Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Boot Scootin'

Cue the country music.


Chaps is ready.


We got these boots for the Chapster in Nashville.
When I was little, I had pink boots, too - and they were my favorite.
I insisted on wearing them with everything...
C thought they looked stunning with her pajama top.


So when I saw them in a window display, I knew I would have to go inside and snatch them up.
I'm glad I did!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

What we did instead!

If you read my last post, you know that we didn't make it to DC.

We called one of our favorite fams and sort-of-invited ourselves to their River house. Luckily, they were up for it!

We had a great time - relaxin', cookin' (way too much food) and watching the babies play.

Chappell even went on her first boat ride! C's daddy got a little excited and bought her a red life jacket.

*My camera died, so I don't have pictures from the boat ride yet... no worries, I'll hack those from Allison later.

Without further ado (btw, I researched ado v. adieu, and it is "ado"), here is the weekend in pictures:


Good times.

Friday, May 21, 2010

super bum-bummed

It's been one heck of a week.

My mom and dad kept the Chapmeister last weekend while we were in Nashville for Reed's cousin's graduation. Nashville was a lot of fun - we ate and ate and ate some more, then drank some cool and rando (to me at least) beers at Flying Saucer. They have more than 200 beers on tap and it's in the old baggage claim of Nashville's Union Station. Perty neat.

We got back late Sunday afternoon and I decided to pick up the baby (err - toddler) on Monday. I just couldn't get back in the car and drive another three hours.
Sooooo... the next morning, I drove to Brewton to pick up my child.
{We've decided, by the way, that Brewton will be our new official meeting spot when transferring Chaps from Montgomery to Pensacola. It's only an hour and a half from here and about an hour from Pensacola. It might seem like a random spot... but it's not for us.
My mom's family comes from B-town, so it's kind of fun to drive around town, check things out and grab lunch...
even though it's kind of depressing that we can't just pop in my grandmother's house anymore.
Time keeps on a-tickin', I guess.
A few years later, and now someone else lives in that house (painted it yellow?) and I'm married with a toddler. Weird.

Sorry for getting off track... it's what I do...

Anyways, (Back to Monday morning, btw)
My mom told me over the phone that Chappell had been acting kind of tired, and not quite like herself... but when I picked her up, I became a little concerned. She was lethargic, fussier than normal-- and wouldn't eat. This all happened pretty quickly.
{By the way, did I mention that I left all of Chappell's things at our house in Montgomery?? Oh yes. I did. My mom had to buy Chappell all new clothes and a brand new monitor. I'm losin' it.}
So, I made a 4 o'clock appointment with the ped. Our new ped. And I really, really liked him! I went to college with his son, and he was so kind to get us into his practice.
Dr. Morrison told us that Chappell's throat was red and it was most likely a virus. We found out on Tuesday that she tested negative for Strep.
When she was still feeling bad on Wednesday, we decided to take her back to the doctor (as he instructed us to do) to make sure there wasn't some underlying problem before we headed out of town on Friday. Like a UTI.

They "bagged" her. And pricked her finger.
The bagging thing wasn't so bad, but she certainly didn't enjoy it. I wouldn't like a bag stuck to my private parts, either. And of course it took her forever to pee-- even though I gave her a full sippy cup of juice on the ride over.
The pricking broke my heart. It wasn't so much the actual prick, but the squeezing afterwards. UGH.
She was so upset.
Her blood work and urine came out fine. No UTI.

And then, just like magic, she seemed to be better Wednesday afternoon.
By Thursday she was good as new. Isn't it amazing how that happens?

Wednesday night, Bloom invited me to her bunko group. I had lots O fun and drank too much wine. I swore that I only had two glasses, but I suppose when you drink from a Solo cup... things can get dicey.
The next morning, I had an appointment with my new OBGyn. I had no sitter, so I was forced to bring toddler-child with me. Talk about bad planning.
Some man in the waiting room kept himself occupied by teaching his 3-year-old son how to say "pimp" and "ho." He even had pictures on his cell phone of each. No lie.
The appointment took over two hours.
I swear I will never, ever, drink wine the night before I am violated by a medical professional EVER again.
That's hell on earth, sistas.

That brings me to today. Friday.
This weekend we had plans to fly to Washington DC for my youngest sister's graduation.
You've probably seem ML in some of the By Smith promotional pictures. Weeeell, she's not only a model, but quite the smarty pants.
She is graduating tomorrow from Georgetown University, summa cum laude and an initiate of Phi Beta Kappa. My parents have been running all over town to various ceremonies honoring my little sis for the past two days.
We were supposed to be joining them this afternoon... however, mother nature had another plan.
We left Montgomery at 8:45 am and headed towards Birmingham. I could see the black clouds lurking ahead and knew it wasn't good.
Then the nerves set in... I wasn't necessarily nervous about missing our flight. I started to sweat and couldn't stop picturing us bouncing all over the sky in a little prop plane.
Lord, I hate flying.
Our flight was delayed and then (finally), we boarded.
All three of us (plus all 4 of our carry on bags + the diaper bag = 5 bags and a stroller) crowded onto the little plane and sat.
It got hot.
Chappell poo-ed her pants.
Then we were ordered to "deplane."
We waited some more at the gate.
Then TSA indefinitely closed the Atlanta Airport... and we had to make a decision.
We drove home. See how sad C was to leave??

After talking to Delta, they figured the earliest we would get out of Atlanta was around 9:30 pm, Eastern. That would put us in DC around 11:30. We would still have to get our rental car and drive out to Chevy Chase, MD. It just seemed like too much for our little Chappy.

So here I am, on my couch, at home in Montgomery.
And I'm sad that I won't get to celebrate with my baby sister-- she's worked so hard for this.
I love you, ML, and I'm so proud of you.


Go Hoyas!

I should say, if nothing else, today proved to be a a great practice run for the whole flying-with-baby-thing. Chappell was incredible. She loooved the Birmingham Airport. It's not very crowded, so we just let her walk around (under close supervision of course) and she loved it! She made a lot of new friends. This kid loves people.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I really don't know how to title this post.

Back when I was pregnant and my mind would get a little ahead of itself (as it often does), I thought I would be a spanker. I was spanked on occasion growing up and so was my husband.
But then Chappell was born and I couldn't imagine hitting her.
I just couldn't wrap my head around it- how could I hit (spank) her... for hitting me?
You know what I mean.
How could/would a toddler or small child understand that sort of rationale?
I've been guilty of swatting (patting, really) her hand away from an outlet on occasion... but that's about it.

We talked to our pediatrician about discipline on several occasions and decided to go with a time out/stern talkin'-to plan of attack. And for the most part, this seems to work.
Chaps usually listens when we tell her "no," and often backs away from what she is doing wrong.

Anyways, today she did something that I consider to be unacceptable behavior. I'm not sure if it was part accident / part intentional or what. But she got popped.

She cried. Then I cried after I put her down for her morning nap.

For all of those people about to call DHR, it wasn't that hard-- no hand marks or anything like that. She got over it in about 30 seconds. But it certainly got her attention.

I'm hoping for a better afternoon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Today, I'm tired

And not because of this little buggar:


I'm tired because I've been kept awake at night {scared stupid} by some of these little critters:


Ick. Ick. Ick.

For the past three nights, I've been kept awake by the sound of tiny toe nails scurrying across the hardwoods. At first we thought they were in the walls... but oh no, they're out here, too... among us.

The exterminator just left. He baited the attic and the basement and left us with some "glue" traps. We're supposed to leave the glue traps out at night. Delightful.

So disturbing...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Downstairs Bath

I cannot believe I don't have pictures of this bathroom before.
I probably didn't take a picture-- because I had (honestly) deemed this bathroom un-useable.
The shower was brown and covered in rusty goop-- it was so dirty I figured I'd stash a broom and a mop inside and call it a day.

The sink-- rusty and gross, as well.
The walls were covered in contact (shelf liner) paper. The contact paper was hung with scotch tape!
I know this, because I had to remove it.

Once I removed the striped-seventies shelf liner, I found another lovely layer of flowered wallpaper. I removed that, too, with a little scraping tool that blew a lovely mix of lead and paper into my eyes.
Then I primed.

I don't really know how I got stuck with this room/project with so many people around to help??

After priming, we painted the room a lovely yellowy/gold that (I think) my mom picked out. I didn't make it to Lowes that particular time.

Elliott reglazed the entire shower and sink - restoring it to a lovely shade of white... eggshell, really.
Have I mentioned Elliott yet?
I don't think I have.
Elliott is my mom's handyman. He lives in Pensacola, FL.
How did Elliott get to Montgomery, you say?
He hopped on a Greyhound bus, of course.
Once mom and Nina were here in the Gump and assessed the damage, they knew that they would need some help.
Professional help.
So we bought his ticket (online-- cool, huh?) and Elliott hopped on the 10 o'clock bus to Montgomery... not due to arrive until 7 am the next morning. Somehow Elliott switched buses and got here around 2:30 am in the middle of a storm with tornadic activity.
And then Nina's car broke down on Rosa Parks Avenue.
Somehow the three Stooges made it home safely and Elliott saved the day - OR- the next 12 months of my life to be exact.

We used the Walmart flat sheet as a shower curtain... if you've never done this before, it's really easy to do... you just use a seam ripper to open the flap at the top of the sheet-- and WALA! Just put it on the rod and window treatment... shower curtain-- whatever!

I made another skirt for little Miss Sink... to hide her shortcomings...

Nina hung Reed's grandparent's cruise menus that we recently had framed -- to give the wall a "wall papered" effect. Unlike real wall paper, pictures can always be removed and/or moved around... a good thing in my opinion.


Here's the after:


I should apologize for these pictures-- first of all, the bathroom is TINY and it was hard to photograph.
Secondly... the flash seemed to magnify the yellow-ness of the walls. I tried turning off the flash, but it didn't really help. Just know that it's really not that yellow.
You get the general idea!
I wish I had a before shot... it's such a shame!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Update on Chap Chap

I promise I have the rest of our before/after pictures coming, but I felt as though a Chapster update was needed.
She is doing so much now... and I just don't want to forget!

Chappell loves to give kisses.
Her favorite thing to do is kiss us right on the lips. She takes it very seriously and sometimes slips us some tongue. I love it and think it's hilarious.
The other day, ChaCha was very sweet and gave Bloom a kiss when I asked her to. I like to think of it as Southern Hospitality.
Love it.
This afternoon, I picked her up from the crib after her nap and she gave me a big ole smacker.
So, to sum it up, lots and lots of hugs and kisses lately.

Chappy loves olives, pickles (even pickled okra), asparagus, tomatoes-- all veggies and all things salty. Interesting, huh? I'd say her favorite restaurant right now is Zoes... or maybe Mexican.
She can put away a chicken quesadilla, rice and refried beans in a heartbeat. Unless they are spicy, of course. I'm not worried, I know she'll be chuggin' hot sauce in no time... just like her mama.

When we ask Chappell 'what does the doggie say?' she whispers... 'aaaarrrrf, arrrrf.'
So weird. Always in a whisper. But seriously cute in my opinion.

She understands so much.
She says lots of random words now like:
"juice" (or, juuuussssh)
"wooow" or "WOW" (sort of like Joey)
"heyyyy" (often paired with, "heyyy daddy!")
"cheeeesh," which means cheese

People that know her always comment on how "chatty" she is. Hmm.... wonder where that came from?

Chaps nods yes and no.
When she wants more, she points or opens and closes her hands in the direction of what she wants.
She wears my sunglasses. And thinks that it's hilarious.

Chaps has lots O teeth now. Molars on the bottom and top. However, she is just now getting that fourth-front-left-bottom tooth. She had three for the longest time. I was beginning to wonder if she was going to need an implant at some point. Glad it decided to show up.

Now that Reed has gone back to work, Chappell and I are back on our own until she starts Mothers Morning Out in June. I think she's going to love it. She had fun playing in the nursery this past Sunday!
And, btw-- We are loving Montgomery. It's such a change from the beach and we are happy to be here. I'm a city gal, after all. I know it's not NYC or anything, but I love hoppin' around town and running errands.
Chappell has had such a blast playing with her new friends.

We've been keeping pretty busy-- off to Nashville this weekend!

Nest before/after post coming soon!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Kitchen

Let's start from the beginning, shall we?

We drove up to Montgomery (secret mission style) about a month ago in search of a rental house.
Time was of the essence... as we needed a place to live within about 3 weeks.

We knew we wanted to live in Old Cloverdale... it reminded us of Homewood... and it just seemed like a good fit.
So, our friends Taylor and Liz (best friend from college and her wonderful fiance) kindly offered to drive us around in search of a rental.
We drove...
and drove...
and drove...
but nothing was for rent.
Well, actually there was one house, but by the time we called on Monday it was gone.
This is when fear set in.

Liz and Taylor remembered that one of their friends owned a rental property --
and we soon found out that it would be available May 1st.
I was rather nervous to rent a house that I'd never been in... but, as time went by, it was looking like I didn't have much of a choice.

This is the house:

Super cute, right?

Here is the kitchen:


Super Scary, right?
Lord. I almost started to cry.
*See Reed in background... wondering what to do about this "situation," while I'm freaking out (and of course) snapping away with my camera in order to hold back tears...

Anyways - Moving on.
Red cabinets, brown linoleum and wall paper? Oh my.

I decided I would have to call in my mother and her best friend, Nina Campbell, for reinforcements. In case you didn't know-- they are pros. PROS. They can do anything, and somehow I didn't inherit the talent that these two possess.
The day we moved in, the team got to work immediately.

I have so many before and afters it will knock your socks off.
It was like Extreme Home Makeover up in this joint.

I'll take you through the kitchen, first.

Here is After:

First, we primed and sealed the wallpaper with Kils.
Then, it was onto the cabinets. Mom and I stayed up most of the night painting these bad boys. I chose a shade of Valspar's Mark Twain Historic Olive, in a glossy oil. If anyone's interested, I can look at the top of the paint can to get the correct info. I absolutely love the color.
We replaced the hardware with simple (cheap) knobs and pulls from Lowes.

Next, we painted over the primed walls.
That in itself was a hugeeee improvement.
Reed hung our stainless pot holder/hanger (is that what it's called? I'm losin' it lately).

Next, we decided the washer and dryer had to be on the same wall. They were originally on opposite ends of the kitchen due to plumbing issues. So we called a plumber.
I mean-- come on!
One's washer and dryer shouldn't be in the kitchen to begin with... but if there's no way around it, let's at least have them next to each other, K?
Then we moved the fridge.
Good stuff.

About the skirted counter: Mom and Nina headed over to Wally World and purchased a 20 dolla paisley sheet set by Better Homes and Gardens.
I whipped out my sewing machine and used the fitted sheet to create a skirt. The elastic was perfect for a gathered effect. I hemmed up the sides and bottom-- and wala! You will see very soon where the rest of the paisley sheet set ended up...

*Just FYI, our butcher table will be next to the skirted end of the counter as soon as I get a chance to pick it up from the beach. Reedo was forced to leave it behind since the truck filled up a little earlier than anticipated. Boo.
I think it will be a perfect little space to play on the computer and take care of other important Biz-Nas.

Next Before/After project coming soon!

Please excuse my mess on the counters, btw. I have a toddler.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I know I've been gone...

But, if anyone still reads this, I have the mack daddy of all before/after posts hours away from making its debut.
You have no idea.

So now you know, we actually made it to Montgomery! Let's just say the rental needed a little work...

More on that later...

Stop by later if you want to see!
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