Friday, February 25, 2011

Grandaddy and Gigi's Zoo Visit

This koala had a baby!  How precious.

Grandaddy is a BIG DEAL to Griffin these days.  He was signing "grandpa," saying "nah nah nah" (which apparently means "grandaddy" haha), and wanting him to hold him all day!  It is the sweetest thing.

Griffin's grandaddy took him on his very first carousel ride!  They chose the cheetah, and this particular carousel just so happened to be the fastest carousel any of us had ever seen!  They were just absolutely evidenced a couple pictures down from here haha!

Grandaddy explaining the ins and outs of carousel riding.
Hahahah!  This is such a great shot...blurry, but it definitely captures the moment :)  This carousel was not joking around.
Finally, Griffin just wrapped his arm around Bill to hold onto him!

The boys.

We stopped and had a little bite to eat, and Griffin got to have some fries with ketchup and some Icee with his Gigi.

So happy to be eating junk food.  You know, I really think the enjoyment of fat an sugar is just built into the human race.  This boy never ever eats sugary sweets or fatty things, but boy does he LOVE it when he can get his hands on food like that!  So funny.


This picture is a summary of the day...Griffin wanting to be with his Grandaddy!  Griffin just enjoyed him so much today!

My handsome husband.

Enjoying our beautiful zoo!

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

First Library Trip

I have been meaning to get this boy to the library for quite some time, but we finally made it!  I had never really seen the children's section until today, and WOW...I am impressed.  Griffin had a great time.  Seeing has how I've already written about our library experience on our "One Photo a Day" blog, here is a link if you care to read:  One Photo a Day.
How adorable are they?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Language Explosion!

Within the last month, Griffin has gone from very little language and communication abilities to regularly communicating his needs, desires, frustrations, and knowledge.  We have been signing (on and off) with him since he was 4 months old, and I was just about ready to throw in the towel, calling it a failed experiment, at around 12 months.  BUT, I am so, so glad that we stuck with it now because we are really reaping loads of benefits from all the effort over the past months.  It was as if, all of a sudden, signing "clicked" in his mind, and it has been non-stop from there.  Oliver and I really want to record what he is learned just in the past few weeks, and I'll do that by adding to the list I made for his 13 month blog post, putting newly learned items in bold.  As of today, our 13 month old little man knows how to say 38 words via either speaking or signing.  Just from what I can see that he recognizes, in addition to the words he can "say," he understands/recognizes 30 more words!  So, in what seems like overnight, he has developed a catalog of almost 70 words!!  Clearly, I am gushing...I am just so proud of him!  And I am so glad and thankful that others encouraged us to use sign language with Griffin.  Of course, I would highly recommend it to anyone else out there.  If you're interested in signing with your baby/toddler, we started off with a book called Baby Signing 123, which uses actual ASL.
An invaluable resource is the My Smart Hands website, which has a video dictionary of signs.  Basically, a mom videotaped herself and her children making each regularly used sign.  This is super helpful because pictures of the signs only go so far.  You kind of need to see them acted out in real life to understand what they're actually supposed to look like.  Also, we've recently ordered the Volume 1 DVD of Baby Signing Time, which gets RAVE reviews.  It's been highly recommended to me personally by other moms who have used it as well.
Anyway, I could go on and on and on about all of this [obviously...sorry!], but I thought I should probably get around to actually including the list I came on here to blog about hah.  Here it is!

A.  Words

  1. mama
  2. dada
  3. dog
  4. duck
  5. cat
  6. meow
  7. hi
  8. night-night (nie-nie)
  9. bye-bye
  10. bird
  11. juice 
  12. kitty-kitty-kitty (imitating me calling the cat)
B.  Signs
  1. hi
  2. bye
  3. light (also "light on" and "light off")
  4. fan
  5. more
  6. please
  7. good morning
  8. eat
  9. Jesus
  10. bath
  11. peeew! 
  12. bubbles
  13. dog (points to right forearm....I have NO CLUE where he got that, and it isn't the sign for dog in ASL, but...oh well!  Hahah)
  14. bird
  15. tree
  16. orange
  17. fish
  18. book
  19. baby
  20. cereal
  21. spoon
  22. diaper
  23. diaper change
  24. I love you
  25. spider
  26. song/music
  27. movie
  28. ball
  29. drink/cup
  30. papa
  31. hat
  32. play 
C.  Can Recognize/Point to/Locate (not including the things he can sign/say)
  1. toes
  2. mouth (his and mine/other people's)
  3. nose (mine/other people's)
  4. weeble wobble
  5. monkey
  6. cow
  7. horse
  8. pig
  9. zebra
  10. elephant
  11. cup
  12. nuk
  13. spoon
  14. frog blanket
  15. ear
  16. hair
  17. sock
  18. shoe
  19. hand 
D.  Recognizes & Will Do These Things When Asked
  1. splash
  2. jump
  3. kiss (with a "mmmm" sound included haha)
  4. blow
  5. clap
  6. smile
  7. no touch
  8. no bite
  9. high five
  10. How big is Griffin?  SO BIG!
  11. sit down on your bottom
  12. blow kisses
  13. hug 
  14. read

Growing Up

Pointing to the birds

He heard a dog and is trying to "woof" in this picture.
Drool. all. the time.  He's currently getting at least 4 teeth (maybe even 8) at once.  His two upper eye teeth have cut through this week, as well as his upper right 1 year molar.  Whew...Teething is rough.


Lately, Griffin has been quite the chatterbox.  He has a lot to say, and very little of it makes any sense...which I totally love and think is the cutest thing in the world.

"Seriously, mom?  That camera again?!"

He doesn't like to swing, but he likes to swing the swing :)

When Griffin wants to know what something is, he points to it and makes a questioning tone.  He is so very curious and is absorbing information like a sponge.  I am just so proud of him!

Making the sign for "bird" with his papa!  He has had a language explosion over the past few weeks, which I plan to blog about soon.

Love this.  Love them.  My husband and my son out in God's creation.  I am blessed.
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For the Birds

Griffin is really into birds. and trees. and pinecones. and dogs. and cats. Basically, the outdoor world is a wonderland for our little boy, and he is picking up signs for things left and right.



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Thursday, February 10, 2011


For the entirety of my married life, our bedroom has been anything but a retreat. Let's be honest, when you have company coming over, you make sure the areas of the house that your guests will actually need to see are cleaned up (living room, kitchen, bathroom), and the bedroom sort of falls at the bottom of the priority list. So, it's the last room to get cleaned, the room that gets to epic disaster status before it's given any real attention, the room that might take the longest to get organized and cleaned up because of all the laundry and folding and ugh. It would always, always bother me, but I'm not type-A enough for it to drive me to fix it for good...

But lately, I've been going through a season of conviction regarding the way I use my time, take care of/run my homemaking, and prioritize my life. I've really realized that I've lived a lot of life flying by the seat of my pants, never really having a plan or schedule for my day-to-day, ordinary tasks. My lack of intentionality has led to quite a bit of immaturity and dysfunction in my life. Very important things like self-discipline, the spiritual disciplines, prioritizing our marriage relationship, and many others seem to fall through the cracks if you aren't intentional about them, if you don't plan them into your day-to-day life until they become routine. So, I'm 26, a wife of 7 years, a mother to a 1 year old, and I am just now realizing the importance of simple, ordinary things like making my bed. Simple, ordinary things are the ingredients that make up the sum of one's life. They are important because they are the place where every individual on earth spends the majority of their time. If I am not disciplined in the ordinary things, how do I ever expect be disciplined in the out-of-the-ordinary things? Really, this is all about living my life for the glory of God, and I want to honor Him in the ways in which I treat the ordinary.

All this does tie back to my bedroom. Hah. All of the aforementioned has prompted me to do quite a bit of restructuring, streamlining, and even a bit of nesting. I feel as though the bedroom should be a place where Oliver and I can get away from the mess, the toys, the stresses of school and parenting, and just retreat. So, while I've been attempting to keep the bedroom tidy and stress-free, I've also been slowly giving it a makeover. I've added a dresser (to be painted mustard eventually), curtains, a plate wall, and different odds and ends.  I hope to repaint the walls off white or something much less alienesque at some point :)  So, without further ado, here is our little retreat!
I'm considering adding more plates, but I don't want it to be too busy.  What do you think?
[Note:  The wall hanging in the picture above is a print from a local artist in the city in China my sister-in-law, Anna, used to live!  We were so impressed with his work, and we just had to bring one home!  The drum in the corner in the photo below I lugged home for my then boyfriend, Oliver, after 3 months of being separated while I was in Africa.  I've never brought home a more ridiculously huge item from another country since. Good memories!]

I love lamp.  :)  I found her at a thrift store for $5, and it is so much more wonderful to read in bed now!  Overhead lights are just too harsh for relaxing nighttime reading.

[If you're looking for some hanging lanterns, get them at World Market after Christmas.  I think these lanterns are only put out at Christmas time, but they eventually go on a 75% off sale after Christmas every year.  These were $2.50!]  Btw, the giant candle holder on the dresser was our unity candle stand at our wedding!  I love that we decided to buy our own stand so we could keep it, and I love that it is in our home, a constant reminder of our unity and oneness.
[Note:  All plates were found either out thrifting or in my cupboard.  This really is one of the cheapest, easiest solutions for a bare wall in your house!  Instead of getting plate hangers ($2.50 A PIECE, believe it or not...), get some shoelace, Gorilla glue, and some old fabric remnants.  Glue the shoelace in a loop on the upper back of the plate, and glue a 2" circle/square of fabric on top of the bottom of the shoelace loop.  Hopefully that nonsense made some sense to you.  If you're interested, message me, and I'll post a picture of the back.  Gorilla glue takes a couple hours to dry (and 24 hours to fully cure), and I put plastic wrap on top of the glued items and a heavy book on top of that for the entire drying time.  This is SO EASY, super cheap, and really does hold well.  Then, just hang the plates on your wall using normal nails!]
Found this^ beat up, old...I don't even know what it is...thrifting at His House, along with this lovely little green glass bowl to throw earrings or whatever in:
My dear Oliver saw that my teeny little jewelry box from Bulgaria was always overflowing, so he picked up that^ pretty little number at World Market for me for Christmas!  What a thoughtful husband I have!
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