Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This weekend and a kid craft!

Good morning all! How is it already Wednesday and the 24th of April?! This month has flown by, and though we are well into spring, you wouldn't know it with this cold weather. Everytime I go to put away my sweaters, I have second thoughts because it's so cold!

This weekend, we really worked around the house. Saturday and Sunday were beautiful warm days, so we spent some time trying to get our garden into shape. Mick and I both love beautiful plants and bushes. However, for some reason, our backyard has only one mission- to kill everything that we try to plant back there. We think it is because of the giant pin oak trees in our yard. Though the trees are beautiful, they suck every OUNCE of water and nutrition out of the soil, and as a result, our backyard is now affectionately claled "where plants go to die".

Despite this, Mick and I plant things every year just hoping that this is the year that we will manage to win the backyard battles. Below, see a picture of the "sunroom" garden. As you will see- there are two things that we have managed not to kill: a knockout rosebush and a small, spiky red plant (yes, that's the technical name).

In addition to the rosebush (on left) and the spiky red plant, this bed has tulips, day lilies along the back, and a hydrangea, which I'll talk about below.

 One of my favorite plants of all time is the hydrangea. So far, I've planted 4 in my backyard in the "fence" garden, and each one has met a painful demise. So this time, I've changed it up and added it to the sunroom garden. I've also named him, in hopes that having a name may make him want to fight for his life more than if he were anonymous. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Howard:

This is Howard. He likes acid-based fertilizer, partial shade, and clouds who aren't afraid to cry on him periodically.
Here are a few more pictures of the plants we have in our back yard. It is my hope that at the end of the summer, I'll be able to post pictures of how they are thriving. Here's hoping...

In front is the lamb's ear that Mick's grandmother gave us. This is also a 2-year survivor. In the back is a gorgeous purple salvia. This is an addition for this year.

This is the "fence" garden. This year, we planted a forsythia bush, tulips, and some purple Phlox. The little hosta that you see in the back was transplanted from the sunroom garden. The squirrels keep eating it up there, so maybe back here, they will leave it alone!

Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful weekend. We hung around the house and spent some family time playing outside and hanging out. On Sunday, my sweet husband got up with Savannah and let me sleep in. Imagine my surprise when I came out of the bedroom to find this built on our coffee table. Is it me, or is my child an architectural genius?!?!?

On Monday, I took the day off to take Savannah to her 15 month checkup. She passed with flying colors and got her shots like a champ! She is currently in the 23rd percentile for height, the 50th percentile for weight, and the 85th percentile for head circumfrence. Here's hoping that she eventually grows into that head. Otherwise, she's going to be like her uncle Ryan, who has an EXTREMEMLY oversized head. I'm sure he would say that it makes him smarter. I would probably disagree, though in Savannah's case, it's surely true!

Here's Savannah waiting for the doctor! Poor little thing- she has no idea that the shots are coming!

This week, Savannah got her first pair of "designer" shoes- sparkle Toms. They are so cute!
Here's my sweet girl with our azelea out front. How darling is she?

Here's Mick and I before our dinner date this weekend. Love this guy!
 On to the kid craft! On Monday, I felt like being creative, but it was a little to chilly to do anything outside. Therefore, I decided to copy an idea I've seen on Pinterest and make some art for Daddy's office! To do this craft, you really only need a few things:

1. A picture frame with a mat- I think this one was from Target- I got it a while ago and had it sitting around.
2. Finger paint- we used Crayola washable, non-toxic paint. Washable is crucial. You'll see why in a minute.
3. Newspaper or something to cover the area you are painting. If you care about your floors/table, this is also important.

The paint we used and the newspaper taped to the floor.
Here's what I did. I simply took the mat out of the frame and laid it on a bunch of newspaper that I taped to the kitchen floor. I also took off all of Savannah's clothes except for the diaper. That made cleanup much easier.

Then, I squirted some paint on a plate and let her go crazy. We even had a little help in the form of Garth, but I wouldn't advise it, since dog+paint=

Puppy prints on the tile! Fortunately, it was easy to wipe up. This is why washable paint is important!
 Voila! Here's the finished product! I "helped" her fill in the blank spaces and make the colors more even, but the tiny fingerprints are hers! The red blotch on the top left corner is Garth's contribution.

What do you think?

Friday, April 19, 2013

We have an (almost) walker!

For months it seems, Savannah has been cruising around the house. One of the perks (for her) is that in a 986 sq. ft. house, she can get almost anywhere by cruising on the walls and furniture.

However at Grandma's house, she is forced to let go and walk in order to get her toys or her all time favorite book, The Book of Opposites.

Yesterday, I was able to catch her earliest walking on tape. Here is our (almost) completely mobile baby- how is she already this big!

Happy Friday! We are looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Hopefully it will warm up here and stop raining!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mother's Day Gifts

There are so many cute things that I want right now- everyone knows that saying that Meredith loves shopping is an understatement, so I thought I'd put together a list of items that would make great Mothers Day/Birthday/Random Tuesday gifts for the woman in your life! Men, take it from me- the Random Tuesday gifts are the best!

I'm really wanting a large tote bag for when we go on our 12 hour road trip this summer. But I'd like something that's large enough to hold a lot of stuff, but could still function as a big purse. Here are a few I like:

This is the Michael Kors Jet Set Tote. It's a little on the pricy side for me, at $228, but I love the color and the size is right. Here's the link to this one.

This one is by Rebecca Minkoff, and it's great because it has the pop of color with the strap, but the body of the bag is nylon, which will stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Plus, this one is a steal at $130.65- right Mick? For some reason, I can't get the pics to link, so here's the link to this one.

This one is probably my favorite, and it's also the cheapest- only $78! (Mick, run, don't walk to your nearest Nordies!) I like that it has a shoulder strap and handles, and the color is really fresh and springy/summery. Here's the link.

To go in another (bag-related) direction, this Rebecca Minkoff"Mini MAC" cross-body bag would be perfect to throw in my suitcase and use once we got to our destination. Cross-body bags are so nice with kids because they never fall off of your shoulders. I love the hardware and the adorable green color on this one! This one's a little pricier at $195, but this color would go with everything and it's classic enough that I'd have it for years. Here's the link.

Enough with the bags. Though I'm a purse girl at heart, I'm also hoping for several other completely purse-unrelated options! :-)

I love to craft, and the things that you can do with a Silhouette CAMEO are amazing. You can make any variety of paper crafts, clothing appliques and iron ons, etc. I think the things I could do with this would be seriously awesome. At $299, it's definitely an investment, but it is such a neat machine with so many possibilities! Here's the link.

I'm sure that Savannah is wondering what to get me as well, so here are some suggestions (in her piggy bank price range) that I love:

I love the layered look of bangles right now, and though some of the bright colored ones are gorgeous, I tend to make a color statement with my necklace or earrings, so when it comes to bracelets, I like to keep it simple.

I'm very into gold right now, so the first two two "love" bracelets above are exactly what I'm talking about- these are so gorgeous! And they are very reasonable- only $38 each! Both are Ariella "Messages" collection and can be found at Nordstroms. Here's the link to the first one.

The third one by Guinevere is a total bargain at only $18. The light pink color is totally neutral, and it would look so cute paired with the two above it. All three together would be a recipe for beauty! Here's the link to the third one.

Happy Wednesday! Hope it's a good one!

Monday, April 15, 2013

15 months old!

Good morning! How is it already Monday? It seems like the weekends just FLY by, especially when they are full of nice weather like this past weekend! We mostly just hung out- I worked at Father Daughter on Friday night and had an auction committee party on Saturday, but we got some time to hang out and relax, which was nice.

Last week, our "baby" turned 15 months old. How is that possible! I really should probably start referring to her as a toddler, but she's still that little bitty bald baby that I brought home from the hospital 15 months ago!

At 15 months, Savannah is:

1. Taking a lot of independent steps, but not full on walking yet. I'm pretty sure she is going to take off any day now!
2. She LOVES books. Her favorite ones right now are Mommy Calls Me Monkeypants, Daddy Calls Me Doodlebug, Easter Surprise, Lots of Lambs, I Ruff You, I Love You Through and Through, and Bedtime and Playtime Peekaboo.
3. She really isn't interested in TV at all yet. As strange as this sounds, I hope by the time we have to drive 12 hours to Florida in July, that she will get a little interested in some TV so we can use that to distract her in the car!
4. She still takes two naps- one around 9am and one around 2pm.

The weekend of Easter, we had some family photos taken with Christina Weyers. Here are a few samples of our pictures. I am so pleased with how they turned out. She did a wonderful job!

If anyone is looking for an STL area photographer who is talented, timely, and affordable, I encourage you to check out CW Photography.

When we eat pasta for dinner, we have naked dinners!
Have a great week!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekend Activities

This weekend, we relaxed around the house and had a nice time during the first truly warm weekend of the year. I am so ready for spring, so hopefully this weather is here to stay!

Friday night, we hung around the house and relaxed. Saturday was a beautiful day, so Mick and I got some yard work done during Savannah's naps! Mick's parents were flying to San Diego on Sunday, so they came up and spent some time with Savannah while Mick and I took Ally out to a birthday dinner at Drunken Fish. Yummy sushi!

Sunday, we went to the park and ate lunch. We also hung up her tree swing in our backyard, so I think that we spent most of Saturday and Sunday swinging in the yard! We also had Mom, Dad and Ally over for the first official BBQ and meal on our patio of 2013. It was a nice weekend! Here are some pictures from the park!

This weekend, Savannah tried to walk on her own without us coaching her for the first time. I was in the kitchen, and turned around to see her trying to walk from the table to the sink by herself. She almost made it across the kitchen. Looks like someone is getting brave! You also started saying the word "puppy". It is very cute!

Happy to be walking at the park!

Had to get a picture of her with a bow in her hair. Usually, bows last no more than 5 minutes, so I put it in and bribed her with lunch! :-)

My big girl eating lunch!

I love how thoughtful she looks in the picture. I also love this little polo onsie- thanks for the adorable hand-me-downs, Katie!

"Mom, more walking and less picture taking"
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

10 Things I Love about 14 Months

I thought it would be fun to write down a few things that I love about Savannah at this age. She's doing so many new things, and I want to remember what age she was when she started doing them:

1. I love your "sponginess". You soak up new words and knowledge daily. I love seeing the lightbulbs go off when you learn a new word, or how a new toy works.
2. I love giving you a bottle at the end of the day. I know that very soon, we are going to have to get rid of the bottles. For now, though, I love snuggling with you and relaxing as you end your day with a bottle.
3. Even though it can be frustrating at times, I do love that sometimes, you only want Mommy, and that if you are upset, you turn to me to calm you down. I love being the number one person in your world.
4. I love seeing you interact with the world around you. When we are out places, you often wave hi and bye bye to the people who talk past us. I think it's hilarious to watch them smile and wave back at you. You bring joy to everyone, not just Mommy and Daddy!
5. I know that your days of being non-mobile are drawing to a close. Though I know that you are anxious to get up and walk, I am enjoying you being where I put you and not being into everything. Especially now that I know that your gross motor development is a bit slower, but still normal!
6. I love how well you eat. You love to eat, and eat most everything that I put in front of you! We are working on the spoon and fork, and you are good at it as long as we put the food on the utensil for you. You make very funny faces when you eat raw tomatoes, but that's about it. You love, and don't appear to have any allergies or sensativities to any foods.
7. I love reading to you. You are old enough that you are participating in books. You know the gestures to make in response to certain pages, and it's fun to watch the things that you are interested in. You are sure to let me know which books you like, and which ones you have no patience for!
8. I love that you still have some of your baby habits, but you are growing into a toddler so fast. You still rub your eyes when you are tired, you still snuggle when drinking your bottle, and you still sleep in your crib on your tummy with your behind up in the air.
9. I love how great you are at sleeping. You still take two naps- one around 9am, and one around 2pm. You go to bed between 6:30 and 7, and wake up around 6am. You sleep through the night, and generally go down without a fuss.
10. I love your little body- your round tummy, chubby cheeks, tiny hands and feet, and your legs with the rolls. I even love your mullet! As you grow older, these things will stretch out and grow away, but for now, I love them.

In 5 days, you will be 15 months- where has the time gone! I love you Savannah!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Aunt Ally!

Yesterday, April 2, was Ally's 25th birthday. It is so hard to believe that my youngest sibling is a quarter of a century!

To celebrate her birthday, we went to Blueberry Hill in the Loop for dinner. Then, it was off to Pin Up Bowl, where we played a game of "Smith Family Bowling"! When we were little, we used to go bowling all the time. I'm generally a pretty AWFUL bowler. Surprisingly, Mom is pretty good.

Here are some pictures from the bowling game.

The Smith family all together. Ryan is being predictably ridiculous...
This is a milestone in our relationship. This is the first time Mick and I ever went bowling together!

Me and the birthday girl!

One more attempt at a decent family picture. We had to take the props away from Ryan.

This is also the first and only time that I can ever hope to tie Mick in an athletic competition. I am so proud of myself that I can hardly stand it!

Notice my score (top M) and Mick's score (bottom M). So proud!

Happy birthday Ally! I am so proud to have you as my little sister and Savannah's godmother!

At Savannah's baptism. With our favorite godmother!
At Savannah's first birthday. What a sweet smile!

At Aunt Ally's graduation from Wash U. So proud of our OT graduate!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

We had a wonderful Easter! We went to church with Mom and Dad at Sacred Heart, and then we headed down to Perryville to spend the day with the Hoeckele side of the family. Mick enjoyed the chicken and dumplings, and of course the company was fantastic!

On Easter Monday, I was off work, and we had an appointment with Dr. Dennis Altman, who is a pediatric neurologist. When Savannah wasn't sitting up at 14 months, her pediatrician recommended that we get her evaluated to rule out any other problems. The good thing was that he gave her a clean bill of health. He was a wonderful person!

Mick and I are blessed beyond measure to have a happy, healthy, beautiful baby girl. Savannah, we love you so much!

Here are a few pics from the weekend!

Driving around in the twins Easter present! I look like a country girl!

Savannah and her sweet second-cousin Joseph

Savannah's first ride on a 4-wheeler. Metzger parenting at it's finest!

The best family picture we got. Sad, I know.

This is what happens when you take away the iPhone that Savannah is playing with. At lunch with Aunt Ally!

I love this picture. We love our godmother!

Have a great week!