Monday, September 29, 2008

Not Me Monday!

My Charming Kids is one of the blogs that I read daily. Who am I kidding! I read it mulitple times daily! The blog author is really good at posting regularly, often a few times a day. I love that about a blogger-it's one of the things I look for in a blogger!
MCK has instituted "Not Me!" Monday, where she and other blog readers sarcastically post the things that they definitely DIDN'T do at some point in the past week or few days. Since I am a big fan of sarcasm, I'm going to play along! Check out her blog and check out my Not Me's.
I DID NOT ignore Kingston's crying for at least 10 minutes while I was reading in the new book I just started. "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer has got me hooked! So, on that same thread, I DO NOT read teeny-bopper books.
I DID NOT go to bed at 9:15 last night. Nope. I'm way cooler than that!
I DID NOT pick up the Cheerios and Puffs off of the floor under Kingston's high chair and put them back on the table in front of him while I was trying to work this morning. I wasn't trying to 1. clean the floor and 2. keep him occupied. Not Me!
I DID NOT wait until today to buy Nigel a birthday present when today is actually his birthday. Oh, and I still haven't actually purchased it, I have just decided what I am going to buy him.
I DID NOT decide to buy him a pillow for his birthday. Why would I do that? A pillow is a lame birthday present.
I could go on and on! But since it is my first "Not Me!" Monday, I will stop there. Hope you enjoyed! Please feel free to comment with your own Not Me's. I love comments!
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Happy Birthday, Nigel! We love you!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gently Used

More new (to Kingston) toys! The neighbors were having a yard sale. And they happen to have 2 small boys. Uh, oh!


Look what we came home with. . .




Obviously it was a big hit! So much so that there was a bit of fussing when the train ride was over. Come on, Dad! What do you mean your back is hurting? Keep pushing!


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We just got home from our Portrait Party with Brooke Mayo! It was so much fun and I can't wait to see all of the participants' pictures! Lots of cute kids and good looking families! Some sand, water, bubble, chairs, wagons, lipstick. . . I'll share when I can! Thanks to all of my friends who played along and special thanks to Brooke who met me at the beach at 6:30 a.m. and frolicked with my guests until 10:30!!! AND she even had to photograph Grandpa Winston, who hates 1. sand and the beach, 2. public displays of affection, and 3. to have his picture taken. Good thing he is very fond of Kingston cause I think that is what sealed the deal! Can't wait to see pictures of my family.


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The surf is up today so we plan to see Dad sporadically, if at all, until the sun goes down! We hope he catches lots of good waves and gets a really good tube that will hold him over for a day or 2! You know the saying, "when Mama's happy, everybody's happy"? Well, in our household, when Daddy gets good waves, everybody's happy! So we like it when Dad surfs. In fact, we encourage it. Go surf, Dad! Surf and be happy!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Windy Day in the Life

Yesterday was windy. REALLY windy. And today it is even windier and it is pouring down rain. But we don't let that get us down! After doing a little work yesterday morning, the Haynes family piled into the new minivan and rode out to Avalon Pier to take a gander at the ocean. Crazy.

Then we stopped by the grocery store on the way home to pick up a few things for dinner. I ran inside while Nigel and Kingston stayed put so as not to have to deal with the crazy wind. I was gone for about 8 minutes and when I returned to the car and looked in the driver's seat, Nigel was gone. And Kingston wasn't in his car seat, either. Hmmmm. I looked in the backseat and there sat the 2 boys, playing. We sat in the minivan for about 5 more minutes watching Kingston crawl around the floor and play with things. Oh, good times in the mini.

When we got home we had playtime with the new toys. Kingston can pull himself up on the little table! He would pull himself up and then put his face in the bowl!

Ahh, that was good!

We had to brave the elements this morning for Kingston's 9 month Well Baby Checkup. He passed with flying colors! Dr. Halloran said he is looking good, weighing 18 lb. 14 oz., 29.5 inches tall. She likes his development, just wants to see him going from laying to sitting by himself. We were so proud of his behavior in the Dr.'s office! He even waved bye-bye to the lady at the front desk when we left!

Fun time. Fun times. Now he is up from a nap and ready to play! Duty calls!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Who Told Him He Could Do That?

Who told Kingston he could eat saltine crackers on the dark brown couch?

Oh, wait. That was me. Doing whatever it took to make him stop crawling around under my feet half-crying. I needed to fold the laundry and I needed him to sit next to me quietly. So mission accomplished. The only problem was that after that was done, I needed to vacuum the couch.

Perhaps he was doing all of that half-crying because he was sleepy. And what gave me that idea?

Man, my parenting skills were on point today.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wagons, Swings and Hand-Me-Downs

What a fun family Sunday!


Kingston and I finally put together the Radio Flyer wagon that Grandpa gave him for Christmas. As you can see, Kingston was a big help.


Once it was deemed structurally sound, we went to Farmer2Fork and grabbed some lunch on the go. We headed to the Hayman Street park and had a picnic in the grass!! Or, more accuratly, on the fuzzy blanket that Grandma from our local Thai restaurant, The Thai Room (go figure), gave us for a baby present. (Don't ask. We aren't really sure, either!)


After stuffing our faces with yummy empanadas and a chicken burrito, we loaded Kingston up and Nigel took him for a ride in his wagon! What fun!


There was a pit stop at the swing and the rock climing wall,


and then it was back in the wagon. This time for a faster ride since he was on his stomach with no fear of toppling out the back!


Tonight, while Nigel and I ate dinner, Kingston sat in his new chair toy with his new table toy in front of him while he watched a Baby Einstein movie. Can you say, "overstimulated?"! The new toys were hand-me-downs from Curren Breiholz and Kingston loves them. Thanks, Elaine! We love recycled toys.


The whole day was a big hit. Good food, good wagon, good toys, good family time. Happy Sunday!

9 Months Old!

Yesterday, Kingston turned 9 months old. I can't believe it. He has now officially been on the outside longer than he was on the inside! Nine months has gone by quicker than I ever imagined. Do you think time really has sped up over the years, or does your perception of time change as you get older? Remember when a year seemed like a REALLY, REALLY long time? Now a year is over in a flash. Crazy.



To celebrate Kingston's birthday, I went out to dinner with some girlfriends! We went to Ocean Boulevard and had a great meal and some yummy martinis. Good food, good drinks and great friends. Since I didn't get to go out of town and be with my college girlfriends, I thought it was only fair that I splurge a little and go out with my local friends, one of which has been a good friend since before pre-school. We had lots of good topics of conversation, including husbands who say things like, "Babe, your arms are starting to look like your mother's. You know a little cottage-cheesy," to who does what on their Facebook page, to how cool mini vans really are. We also discussed how some people put every last picture that is on their camera in their online photo albums that they share. It is a pet peeve of mine. I mean, do you have to share the blurry, off-centered ones? And what about the ones turned sideways? Kodak Gallery makes it really easy to rotate the pics and "fix" them if need be. And, of course, Brandy and I agreed that we only send the pictures where everyone is looking good, especially ourselves. Why would I send a picture where my rolls are hanging over my jeans? No one wants to see that! And no one wants to see a bunch of unhappy people, either.


Having said that, I will share a few pictures of Kingston from his 9 month birthday. He was sad one minute (probably won't make my next Kodak Gallery!)


and then he was happy again the next minute.




Happy 9 month birthday, Boo Boo! I promise to only send out and post the really good pictures of you.
And speaking of pictures, I am hosting a Picture Party for Brooke Mayo! I am TOTALLY excited about this. Be in touch if you want more information on that. It's a great chance to have Brooke take pictures of your kids, pets, you and your family and you don't have to pay a sitting fee. Let me know if you want to participate. It is going to be great, I just know it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Photo Shoot of Sorts


It was a lovely day today, if not a little windy. Kingston, Nigel and I found a few minutes to sit in the backyard in the lovely grass that Nigel has grown and manicured for us this summer. The wind wasn't getting us too bad since the house was blocking it.



Pretty cute, huh? Yeah, I thought so, too. I couldn't resist taking a bunch of pictures. I was pretty happy with a lot of them, even having taken them with my little point and shoot camera.

And I'd like to give a special shout out to my girls who are in Charleston this weekend celebrating Kerry's bachelorette weekend. I'm so sorry I couldn't be there but I will be seeing you all in a few weeks at the wedding!!!! Have a great time and I love you all. Try not to miss me too much and make sure you tell only good, funny stories about me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Crisis Averted -or- Never Say Never

I couldn't decide what to title my post so I thought I would put both up there and let you, the reader, decide which you want to be the title.


Crisis averted because I got a new vehicle and I don't have to worry about my broken car anymore.


Never say never because I am sure at some point in my life I said I would never drive a burgundy vehicle and I would never drive a mini van.


Feast your eyes on my burgundy mini van.


It is an '08 Chevrolet Uplander. It was a program car, so it has some miles on it, but it was cheap and it drives great and is still under warranty. It is perhaps one of the most unattractive mini vans on the market, but it is mine all mine, so I love it!


Don't judge me by my burgundy mini van. At least I carry really cute passengers and it won't cost me an arm and a leg every month.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shop Til You Drop

I'm not going to, but you should! Tonight I went to my friends' trunk show for their web site MidgettGray.com. It was really cool. They have tons of really cute stuff. It is all a lot more expensive than I tend to spend on clothes, but then again, a $5.00 T-shirt is more than I can afford at the moment! I am so proud of all the work these 2 girls have put into their site and it seems as if they are getting quite busy these days. They have had 2 recent orders from Utah, for which Brandi figures the Mormons must have good taste and like to shop!

It was cool to see the items I have drooled over live and in person. Some of my favorites were the Steffie Top, the Elephant Minidress, and my all-time favorite, the Drape Cardigan. I didn't even try anything on, for fear that I would put something on my credit card. I had amazing self control and only left with a tiny buzz from the 2 glasses of champagne.

There are SO many things I need to spend my money on before I buy fun new expensive clothes. For example, my car, which is STILL being fixed with no completion date in sight. I can't even talk about that at the moment.

If I had an extra dollar I would play the lottery. Oh, the things I would buy from MidgettGray.com then! And I would just let that guy keep my car for parts and I would buy a brand new something or other.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We Finally Showered!

For Lee, we had a wedding shower. It was the most fun! Lee's sister and future sister-in-law, Kate and Ashley, respectively, were my co-hosts. We prepared lots of good food and did some decorating, had some cute favors and fun prizes for games. Not to toot our own horn or anything, but toot, toot! It was a good shower!


Kate had an amazing recipe for Tomato Pie that was SO good. Let me know if anyone is interested in the recipe. It was really tastey. Imagine homemade pie crust (Shhhhh, Kate. They will never know the truth!), fresh tomatoes, basil, green onions, and a cheesey, savory topping, all baked to perfection. Yum!


Before:


After:


Here's a look at some of the other things we put together. We had Buffalo chicken dip, B.L.T. dip, homemade pimiento cheese, chicken salad, ham biscuits, fruit salad, veggies and dip, and deviled eggs, to name a few. We made coconut cupcakes that turned out beautifully. I was so happy with the results. Our spread looked and tasted great, if I do say so myself!


We played a few games (good ones, Ashley!) and I won one of them! I won a set of notecards with stamps and a calendar. I'm so excited! Lee opened lots of presents and got lots of really great stuff. I am totally jealous of all of the new treasures she got. I would love a fresh new set of organic towels and gift cards to Target and money and kitchen supplies and other fun stuff! Lucky girl, that Lee!


It was a most enjoyable party. I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did. Kingston had a good time, too. Here he is with the guest of honor. He loves Lee! Too bad he wasn't looking at the camera. He was finding something outside quite interesting.

Congrats, Lee! Can't wait for the big day in November! I'm so glad we got to celebrate with you.

Playtime!

We had a busy day today. We shopped for a birthday present, went to Bear Drugs, High Cotton (twice), co-hosted a wedding shower (I'll do a separate post for that next), went to Rundown Cafe for dinner, napped (one and a half times), all at some point in the day, but not necessarily in that order. Somehow, however, we managed to find some time to explore and play.


Kingston discovered a cabinet in the kitchen that he can call his very own. As small as our kitchen is, he managed to take over the entire floor with his silliness. I stepped back and let him have at it. It was so fun to watch him play.


This afternoon Kingston somehow got one of his toys under a chair in the living room. He scooted under the front rung and got his head and shoulders under the chair. I thought he was only trying to get to the cord that was behind the chair. Since we are trying to keep Kingston from grabbing and yanking cords, I went over to coax him away from it. I then realized that he couldn't get out. He couldn't put his head down low enough to scoot out backwards! I had to go rescue him and lift up the chair while pushing his head down so that he could get out!!! Then, while I was chatting on the phone I noticed that he seemed to be chewing on something. I didn't think he had been anywhere near anything he could have put in his mouth but I did the finger swipe through the mouth anyway. What did I find? A piece of Able's dog food! Gross! I knew it would happen. It happened today. He must have found it amidst the dust under the chair.


So we had a good busy day today. At least we found time to play.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Holding Pattern and a Shower

Still no car. It seems to be in the shop getting worked on. Should be at least Monday before it could even potentially be ready. Sure. OK. I'll just keep driving Will's truck until someone gives me something else to drive. The guy from Green Gifford called today to suggest I look into either Nissan Altimas or Rogues, both of which I think are pretty cool, though I prefer the Rogue. With such amount down, and getting such amount for your trade we can lease you a car for such amount a month for such amount of months. Blah, blah, blah. Bottom line-I still have no car to drive that belongs to me. Hopefully we will get something resolved by the end of next week!

I spent the day today at Lee's parents' house with her sister getting things ready for her wedding shower that I am co-hosting tomorrow. I am really looking forward to the shower and I hope Lee has fun and gets lots of good stuff. We baked and cooked and concocted today and after working on a few things in the morning, I think we will have a successful shower. I'll post more about the shower later. Now if I could only remember to take my camera with me. . .

Having a shower and waiting on my ride. Sounds so simple. Oh, if only. . .

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cars and Insurance

They suck but you gotta have them. Can't afford to have them but you can't afford not to, either.

I am currently carless. Well, not exactly since my boss, Will, has so graciously let me borrow his truck until things get worked out. My car was totally devoid of all coolant this morning when I went out to get in it to start my car shopping journey. I filled it up and headed to High Cotton to make a quick pit stop before really getting on the road. About a mile from the restaurant, the menacing "STOP" light started flashing again. I was overheating. AGAIN! How was I supposed to drive to a dealership if I couldn't even get a few miles down the road? Ugh.

Will offered me his truck and found a guy to come take another look at my car. The guy, of course, couldn't see what needed fixing because it is hidden under the motor. So Will got someone to tow it to the garage to be fixed or patched or diagnosed or something. I also have a call in to a reputable car salesman who knows my story and is willing to help as much as he can.

I have been stressing over my car for the past week and it is really taking a toll on every aspect of my life. I am usually the positive one thinking we will find a way to get through anything. But for some reason, this whole episode has gotten me pretty down and I've had to adjust my attitude and start hoping for the best. Temporarily, I have left things to Will to figure out since he just seemed to jump right in and start making things happen. He is relieving my stress and I like that.

You've heard of the Tooth Fairy, right? Well, if anyone comes across a Car Fairy, please let me know. I'm desperate. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If Your Mechanic Says to Get Rid of It. . .

You're in trouble. My mechanic told me that if he was me, he'd get rid of my car. And soon. I have a leaking radiator hose. Doesn't sound so bad until you find out that you pretty much have to take the whole engine out to get to the little hose that needs to be replaced. And Leon informed me that he had no idea how long it would take, and since he charges by the hour, he would guess it would be at least a few hundred dollars.

And don't forget the new boot that my front driver side wheel needs. Or maybe a new axel, depending on what damage has already been done by the missing boot. That will probably run a few hundred dollars.

Oh, and the water pump is loose and rattling. That will probably be a few hundred dollars. And I've known about a small oil leak for some time now.

Leon said he would fix as much or as little as I wanted him to, but it would probably get expensive. I confessed that if things got too pricy, I was planning on trading it in. He confessed that if the car belonged to him, he wouldn't put another dollar into it and he would trade it. And fast. And never get another Volkswagen ever again.

Don't get me wrong-I love(d) my car. I love the fact that it is a station wagon. I love the fact that it looks good and is comfortable. It is a safe car and gets pretty good gas mileage. The biggest problem (besides the now-obvious) is that every little fix is twice as difficult and twice as expensive as any other car on the planet. In an attempt to streamline the look, VW has hidden, covered and tucked away all things that need to be repaired. Do windshield wipers really need to cost $40 and be special ordered? Does a new battery really need to cost $175? Obsurd.

So I'm trading her in. Just as soon as I figure out what I want, what I can afford, and when I can find the time to go car shopping. Has anyone tried to car shop with an 8 month old? Can't imagine it will be fun. Will it be better than getting stranded on the side of the road somewhere with a car that has blown up? I'll let you know.

Magical Mechanism

Remember this post? About the vacuum? Well, I'm still a fan. Maybe not so much to clean the entire floor, as that takes forever, but definitely to clean up piles of sand, spilled powdered formula (yuck!) and crumbs from the highchair that Able hasn't snarfed up yet.


I now have a new use for it. It is a magical mechanism that can hypnotize my son and lead him anywhere I want him to go. Kingston will stop whatever he is doing to chase the Dirt Devil. Since he is super mobile these days, he has started heading to places unknown and unacceptable. All we have to do is grab the vacuum and lead him away. The best diversion EVER! AND, we are cleaning in the process. How great!


Proof:


I think I hear Dirt Devil calling. They want Kingston to model for them. Cookies and vacuums? This kid is going to be busy!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oh Great.

On my way home from work today I suddenly noticed that my air conditioner had cut out. I was a little bummed but expected to check it out when we got home. Suddenly a light starts to flash on my dash and the word "STOP" started flashing quite menacingly! I, the rule follower that I am, pulled right over and stopped my car. I sat for a few seconds then started it again and it did the same thing. I turned it off and sat for about 2 minutes. I started it again and began to head home again. As I pulled in the driveway the lights started screaming at me again. I checked my fluids and noticed that the coolant was lower than the minimum line. A little more inspection showed that my car is leaking coolant. Great.

Grandpa was in the neighborhood and he stopped by for a quick visit. He and Mark checked things out under the car and couldn't tell where the leak was coming from but also noticed some sludge around the tires. According to Grandpa, the leak could be a hose (hopefully) or a busted radiator (major bummer). The sludge around the tire is a busted something or other having to do with the breaks or wheels or something. Both issues could be minor, but they also could be really expensive. Not good timing. Not at all.

Why is it that when you can barely even pay attention, you have to pay for silly unexpected major expenses? I'm not a happy camper. And to top it all off, my mechanic can't even take my car until Wednesday.

When it rains, it pours. At least I have fairly new $40 windshield wipers. (Gotta love a Volkswagen. Every part is twice as expensive. Great).

It's Official

Don't leave the room for more than 20 seconds. Move the dog bowl to a higher elevation. Put the vacuum behind a closed door. Make sure the sliding glass door is closed. Shut the door to the doggy kennel.

Kingston is crawling.

Not your traditional, hands and knees crawl, but don't let that fool you. This kid can army crawl across the room in 2.4 seconds flat! He doesn't seem to lift his upper body off the floor (uh oh, hope he doesn't have Mom's upper body strength-or lack thereof!) but his bum gets off the ground and his little toes push with all they have! I have been so used to going in the kitchen and turning around to see him sitting in the middle of the living room floor playing. Now I turn around and he is no longer in my line of sight. The split second thought is "who took my baby?" and then I smile and go searching for him. His favorite spots so far are the sliding glass door, the dog bowl and Able's pen. He is also obsessed with the vacuum and followed Nigel around the house yesterday as he did some cleaning! He even managed to push down the button that releases the handle and it promptly went crashing to the ground. Luckily he was sitting on the side of the vacuum and not behind it. Maybe we need to invest in a toy vacuum that isn't quite so dangerous!

So now we have the proverbial double edged sword. He is much entertained for longer periods of time by himself. However, we cannot take an eye off of him for a second or who knows where he will end up? So look out! If we come to visit, be ready to be on your toes! It's official. Kingston is crawling.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I'm Dying For a Nilla Wafer!

We always joke that Kingston should be a model for various things. Well, if Nabisco got a hold of these pics, they would for sure want him to be the spokes baby for Nilla Wafers. Check him out! Posing and everything. Makes me want a cookie!

Tropical Storm, Saturday Morning Photo Shoot


It's a little windy outside, thanks to Tropical Storm Hanna. It was really windy and rainy at about 9:00 this morning. Kingston army-crawled over to the sliding glass door to take a peek at the weather. After a delicious breakfast of multi grain cereal and applesauce, Kingston and I had an impromptu photo shoot. With a subject like that, I can't help but take some cute pictures! Just imagine what we could do if we had a "real" camera! (p.s. How cute does he look in those big boy jam-jams?!)






So far, Hanna isn't scaring us. I think we are pretty much in the clear. We are just hoping things move out fast enough for Nigel to make it into Norfolk at about 9:00 tonight. We are ready for Dad to come home!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Proud Mama!

Check out the props both Nigel and Kingston got in the current issue of Eastern Surf Magazine, one of our favorite mags. You have to scroll down almost to the bottom to see the little blurb written about Nigel and Kingston. Look at the very bottom, 3rd picture over to see Nigel in action.

I'm so proud! My boys!

Bird is the Word!

I have been trying to think of a good reason to make one of these cute little birds that I found on this blog. I was going to make a bunch for favors for Lee's shower that is coming up but I have promptly run out of time and energy for that (sorry, Lee!).



After talking to Lee today about fun wedding things, we got on the topic of cake toppers. She mentioned that she had seen some cute little birds on the web site Etsy but that they were pretty expensive for little decorations to put in icing! It immediately made me think of the cute little birdies I had been dreaming about for weeks.



I broke out the sewing machine tonight and on my first try, I came up with this:



I think he is pretty cute! Remember, it is my first attempt and I haven't used a sewing machine since I made really cute aprons for Christmas gifts 2 years ago. With a little practice and some much cuter fabric, I'll be able to perfect my craft! I think these little birdies would sit quite nice on the top of a cake!



If some of those Etsy people can get $50.00 for their silly little birds. . .

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thanks, Ron, Wendi and Davie!

Nigel's boss and friend, Ron, and his family gave Kingston some bath toys as a baby present when he was born. They gave him a tug boat with a bunch of "passengers" that do various fun things like squirt, click, pour and sprinkle! Apparently, this was a favorite of Ron and Wendi's daughter, Davie (potential future Mrs. Haynes!). Now that Kingston is really loving the big boy bathtub, he has found a new appreciation for tub toys. The boat is a big hit!

So for Dad, all way out there in California, and Mr. Ron, who is out there with him, here is Kingston enjoying his toys. Splish splash, guys! Oh, and Mr. Ron, do you think you can use Kingston in the next Gorilla ad?


video