I'm alive!

I apologize for the blogging hiatus. My little family of 3 was relaxing dealing with a sick & teething baby while at the beach. I promise to do a post about our first family vacation...it was definitely one I will remember. But for now, I will leave you with a few thoughts.

  • I am now officially planning Grayson's 1st birthday party. That is so hard for me to believe. I ordered part of his outfit tonight and am super close on deciding on invitations. I love parties. However, I think it is more fun browsing through party pictures/ideas on Pinterest rather than actually planning a party.
  • If there is one thing I have learned since becoming a parent it is this: when you try really hard to plan something perfectly, your baby will indeed change your plans.
  • I am overwhelmed about making G's photobook on Shutterfly. I probably should have been doing it little by little each month instead of starting it now. Oy. This is why I was a terrible scrapbooker back in the day. 
  • I'm back on my eBay kick...except now I am stocking up the baby closet with fall clothes...in size 18 months! Eek! That sounds huge. The outfits look huge.
  • I am obsessed with these popsicles. It's like a pina colada on a stick. Yum. 
  • My friends go back to school next week. I think it will finally hit me that I'm not going back to work. I will miss setting up my classroom...that was always fun. I will not miss recess in August when it is approximately 98 degrees and blazing hot every single day.


Reasons I love my kid #2

  •  When he gets excited, he kicks his legs & flaps his arms. It's pretty cute.
  •  He loves Hudson. (and Huddy is SO good with him) When Hud is napping on the couch in the playroom, Grayson will stand up next to him and gently play with his paws. He is so gentle with him.
  •  He is proud of himself when he does something new. He gets the biggest grin on his face and claps his hands.
  •  He loves giving kisses...even if they don't actually touch your face:)
  •  The second he lays down in his crib, he grabs his froggy lovey and clutches it like someone is going to steal it. This is the only thing he snuggles with willingly. The boy loves his froggy!
  •  When we are out and about & he gets sleepy, he nestles his little head on my shoulder. It may only last a second, but it makes my heart happy.
  • He loves to flop onto his belly in the bath tub. Not only does he flop, but he dips his tongue into the tub and drinks the water. Ha! Can you tell he watches every move the dogs make?

*All of these pictures were taken by Laurel Pankratz of Eilas Photography


a small reunion of 94 people.

 Every 3 years, my mom's side of the family has a reunion. This isn't just any old reunion. You see, my Papa has four siblings. Those four siblings all married & had lots of kids.  Those kids got married and also had lots of babies. Those babies (my generation) are now getting married and having little ones! It's a big group. 94 people to be exact. 

Last weekend was the Cheney family reunion. Our last reunion was the weekend before our wedding. We've had a few changes since then! This was Ben and Grayson's first Cheney gathering & G had a great time playing with so many cousins!
 We rented a condo with my parents at the resort we "reunioned" at. Grayson was miserable because he never got any attention the whole weekend. HA! I kid. He loved having his Nana and Poppy around to play with and to give him early birthday presents like this awesome fire truck!
 We had our huge family dinner on Saturday night at a big ol' house in the north Georgia mountains. G was a little overwhelmed at first with the 93 people surrounding him...can you tell?
We always take these family pictures. I love looking back and seeing how they change every 3 years. This is my Papa's family. Good looking bunch! We added 3 babies and one new wifey to the mix in the last 3 years!
 My cousin Robyn, G, and myself. Robyn now lives in Albuquerque and this was her first time to meet Grayson!
 A wound up little man with Nana and Poppy. G stayed up way past his bedtime and loved every minute of it. He was all over the place!
 There were 9 (I think) new little ones this year & they all had so much fun together. Millie, Stuart, and Grayson loved climbing all over these windows and looking at the people on the back porch.  Stuart is 2 and loved hugging on Grayson like he was a little baby. Stuart has a 5 week old little brother, Wills, and I'm sure he is the best big brother!
 Grayson also went swimming with my mom (way too cold for me) but he still insists that snacks and sippy cups are the best part of swimming. Please note my cousin Brian's little girl, Brooke, in the background. Such a ham.
Ben headed back to Tennessee and I drove back to Atlanta with my mom. Grayson got to spend one extra day with his cousins Brady & Collin. I loved their breakfast setup. They look like little old men chatting about the weather.

I can't wait to see what the family reunion picture looks like in 3 years!



 Today we did a lot of the above. {drink pedialyte. like a boss.} I thought around bedtime last night that we were on the upswing of this evil stomach virus going around. That is until around midnight when Grayson woke up covered in throw up. TMI? Sorry. 'tis true...and it sure was awful. 

G and I headed to the pediatrician this morning to hear what I figured we would...virus. We got nada. She said this awful thing has been going around and is lasting about 5 days. Today is day 4. It appears {just like last night} that my little trooper is finally feeling better. He actually started laughing when I turned this on:

Baby Mozart. I am insanely jealous of heart the mom that invented Baby Einstein movies.

I sure hope Grayson is indeed on the mend because we are leaving for the beach on Monday! And because I am going absolutely stir crazy inside this house. And because the stomach bug produces an insane amount of baby laundry. It has been two years since I have been to a beach. TWO years. I couldn't go last summer because I would have resembled a beached whaled. I can't wait to put Grayson's chubby little toes in the sand. If he doesn't like the actual beach part, I know without a doubt he will love people watching on the beach. 

Now what I'm not looking forward to is the 8-9 hour road trip with a screeching baby...


my day in a nutshell

It's been one of those days. One of those days that needs to be topped off with pajamas, Teen Mom, and a glass of shiraz. Because I know you all are so concerned, here is how today went down:

12:30 (in the MORNING mind you) - 6:30am ~ child wakes up crying (he had been sick all day yesterday) and I attempt to get him to sleep with me in the guest room. Big time fail. He tossed and turned for f i v e hours and never fell asleep. Therefore, the mama never fell asleep. 

6:30 - 10:00am ~ Pass the torch off to hubs and let him handle the sickly child so I can finally sleep. Longest nap in my life. 

11:45am ~ drive through Sonic and get the worlds largest Diet Coke (I was in need of major caffeine...remember, no sleep?) and get my hair did. I impulsively chop it off. I love it.
See awkward self portrait? I feel like these only belong on MySpace.
2:45pm ~ child wakes up from 2 hour nap and finally eats a small baby mum mum. First time he ate all day. Hallelujah! Starting to think we've turned a corner. 

3:00pm ~ Drop my car off at tire place because it has a nail for the 753rd time. Darn you, new construction neighborhood. 

3:15pm ~ Ride home in Ben's truck. G starts coughing/gagging. I turn around and he is covered in throw up. Covered. See ya later, baby mum mum. That corner we turned? Not so much.

3:30pm ~ wash the child and wash the carseat...trying not to gag. I don't do throw up. Not willingly, anyway. 

4:00pm ~ fever returns. boo hiss. G is pitiful.

Thankfully, Grayson did eat some toast and drank pedialyte tonight. He's currently sleeping and I am crossing my fingers that we all get some much needed sleep tonight. And I am now watching Secret Life of an American Teenager...because I'm obviously very mature:)


10 months

 Grayson is now 10 months old! In case you are bad at math, that means he is now only 2 months away from turning 1! {cue panic mode.}
 Here are G's 10 month stats:
Weight: according to our scale...19lbs
Height: no idea, but I do know that he is longer! His 12 month footies we just bought him are already too tight! I would guess about 29in.
Clothes: a few 9 month outfits still fit but we are transitioning into all 12 month clothes!
Diaper: size 3 during the day & size 4 at night
 One big thing that happened over the last month is that Grayson is now completely off of baby food! He is such a big boy and is only eating table food. It has been a struggle to get him to try new foods, but I just have to keep reminding myself that he won't always just want a grilled cheese sandwich! Here are a few of his favorite foods: grilled cheese (I am now adding some chicken/turkey to these), hot dogs, chicken nuggets--the MorningStar fake-out nuggets are great!, goldfish, baby mum mums, peaches, nectarines, grapes, cinnamon raisin toast, ravioli, and those new fig newton crackers. Grayson still has 4 teeth on top and 2 on the bottom, however, he is currently working on some bottom molars!
 It's hard to believe that G has been a crawler for 2 months now. He moves at lightning speed! Seriously. I put him down & 2 seconds later he will be dumping out the dog bowl or pulling a wallflower out of a socket (mama of the year award, right?!). Grayson is still pulling up on everything. In the past week, he has actually taken a few steps by himself!! He took 5 steps last Thursday trying to get to Jack--typical; and, he took about 3 steps by himself this weekend at our reunion! We are doing a lot of practice with this whole walking business. I think he will take off before his 11 month birthday! :) ...and it won't be to get to his mama, it will be to chase his 3 dogs!
 Here are a few new tricks Grayson can do:
  • say "da da"
  • say "ba ba"
  • clap on command
  • mimic sounds that we make
  • we are learning to eat off of a plate -- messy, messy, messy..
  • crawls all over the baby pool and feels like such a big boy while doing so
  • throws a tennis ball to Jack
  • drink out of his sippy cup 100% by himself
  • fall asleep on his own instead of being rocked...big change for this mama! He will only cry for a minute or so & then lay down and fall asleep.
  • crawl up our stairs
 Some of Grayson's favorite things at 10 months are: his sippy cup, a little red bird toy that we call "Tweet Tweet," standing in the baby pool and playing with toys, walking all over the hardwoods in his walker, Baby Beethoven--this saves us on longer car trips!, his 2 push toys--the firetruck & car, going down the slide, eating whole peaches & nectarines, and making funny faces & getting people to copy them.
reading to his monkey friend
 Grayson is finally showing more interest in his books which makes me so happy! I have incorporated this into our new bedtime routine and I love sitting with him and reading books. I hope he loves to read! His favorite books right now are his Peek-A-Boo books.
 Grayson's personality is so much fun! He has started making funny grunting noises and loves it when people copy him.  Ben and G will go back and forth making noises with each other & G just laughs and laughs! Grayson is so talkative lately. I really wish I knew what he was saying! After we do something fun, he just babbles away....like he is telling me all about what just happened!
I'm so glad he loves the llama book:)
 Grayson finished his first music class this month with his cute friend Ruby. They both loved it! He is a social butterfly & I think I want to enroll him in a Gymboree class for the fall. I'm sure he would love spending more time with other babies his age!
 Can you tell that these photoshoots get harder & harder each month?? G is an active boy. He is much too busy for his mama's camera. This kid is on the go & is into everything. The poor sock monkey was getting manhandled during our shoot:)
This is what happened at the end of our photoshoot. Meltdown. No more pictures, mama!!
I can't believe that 10 months has passed since this sweet little boy came into this world. I can't believe that I am already starting to plan his 1st birthday! I say it every month, but time is just flying by. This stage is so fun. I am soaking it all up because I know that toddlerhood is quickly approaching!

Happy 10 months, little G!


3 years!

 3 years ago today I was getting all "prettied up" so that I could walk down a grassy aisle in front of a beautiful antebellum home and marry my best friend!
 I seriously can't believe that it has been 3 years since our wedding day! I'm kind of obsessed with our wedding and would relive it every single year if I could!
 In the past 3 years....
  • we moved to a new city 
  • built a house
  • got a new dog...Miss Ellie
  • bought 3 new (to us) cars
  • found a great church family
  • had some job changes
  • HAD A BABY...
These past 3 years have been such a whirlwind and so much fun. I'm so happy that I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend!


birthday boy

Happy birthday to my sweet hubs! 

Ben turns 27 today...officially out of his "mid-twenties" and into his "late-twenties." I'll give him a hard time about that, anyways:) Grayson, Jack, Huddy, Ellie, and I love you very much!


pinterest pretties

{via here}

I think the kitchen is the heart of every home. I love when the island is a different color than the rest of the kitchen cabinets...I love that this one is a rustic red! And the butcher block top? I covet. BIG time.We are also wanting to add a back splash to our kitchen and I love the neutral tiles they used in this kitchen!
{via here}

I love everything about this bedroom.  It's beachy without being tacky, I love the painted iron bed, & I love all of the pops of color. I actually just found a small table at an antique market very similar to that blue table for G's room! 

{via here}

I am still working on our computer room. It's a slow process. We bought a new table desk & sold the old ugly one. I still want a bold upholstered chair for room & this would work perfectly! This is the Liliana chair at Pier 1. It even has a pretty name! I feel like it is staring at me and chanting evil things like, "buy me! buy me! BUY ME!"

{via here}

I love this fabric wall art! I did something like this for my classroom where i covered small square cork boards in cute fabric. I love all the different shapes and sizes together.  This would definitely work covering a blank canvas!

Find me on Pinterest! Leave me a comment if you would like an invite:)


So What! Wednesday

This week I am saying SO WHAT if...
  • I get excited about checking my japanese beetle trap every afternoon...but then feel sad for the beetles because they can't escape.
  • I have about 6 blog posts in the editing state...I will be gone all for a few days over the weekend & then we are going to the beach--that stresses me out! I must get posts ready!
  • I've had a few people emailing me wanting to review their products/do a giveaway & I haven't responded because I am paranoid everything is a scam when it comes to the internet! 
  • Our bonus room always looks like a tornado hit it after G man plays. How can a non-walking baby make such a mess?!
  • I spent $80 at Macy's online buying a tankini top that looks like it will cover everything...and then I went to Target last night and found one for $24.99. 
  • I actually got giddy when I saw that Project Runway is coming BACK at the end of THIS MONTH!!! Hooooray!


and just like that, he was big.

 I have never been a super sentimental person. I have no problems getting rid of things. Seriously, I clean out my closet in about .5 seconds because I give it no thought...grab & donate. But lately, I feel that little tug at my heart that makes me a little sad.
I feel like I blinked and 9 1/2 months passed by.  I vividly remember sitting in my hospital room {with a bum right leg & sprained ankle, mind you} and wanting nothing more than to be in my own home with my baby so that we could just get on with our lives together. I would go back there in a heartbeat to have Grayson be that teeny hefty newborn that just loved to snuggle & be held.
Do you like G's guido Pauly D blowout? 
When Grayson was a newborn I wasn't sad each time he hit a milestone and grew up just a little more. I guess in my head I always thought that I would be in that stage again someday with a new baby.  We are in the process of breaking the habit of rocking G to sleep at night. I honestly think I needed that special time with him more than he needed it with me. I realized last night as I was feeding him that this stage of his life is over & he's a big boy who doesn't need his mama to fall asleep at night. It made my heart sad.

I know I will enter that stage again at some point with baby #2 (and 3 and 4....right, Benny?!), but not with Grayson. My first baby. The baby that made me a mama. 

I am trying so hard to soak up every single moment with my little G because he is honestly changing, learning, and growing SO fast! We have pretty much successfully completed the no-rock bedtime routine...so it may be me that is having to cry it out every night! ha!


baby food woes. help!

See that messy kid? He loves to be in his highchair with food in front of him
 However, his favorite part of that is not the eating part...it's the play & get messy part.
Houston, we have a baby food problem. Grayson has reached that stage where he only wants to eat independently & wants nothing to do with me feeding him his purees that I lovingly slave over make in the kitchen. His mouth goes on lockdown. 

This is all fine and dandy except for one thing...he only wants to eat snack-type table food. His main food loves are goldfish, graham crackers, veggie sticks, mum mums, rice cakes...anything that is a carb. Don't know where he gets that from...

The kid can't live off of goldfish, at least not live & be nutritious. The only "real" food he loves are chicken nuggets. I bought the Morning Star veggie fake chicken nuggets and he loves them smothered in ketchup. He will not eat anything else. We give him small portions of just about every single lunch and dinner we eat & he will put it in his mouth, take it back out of his mouth, and throw it on the floor. 

I love the blogmunity (yep, made up that word) because there are so many other mamas out there that I get ideas from! I desperately need some ideas of things to feed this finicky baby.  How do I get him to branch out and try more things? Do you have any good lunch or dinner ideas to feed a baby?


weekly menu & the 4th

Since we were out of town for 4 days, I didn't have to buy much at the store this week.  I just rolled a lot of it over to this week. My wallet credit card thanks me. Here is what we are eating at the May casa this week:
Thursday: scrambled eggs, biscuits, bacon, and hashbrowns--yum!

Friday: panko crusted chicken with mango habanero sauce, white rice, spinach

Saturday: probably going out somewhere!

Sunday: BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, baked lays

Monday: chicken cutlets with gravy, glazed carrots, and mashed potatoes

Tuesday: Fiesta chicken from The Girl Who Ate Everything

We had a really low-key 4th of July...which was just what we needed after a fun weekend and 5ish hours in the car with an active baby boy. We got back in time just for Grayson's nap and then we realized that the downtown Franklin 4th of July festival was going on until 8pm. perfect! We headed over late in the afternoon and checked out music & vendors, saw a llama & baby mini-horse (!!!) at the petting zoo, and ate greasy festival food. Of course Grayson had a great time sharing a snow cone with me & people watching. He is my child, after all. I'll leave you with some patriotic pictures of the cutest boy in the world!

Waving at the cars driving by:)