actually Do

The King/Haynes family has a few Christmas traditions that we do every year. For the most part, we are pretty flexible with "celebrating" various holidays, and don't always do the same thing every year. Christmas is a little different, however. There are 3 main things that we do.
1. On Christmas Eve, Nigel, Kingston and I eat dinner at my mom and dad's house along with my Grandmama King and Mark.

2. After having our own little Christmas morning at our own house with all of its inhabitants, we go over to Mom and Dad's house for Christmas morning and brunch.

3. We have dinner at the Hardy's house one night before Christmas. (But not always on the same night each year. It depends on schedules and plans.)

Last year I was obscenely pregnant and couldn't really enjoy the yummy food for fear I would explode. (Kingston was born 4 days later!) This year, Kingston got to enjoy the tradition for the very first time. You see, the Hardy family has been friends of ours since before there were 3 girls added to their family! Before Mr. and Mrs. Hardy had kids, Mark and I would stay with them if Mom and Dad were out of town or busy. I babysat for their 3 girls as they came along. Ever since I can remember we have been having a Christmas dinner at their house. It is something I look forward to every year. There is always good food, good drinks and lots of good conversation (not to mention good presents!).

Did I mention that Mrs. Hardy was one of my favorite teachers, too? 4th Grade.

This year was no exception. Sunday night we went to the Hardy's house for dinner. The youngest Hardy was the only one of the girls to come this year. The other 2 were busy with college life/jobs/boyfriends. I missed seeing them and hope to see them at some point during their Christmas break. The youngest Hardy practiced for her Girl Scout babysitting badge (kidding) by playing with and looking after Kingston! They both had a great time, I think. Mrs. Hardy even broke out an old toy that her girls used to play with. Kingston loved it!

Kingston and his newest buddy, the Youngest Hardy

It was fun to watch Kingston open his early birthday presents and his Christmas presents. It was a small taste of what's to come in the next week. I'm already getting a little nervous about the amount of "stuff" we are going to acquire when it is all said and done. Where, oh, where will we put it all?!

Another Hardy Christmas dinner goes in the books. Thank you, Hardys for all you always do for us. You are very special people and I want you to know that you make our Top 3 Actual Christmas Traditions List! That is a very exclusive list to be a part of. Obviously.

I Won!

I've started reading a few money saving blogs, you know, to try to hang on to at least a small portion of my small income, and I love it when these said blogs give stuff away either by contest or just link you to where you sign up to get free stuff. I have signed up for really cool things like a sample of Glad Zip Lock bags or a package of instant mashed potatoes (I've already gotten those!) or other such important stuff. My favorite, though, is when the bloggers give away "real" prizes and you win them when a random number is picked and if your post was that number, then you're the big winner! I figured that if I keep entering, I would eventually win SOMETHING.

Well, I did. I won! From the fun site, "Deal"icious Mom, I won an Avon Beauty Palatte. It is sort of laughable since I rarely wear make-up, but on the rare occasion that I try to get all dolled up, it will be nice to have some real make-up to try! And I love to win stuff, regardless of what it actually is! Especially when you don't even have to do anything but comment on a blog to win it! "Deal"icious Mom is now giving away a Bluetooth headset from Staples. Don't worry, I've already entered that one, too! I'm a sucker. I know.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wanna Cookie? I Didn't Make Them.

Kingston and I were looking for something to do today. Just as I had decided that I would make a grocery list and we would head to the grocery store, Michelle called and invited us over to bake cookies with her and Riley. Perfect! I packed up my cookie gear and we drove the 1/4 mile to Michelle and Kingston's little buddy, Riley's house.

It took Kingston a bit to warm up, as it always seems to do. Once he became detached from my leg he played a bit by himself. That is, until Riley walked over and yanked his paci out of his mouth. Crying ensued. Riley is a much more physical kid than Kingston, even though he is only about 2 weeks older. He has been walking for months, says lots of words and has very developed motor skills. Kingston looks like a lame wimp compared to him!!! (Just kidding. I know all babies develop at different rates.) Every time Riley would go over to him and try to play with the same toy, Kingston would cry and re-attach himself to my leg. All of this made cookie-making pretty difficult! They were cute to watch sometimes, but Michelle and I were constantly putting out baby fires!

We decided on a sugar cookie recipe that we planned to ice and/or roll in colored sugar. We nearly forgot a few key ingredients and only remembered them after looking over the recipe one last time! Let's just say we were a bit distracted. The first batch that went in the oven was a disaster. The bottoms were burnt within minutes! The second batch was better and looked better. Our icing turned out great but we weren't very careful while icing our ugly cookies and they ended up dripping and uneven.

I would normally post a picture of my baking success. Let's just say these were not even worth the effort of taking and uploading the pictures. They were hideous!! I am eating one right now as I type, so that tells you that they are at least semi-edible, but that's about it. I have to make some more cookies for a cookie exchange on Friday and I hope to do MUCH better. Anyone have a fool-proof, good kids cookie exchange recipe?

Oh, and as soon as Riley went down for his nap, Kingston abandoned my leg and went straight for the toys. Apparently he likes to play alone. Or else Riley's physicality intimidates him! We gotta toughen this kid up. Mama ain't raisin' no wuss!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

He's Climbing Again

Kingston enjoys going over to his little toy corner and playing with his chair and table. He really prefers to stand on his chair more than sit on it. Whatever works and keeps him occupied is fine with me these days. Should I let him climb on the chair? Probably not. But is he really cute doing it? You bet.
How can you deny a kid who is having this much fun?

Oh, boy are we in trouble when he starts to really enjoy climbing on much higher, more dangerous things.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Big Thanks!

What do you think about my new blog layout? Pretty sweet, huh?

BIG thanks, Eden. You are the greatest!

And big thanks to Brandi and Angie at for hosting a great trunk show tonight. If you see me out and about any time after Christmas day, you might just see me in a new article of clothing that is clearly pretty darn hip! (The day after Christmas because my mom actually paid for the items and is giving them to me for Christmas. And pretty darn hip because, well, that's all they sell!) Now I just have to not buy groceries for the next 2 weeks and I can buy the jeans that I loved to complete the outfit!

Man, I love to shop! Thanks, girls!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm Sorry I Judged

OK. Ever been in a parking lot or a store and seen a mom shove her kid into a cart or grouchily tell them not to touch anything all the while ignoring the sweet little innocent cute smiles the kid is throwing out? And have you ever thought "Oh, poor little kid. That mom is being so mean to that innocent little child." Yeah. I've done it.

And I've been that mom, too. Today. At Food Lion. And I will now say, do not judge that mom. You don't know what has been happening up until that moment that you see them. Maybe the cute little kid REFUSED TO TAKE AN AFTERNOON NAP FOR THE 3RD DAY IN A ROW! Maybe the kid was really sleepy and was all but asleep in the crib before becoming fully awake and SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER FOR NO APPARENT REASON! And maybe that mom had to get something for dinner and was planning to go to the grocery store WHILE THE BABY WAS NAPPING BUT THE NAP NEVER HAPPENED! Maybe. Just maybe. You never know.

Whew. I'm glad I got that off my chest.
On a very serious note, I need a few prayer, please. Remember my friend Kimmi and her little girl, Luna, who we hung out with in Wilmington this summer? Well, Kimmi's brother and his wife just had a baby, Josiah, and they have discovered that the baby has Cystic Fibrosis. They are expected to learn the severity of the disease in the next few hours. Kimmi texted me the news and promised to be in touch with updates as she learns them.

I feel very familiar with CF after following Nathan's blog as he taught us all so much about the disease. I sent the link to his blog to Kimmi and hope that she shares it with her brother. Oh, the power of blogs!! I hope this little baby receives the prayers she deserves through this blog post.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Promised

I promised pictures from the lighting of the tree and the Christmas parade and I refuse to disappoint. Here they are! And as a pleasant surprise, there are a few of Kingston putting some ornaments on our own little Christmas tree that we picked out today. It is up and decorated and is super cute.

Friday night it was REALLY cold so we had to bundle up when we went to the tree lighting. So much so that I couldn't break out the camera but once to grab this quick shot (or at least that's my excuse!). Here is Kingston as we walked to meet up with Nana and Grandpa. Kingston had on 20 layers of clothing as well as a blanket over his lap. He was fine except for hating his hat. The boy HATES a hat.

Saturday we had a fun day with Nana and Grandpa. We watched the parade, tried again to get our picture taken with Santa which was disastrous a really good time, and played on the boat. To prove that we went to the parade, cruise on over to Eden's blog and look for us in the background of a few of her pictures. Grandpa had on an orange hat, Nana was wearing a purple-ish coat and was holding Kingston and I had on a red fleece. You can see us in the background of some of the horse pictures that Eden took. We were directly across the street from her and she didn't even know it! I only managed to break out the camera when we got on the boat.

When we got home we were excited to find an early birthday present for Kingston on our deck. Nigel's Godfather, Doug, made Kingston an Adirondack chair! It is the perfect size and Kingston loves it! He can even get in and out of it all by himself. Thanks, Great Godfather Doug! What a treasure.

Kingston wanted to take the ornaments off of our tree more than he wanted to put them on. Tomorrow it will be interesting to see how many times I have to tear him away from the tree. I can foresee some temper tantrums coming in our near future!

This week we have play dates, play groups, shopping adventures and a few other things that I can't remember off the top of my head. Should be fun!