Thursday, April 24, 2014


Easter is such a fun holiday in our neighborhood, and when the weather is nice like it was this year, it racks up there as possibly my favorite holiday of the year.

It's a holiday that isn't focused on gifts (at least in our family) and centers on community, church, and family.  Plus, a lot of sugar is shared during the day, so that's a point in the win column.

We went to church, which is always a big production both in the pomp and circumstance factor and in the logistics involved with a very big church.  I love the extra instruments that accompany the choir on Easter morning and maybe I'm just hormonal, but the music brought tears to my eyes.

We've made it a family tradition to follow up with brunch at the club.  Apparently, I've also made it a tradition to dress Palmer in the same clothes because I realized I dressed him in the same suit and shoes as last year.  Too bad the suit is on its last legs and a tad too short!

Same place, same suit, same shoes, different year:
And onto our annual neighborhood Easter parade.  Our 'hood doesn't earn the description "eclectic" the easy way.  None other than the great (and Jewish) Kinky Friedman grand-marshalled our Easter parade:
"So, Jesus and Kinky were just walking down the street and..."
Scott Taylor brought back his giant Peep float from last year and upped the ante with a coordinating Easter basket float:
Palmer would've gladly ridden in the basket if he hadn't received just the gift any 3-year-old needs for his birthday: a go-cart from Pops.  Yeah.  Mama is thrilled.  At least I convinced everyone a seat belt was important in the speed trap.
Happy Easter and let me go check on our emergency room health insurance coverage.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Egg Hunts

This year was a definite improvement in maturity from last year's egg hunts.  Last year, Palmer didn't fill his basket very full because he usually stopped and sat down to eat the first egg he found.

This year, we are seeing a competitive spirit in the little boy and his baskets are very, very full.  Just as fun: eating all of the candy out of the eggs in one sitting when mom and dad aren't looking.

We hunted eggs down at the lake with Elle.  The kids tackled the yard pretty fast.
 This is probably the last time we will come to the lake as a family of three.  Crazy.
The weather cooperated just in time for the hunt and then we enjoyed an afternoon downpour:
Back at home, we had a few friends over for an Easter-themed play date with a small hunt.
Our before picture was unsuccessful and the kids were big on pretending their baskets are "helmets":

Peeps + S'mores:
And today, we went out to our club's Easter egg hunt.
I spent most of the afternoon festival in a lawn chair trying to rest during this last pregnant month while Rick chased Palmer thru the bounce house and waited in a 45-minute face-painting line.

Palmer loves to be a tiger when given the opportunity and coupled the painting decision with his new-found love for the color green.  He was a green tiger:
This kid was super fast, took the hunt very seriously, and filled up his basket quite nicely:
Checking out his haul:
It's been so fun to see the joy of the season thru a child's eyes.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Baby Girl Update

I had a last-minute sonogram earlier this week due to some increased pain in my belly over the last few weeks.

Luckily, everything is just fine with our baby girl.  The verdict was that I am too active (what's new?) and need to rest coupled with the sonogram news that our baby is a BIG GIRL.

Although we are still on track for a scheduled May 22 c-section, baby girl is measuring two weeks ahead of schedule.  She is supposed to be about 34 weeks, but currently on target with 36 weeks.

She is already estimated to be 6 lbs, 4 ounces and has plenty of hair.  Hmmm.  This sounds familiar to Mr. Palmer's final sonogram.  Palmer measured 6 lbs, 12 ounces at 36 weeks.

She also has chunky cheeks and a long femur that might indicate she will be tall.

Meanwhile, I finished the nursery with this detail: I polished up a childhood silver cup of mine for a shelf.
One problem: when cleaned, I found this was actually Samantha's cup.  Wrong monogram.  Whoops.  Oh well, it went on a shelf with some of my personal items anyway.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Baby Girl Nursery Preview

Ahead of next month's expected arrival of our baby girl, I've been making final preparations to her nursery.

Because I'm so used to being a "boy mom" and honestly, a little overwhelmed by the frills and pastels that come with girls, I think the room is a good reflection of being a sentimental and special place without going too crazy.

Like Palmer's nursery, I tried to put together some touches that are special to her new family.

First, I am still in love with our first-born's nursery crib bedding and wasn't quite ready to part with it.  So, I repurposed Palmer's blue seersucker stripes and blue toile by adding a touch of hot pink to the mix.  I love the way it turned out.
This framed dress was my sister and my baptismal gown, made by my mom from the fabric of her wedding dress.  You may recall Palmer wearing the boy version of this outfit from the same wedding dress fabric.
In a mother-daughter spirit of the room, I wanted to be sure to include some photos of my own mother with her favorite daughter.
This room was one of our guest rooms before the nursery conversion and when Palmer was little I used the full-size bed in the middle of the night more often than I care to remember.  I decided I wasn't ready to part with the upstairs full-bed option and am keeping the bed in the nursery for now.  I tried to soften the room with sweet and simple white Battenburg lace for the bed.
Along the same family heritage theme, I blew up and framed a vintage postcard from Rick's mom to Rick's grandmother, Grace, when Gena was in her early 20s and traveling in Greece.
The count-down is on.  Baby girl is scheduled for a c-section on May 22.  We are getting excited to meet her.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Dumpster Diving

While in Austin a few weeks ago, we visited a friend of Rick's at his...errr...home.  Jeff Wilson knows Rick from undergrad and is an environmental science professor and the dean of Huston-Tillotson College.

A few months ago, he moved out of his typical comfortable American living accommodations and moved into a 33 square foot dumpster, housed on the Huston-Tillotson College.
That's right.

Jeff is living in a dumpster for a year, a space that is 1% of the average American home size.  His point is that we use and want too much in this country.  He and his students are spending the year researching sustainable ways to live in his smaller environment and tackling basic needs like clean water and waste reduction.

Palmer was very impressed with the "convertible roof" in the dumpster and promptly told Rick and I that he would also like to a dumpster in his backyard so he could live like Oscar the Grouch.
Professor Wilson's hope is to get a larger audience talking about the concept of living with less.  If you want to learn more, check out his website here or follow Professor Dumpster on Instagram.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Curious Palmer Turns Three

The stakes were high in Palmer's mind for his 3rd birthday party.  As I mentioned, he'd been planning the soiree for quite some time.
The political media firm where I used to work full-time has a very cool warehouse office with a movie theater that is just the place to throw a party.  Palmer had a Curious George Movie party to celebrate the occasion.
The kids started the party playing with riding toys and balloons.
Then, it was showtime.  I was so impressed that all of the kids sat through the 30-minute Curious George show.
Every movie needs popcorn.  Special thanks to Gram and Paw Paw who manned the popcorn machine.
Sweet baby Grayson made it to the party.
 Shannon and Carrie with baby Georgia.
I had planned to do a hot-dog bar for the party, but Palmer had other plans and requested a pizza dinner for his friends after the movie:
After the party, I asked Palmer about his favorite part.  Like his mama, he has a sweet tooth and said "the cake!".  I made the custom cake as requested by Palmer with "chocolate on the top, vanilla on the bottom, M&M and strawberries on top".
Happy Birthday, Palmer.  Now, we are done talking about your birthday.  The month of April is for MY BIRTHDAY.