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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Top 5 of January to March

Here are my top five favorite photos of Nathaniel in no particular order:

I woke up one morning and realized I'm no longer a mommy to a baby :( Nathaniel is growing up so fast! (We are also trying to grow out his hair.)

"Jumping with Mr. Potato"
Someone obviously needs to visit and stay with us so I'll have a reason to decorate the guest bedroom :) However, it is now painted light green! (Side note: we bought a house last November) 

"Peek-a-boo!"
 We have been blessed with plenty of days with warm weather down here in Georgia. (This photo was taken in early February!) We have been spending lots of time outdoors and have since become 5 shades darker compared to this picture. I spend most of the day doing yard work/gardening while Nathaniel plays and chases our dog. (See the weeds in the picture? Arrgh...) And right where Nathaniel is standing has now become my raised vegetable garden, too.

I was contacted by a Tea Collection representative last December to do a review and host a giveaway. This is one of the photos from my Tea Collection photoshoot. It has only been two months ago but Nathaniel looks so baby-ish!

"Smile! Click!"
If Nathaniel doesn't look away or pretend I'm not there when I'm taking his picture, he mocks me by pretending he has a camera, too. (In the photo: we were unloading dirt for my raised bed veggie garden and took a second to take a picture because the lighting was just heavenly!)


Click.Pray.Love.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dada!

Yesterday was my husband's birthday. We didn't have a big party or a fancy cake. We didn't go to an elegant restaurant or gave him a big gift. Instead, after getting off work early, Dean requested if he could take a nap with Nathaniel. We went to a local Italian restaurant for dinner with a very few of our closest friends and then ate a slice of this cake that he always request on his birthday: the family recipe South St. Louis Deep Gooey Butter Cake.


Why? Because that's what the birthday boy wanted. Because if it was up to me, we would have a nice big cook out at our backyard with all of our friends here in GA and I'll bake him a huge cake enough to feed an army. Because he deserves to be celebrated. He deserves that and so much more.

Happy birthday, Dean.

Linking up to:
The Paper Mama: Wordless{ish} Wednesday
and then, she {snapped}: Wordless Wednesday
Project Alicia: Wordless Wednesday
live and love...out loud: Wordful Wednesday
NapTime MomTog: Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Home Project: Popcorn Ceiling Removal

More than a week ago, we started the process of removing our hideous popcorn ceiling. Well, we have professional people doing it. But even with that, our place is still quite a mess. They have to make a make-shift containment area to keep the dust/mess in the room they are currently working in, wet the ceilings, scrape the popcorn, mud it, then scrape it smooth. After that, they have to prime it then two coats of the ceiling paint. Whew!

I am quickly losing enthusiasm and patience and cannot wait until our house is back to normal. It doesn't help that I have to entertain a toddler while in a contained space and I can only do that so much. Last week, we spent the majority of the days outside (him playing, me doing yard work). But lately, he's been asking to stay inside. (I know! My son begging to go inside? Never happened before). Anyway, I am exhausted!

In the photo: living room.


If you don't know what popcorn ceiling looks like, then check out the photo below (in the photo: Nathaniel's bedroom ceiling). It looks like dried cottage cheese on the ceiling. It doesn't didn't bother me as much but my husband despises it. But I do agree that it collects dusts between the tiny, little crevices that are pretty difficult to remove. And that's annoying. Popcorn ceiling also cracks when wet and we've already noticed a few especially in the master bathroom. Overall, removing the popcorn ceiling is a good thing so we decided to use some of our tax return money for this home improvement. It also raises property value since this is so early '80s trend and why they added it on a house built in 2000, we'll never know. And now that most of our ceilings are done, I'm really glad we did this! The house looks amazing and modern, the ceiling looks higher which opens up the space and the room looks bright because of the white paint.


Even with this set up, dust still gets everywhere. And after sanding the mud, ohmyword. Dust continues to "fly" too after days so I've given up dusting and cleaning the house after a week. Like Hubby's computer desk, which I'm currently using to type this? *sigh* I just look away.


See? Mess.


This project has taken longer, too, because of our sophisticated ceilings. See how it's not just the typical flat ceiling? And it's not just in the living room; we also have a much more intricate detailed ceiling in our dining room, master bedroom, and master bath. So those corners have to be smooth and perfect. It also didn't help that people started getting sick (days off, half days, etc.) and I have a super picky, meticulous husband and e-ver-y-thiiiiiing has to be perfect. I do understand his reasoning, though: if we're going to pay someone a huge chunk of money to do this, it better be flawless.


At this point, the ceilings at the guest bedroom, main bath, Nathaniel's room, dining and living room, foyer, hallways and master bath are done. Seems like a lot but we still have the laundry room, kitchen and master bedroom to finish! Then painting. Oy.

But I can't wait to show the after pictures. I didn't take very much before pictures before the painting started (I'm keeping a toddler entertained, remember?) but that sad, boring wall paint you see in these pictures is pretty much our entire house. And the colors we chose? Mwahahahaha.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Big Boy

Is it just me or did you find yourself, too, waking up one day and realizing you are a mother to a little boy (girl)? Your baby nor longer a baby but actually a little person.

The last couple of weeks have felt like that to me. And just when I thought he is already a big boy, he does something more "grown-up." I have conversations with my son and he answers back in complete sentences. He tells stories, memories from as far as weeks ago and sings songs he hears on the radio. He talks so well that other people/strangers have no problem understanding him, too. Definitely no more baby talk or special secret language going on here.

It is such a blessing and joy to witness firsthand this beautiful soul grow but my mommy-heart cannot help but ache. He is growing up too fast. Way too fast.

Nathaniel: Mommy?
Me: Yes, babe?
Nathaniel: I love you.

Me: I love you, too... *sniff*






Some day soon she'll be a teenager and at times he'll think she hates him
Then he'll walk her down the aisle and he'll raise her veil
But right now she's up and cryin’ and the truth is that he don't mind
As he kisses her good night and she says her prayers

He lays down there beside her
'til her eyes are finally closed
And just watchin’ her it breaks his heart cause he already knows
It won’t be like this for long
 
One day soon that little girl is gonna be all grown up and gone
Yeah, this phase is gonna fly by so he's tryin’ to hold on
‘Cause it won’t be like this for long
 
-Darius Rucker, It Won't Be Like This For Long

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Raised Vegetable Garden: Digging

Yesterday, I started the process of building my raised vegetable garden at our backyard. I thought it was going to take me the entire week to dig a 4x10 4x12 feet of land but I actually finished it all in one day! We Hubby should install the wood side barrier sometime this week/weekend and hopefully, I can transfer my little plants soon after that! And surprisingly, my right arm didn't hurt at all except the very few times I over "twist" my wrist from shoveling.


(Top-Bottom, Left-Right)
1  Halfway done with digging my raised bed! It actually ended up being 2 feet longer. Oops.
2  Bag of dirt obstacle
3  Nathaniel stepped on a fire ant hill :( Dada missed this ONE hill last weekend when he treated the yard and of course, Nathaniel found it.
4  More digging
5  Taking a break from digging and riding the horsey swing together instead.
6  In the Philippines, whenever little children do this, they say it's because they are asking for a sibling :)
7  I saw so many earth worms, which  makes me happy because that means I have a healthy soil! I accidentally chopped a lot of them, too. Thankfully, they have the ability to regenerate.
 8  Child labor
9  Done! 4x12 feet.
10  Swinging from the outside.
11  Yup, he's a daredevil.
 12  What the heck?! He's chasing our dog Riley with the hat over his face. In the last picture, I asked him to smile and he said, "Click!" while pretending to take a picture.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hiatus

My right wrist and elbow have been hurting a lot lately that it has forced me to take a break from blogging, picture taking and photo editing. For years, I have suspected I have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) but it has always been manageable up to this point. I saw my doctor last week and I have an appointment with occupational therapy next week. However, when I initially saw my doctor, I was convinced that it was only CTS. But for the past few days, the pain has moved into my elbow and pinky finger. Median nerve (the nerve that is pinched with CTS) shouldn't affect the little pinky. So now I'm thinking another nerve (ulnar) is now also affected :( The best way for me to describe what I'm feeling is having your blood pressure checked then leaving the cuff inflated.


So I probably won't be blogging very much until hopefully this is resolved. However, you can keep up with us by checking out my Instagram (@dianastlouis) page where I post several photos a day. It's quick, easy and doesn't require the usage of my right hand :) Anyway, I hope to be back soon.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

EdVenture Children's Museum

Last month, we went to the EdVenture Children's Museum in Columbia, SC and Nathaniel had a fantastic time! He loved climbing through things and exploring everything.

Do we have a future dentist in our hands?


Ah... it's never too early to get a job :)



You can explore and climb inside Eddie, the 40-foot child exhibit. Here they are, three stories up, inside his head.


Inside Eddie's lung





Dancing:




Inside the green room:





I never thought I would ever tell Nathaniel to write on the wall!



Driving a ship:


There was a tube system and Hubby sent me this message :)


It was a great family day! There's also the Body Worlds Vital exhibit next door that Hubby and I are planning to go to sometime this month.

Linking up to:
The Paper Mama: Wordless{ish} Wednesday
and then, she {snapped}: Wordless Wednesday
Project Alicia: Wordless Wednesday
live and love...out loud: Wordful Wednesday
NapTime MomTog: Wordless Wednesday

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dr. Seuss Breakfast

We love Dr. Seuss! And to celebrate his 108th birthday today, we had a Dr. Seuss themed breakfast. (Last year, we made Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes!). I forgot to buy ham yesterday so as you can see, I had to substitute it with hotdogs. And remember, to make green eggs, you have to use blue food coloring. Yellow (yolks) + blue = green. I almost used green food coloring until Hubby pointed it out.


For the Cat in the Hat skewers, they are sliced strawberries and cubed pound cake. You can go the easy route and buy the already made frozen pound cake but I could only find sliced ones at the store (I couldn't find the loaf). I couldn't justify paying $4 for six slices so I baked some last night. You can also make these really fancy and more appropriate for dessert/adults by drizzling them with melted chocolate. Yum! And please note that I used Popsicle sticks instead of the sharp wooden skewers since my little toddler will be eating these. This is very important if you have little ones in the house! Safety first.


Nathaniel thought the green scrambled eggs were cake :) He eventually figured out they were eggs once he touched them and he did not have any issue eating them at all.

Oh, and we are going to watch Lorax tomorrow. Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Linking up to: 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tea Collection Giveaway WINNER

 I am so happy to announce the winner of the Tea Collection $100 Gift Certificate Giveaway!


According to Random.org, the winner is commenter #9!


Congratulations, April!



April, I have sent you an email and you have 24-hours to respond. Hope to hear from you soon!
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