Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

We had a great Christmas at Grizawood this year, and didn't do any traveling. Christmas Eve we had family over for some food and presents and it was a lot of fun. Fenn loves his cousin Nicholas cause they can play rough and tough together and he doesn't get in trouble!  They were in there eyeing cupcakes in this picture!

 He loved unwrapping more than anything !
 Cousin Chloe opening her goods!
 Fenn getting his boy " Hometown Heroes" playhouse from Aunt JuJee and Rico. 
 I had this very picturesque moment in my head of the littles painting salt dough ornaments.. and It was def prettier in my head but they had fun so that is all that matters. 
 My rebel son was the only one who didnt follow the rules and decided to paint his body... with craft paint. grrr..
 and Christmas morning he was busy at it again with his new Easel from Uncle Bro & Aunt Shauna. He was so excited about painting that he danced in between strokes. you can see him mid jig here. #wepaintnekkid
Merry Christmas! Hope everyone had a great Holiday!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Toddler Boy Gift Ideas!

A few of my blog friends did this about what their boys are digging and I really enjoyed reading it so I thought I would do it also for Fenn!

1. Kitchen Helper : One Step Ahead
This thing is amazing for everything from cooking, t o art projects on the kitchen counter, to hand washing. We use it all day, and I regret waiting this long to buy one. Also? It folds flat for storage.

2. Crayola Art Supplies 
I learned the hard way that M&D art stuff does not always come out, and a toddler with art supplies needs the washable aspect like woah! Crayola paints and markers etc wash off without effort! 

3. Melissa & Doug Train Set
A nice wooden train set that comes apart for easy storage in a box when not in use! Fits most trains including Thomas and his pals. My boy enjoys the tunnels and bridges especially.

4. Counting Bears with Cups 
I know this seems so odd and weird, but I swear peebs LOVES these things and so do every other kid that comes to this house! I don't understand it but apparently its an educational toy and enhances all sorts of developmental skills, counting, recognizing colors, sorting, stacking etc. Just trust me.

5. Fireman Truck & Hat 
Another hit with Fenn and his friends! Both were gifts and he has DEF gotten their money's worth! It cracks me up how much he loves wearing this hat around the house.

6. Construction Alphabet Book
boys.machinery and trucks and tractors. Enough said right? This book explains what all those trucks are and what they do.

7. A Tent 
Fenn loves tents these days. We usually drape a blanket over his crib at night like a make shift tent and he loves it! He got a new tent for his ( coming soon) big boy room from his grandparents for Christmas and he is SO in love with it. He goes inside and stomps around while screeching all excited.

Toddler Boy Recommendations from Bloggy Friends:

Beach Bum & Baby

I LOve you MOre Than Carrots

My Thoughts Uninterrupted 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Decorations, Family news and such...

This is what I aspire to! I love Christmas lights outdoors because I think it is really fun and festive. If only I had 3 grand to blow on blow up Christmas creatures!

We made some salt dough ornaments with the rest of the blogosphere! I plan to let the kids paint them on Christmas Eve ( we are having family over for dinner and Christmas Movies that night). I had big dreams of making handprint santa ornaments but this boy of mine was having N.O.N.E. of it. It was ridiculous really.

My Sister in Law Juliel got ENGAGED Monday night at our Monday Night Football Tailgate. Richard ( like a good southern gent) called her bro's for permission and this husband of mine DIDNT TELL ME!  Everyone knew what was going down except me and Julie and I was blown away by the surprise of it. It was actually really fun. Her ring is GORGEOUS.
These 2 cutie cousins could be twins sometimes, except for the fact that peebs is still about twice Chloe's size! ha I love my boys new "cheese" face.
and here I thought he was just making a mimosa....
We also went for Fenn's 1st real hair cut ( raging disaster. Erik was begging me to abort the mission but I said NO because I didn't want to give any positive reinforcement to  those antics). She cut his hair as he screamed and swatted at her while I did my best to hold him down. She actually did a pretty decent job too.

Then it was time for Santa pic. The picture is HILARIOUS. He is not screaming because he is scared of Santa, he is screaming because HOW DARE WE MAKE HIM SIT WHEN HE WANTS TO RUN LAPS AROUND THE CHAIR! 
I bet the internets are tired of seeing those Christmas pajamas. I swear I wash them every other day, but dang! they were expensive so I gotta get my $ worth!  I LOVE Hannah Andersson Pajamas, and they are worth every penny, but shoooweee! She is proud of those things.
Here is a look at his past Santa pics. I frame them every year and its so fun to go back and look!

And here are some Christmas Decoration Pictures. I am still trying to figure out how to decorate our new house!
We can NOT find our Christmas Card Holder anywhere, so I went with an old trick from Ree Smith ( I used to babysit for her) and put them all over the fridge, AND I have to say I love  it. I love being able to see all the cards so easily and its fun and festive in the kitchen now!
 Dining Room Table. I can not finda  good center piece anywhere.
 Buffet Glitter:
 Framed Christmas cards from all the years. I have always wanted some built ins to decorate like this!

Sorry for the crappy pictures. I am no photographer and it was like 6am when I took these.

** If you guys don't have our new address please holla! We missing some Christmas cards this year!**

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bumpdate! 12 weeks

** I am super scromply in this pic, sorry but keepin it real, I was/am too tired to care.**

It was kind of random the way the word got out about this pregnancy, but our intention was to wait until 12 weeks and let everyone get it on their Christmas card, and for the most part that worked out. No offense to anyone, and I am certainly no secret keeper, but I thought perhaps pregnancy would go by faster if the first 12 weeks were unknown AND? I think it was a good theory because I keep even forgetting I am pregnant! It certainly has flown by so far.

What is very strange is that this pregnancy is SO different from my 1st with Peebs. 
- I had several pregnancy test come back negative even though I knew I was pregnant ( because I felt different)
- I have been plagued with morning sickness that starts about 9am and lasts all day. Terribleness. I have never show proper sympathy to all you ladies out there who have suffered from this in the past.
- I am certainly showing sooner, which I think is pretty common.
- I want to eat meat, all the time. Which is crazy because I think meat is bad for me and I ate it maybe 3 times a week before and rarely red meat but now I want hamburgers, and sausage and bacon and McGriddles and steak several times a day. gross.
- I don't crave sweets much. I can still eat them of coarse but there is no longing for chocolate or oreos etc. It's more of a salty savory type craving this time.

I started wearing some maternity shirts around 9 weeks. 9 weeks is when I feel like things kinda popped out. I am still in normal jeans or stretch pants but that has to stop pretty soon. It is def. not comfortable.
Last pregnancy I gained about 70 lbs I think. ( wowsa) and I wonder how it will be this time around, especially since I do not have the luxury or time to sleep and eat as much as last time.  

Weight Gained : 3-4 lbs. Kinda fluctuates so hard to say exact.
Waist grown: about 3"


One of my 1st goals with this pregnancy was to be less irritable/miserable /complaining and I think I have done pretty good with that and keeping the hormones in check. In general ( so far) I feel like this pregnancy has been easier than  my 1st, especially mentally.

- Transition Peebs to a big boy room and a big boy bed before May. ( that's a doozy)
- Clean out the junk guest room and start on his big boy room ( after Christmas)
- Have Fenn eating and communicating better

Big Brother:
Has no idea what any of this means but he does pat my belly and say baby and such. He also does that to Erik's belly now so... 
He has a VERY hard time sharing and doesn't like for me to show attention to other children so I must work on this a lot over the next few months!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Random Tidbits...

We have had a crazy week over here with the Christmas card announcement of little griza #2, my perpetual nausea, and Erik catching the stomach flu. All this couch dwelling gives me much more time for twitter, blogging, Instagram etc....

So a few updates....

We (adults) are going to NYC for NYE. We are going bc Phish is playing Madison Square Gardens and because it is our 7th anniversary. Gonna do lots of eating and some shopping and a show or 2. I was wondering if any of you had suggestions for restaurants? Especially some good dinner spots for our Anniversary or NYE.

I told you guys about my Black Friday cordless Dyson purchase,... Well let me just say I love it. As a toddler mom with 2 dogs, this thing is incredible. I cleaned out my car with it this week as well.

I talked about this fun hair chalk from Sally's for $5 on Instagram. Now I can finally get that pink ombré hair I've always wanted!

I have some reindeer antlers and a Rudolph nose on my car ( Sarah Macon I can just hear you now making loads of fun) but for the LIFE of me I can't remember not to roll the windows down when moving. I start feeling sick, roll down the window and boom! No more antler. Recently I saw what equated to an antler graveyard on Franklin road so perhaps I need to start a support club for us one antlered moms.

We have been in Monroeville for the last several days having our Christmas with my family, visiting friends and family and EATING. It was marvelous! My boy was waking up about 4 or 5 am every day so he was tired and put on some majah tantrums for everyone!

And can we talk TV for a minute? Judge if you must, but I watch a lot of TV and since I have been tied to the couch for the last 12 weeks with all day morning sickness I have seen LOTS of tv!

- The Walking Dead and Homeland are some awesome shows that I had never heard of or watched until recently but they are really good!

- The LeAnn rimes interview with Juliana Rancic recently, makes me want to VOMIT. I mean.. Perhaps that is harsh but that woman talks about Brandi Glandville's children on twitter in a very insensitive way, broke up their family and her own marriage and she just can't muster up an apology! She keeps making excuses and crying on national TV about how hard it h been for HER. Boo hoo majoo girl. Eat a snickers and STHU. Ps.. Eddie ain't no prize....

I miss the kardashians. when does that come back on?

Matt gave bubs an awesome haircut! I LOVE his new do!

Cocolicious arrives in Nashville today to stay with us for a few days and that should be great fun! I think we only had house guests twice last month?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Food Therapy Update!

Today Fenn had both Speech and Occupational Therapy and it was interesting. Our 1st chat was rather discouraging because she wanted to talk to me about how he knows his alphabet and numbers and things. She said it was unusual for him to know that at his age, know them out of order etc ( and some of you emailed me and told me that as well) and that I should not encourage the fact that he knows all of that right now because it could lead to " Hyper Lexia".

**update** what is unusual is how he knows his alphabet and numbers, not THAT he knows them. They are concerned with his excellent memorization skills and want to make sure that he is coprehending as well as memorizing. This is not an issue for normally developing children, but is related to speech delays so is an issue for my child. Sorry for the confusion!**

So we are to take a break from flash cards, alphabet /number puzzles and all TV and ipad. Don't get me wrong, I am no lover of flash cards or home learning at all for that matter, but the boy loves it, and now I am wondering what the heckle we are gonna do for 14 hours a day?!?  
And, Im not gonna lie, it hurts my feelings that I was secretly proud of his skillz and now I can't be! rah!

In better news, he did eat apple sauce today while he was there. He has never eaten apple sauce.. maybe in his life? Getting him to try something new is pretty huge, and then we bought some and brought it home and he ate it here also so Victory! 

For the past week we have been ( per instructions of therapist) giving him 6 meals a day, with 3 options on the plate each time 2tbsp. servings of each. On the plate 2 of the 3 things are his " approved" foods like fig newtons or Ritz crackers, and the other food is a new thing, like a banana.Step 1 is to never force or pressure any eating or tasting, but rather just tolerating the presence of the new food next to his approved foods.  He did this all week, but never took any bites of the new food. Since tolerance was achieved we consider that success and move on to goal #2.

Goal #2 for this week is to have him take the unwanted food item off the plate, and put it into the " all done bowl" which is the place he is allowed to put stuff he wont eat ( instead of throwing it , feeding it to Ralphie etc) and if I can get him to kiss it bye as he places it in the bowl all the better! That way he has tolerated food and then let it touch his mouth.

Speech Therapy he did well too, with only 2 fits. We talked a lot about different activities and playing that we can do that will encourage language. I will blog details about that as I have them and we do them. He did really well today with asking her for things and using new sign language for " I want to play" and " open this" etc.. 

He seems to enjoy going and runs right in there ready to get started each time, which is a good sign to me! I also really enjoy those ladies who do this because you can tell they are passionate about their jobs and that makes me so happy for him to have therapist who are great at what they do!

In other news, he has been peeing in the potty lately! His daddy taught him. He does not ever ask to go, but if you ask him to go, he will insist on first brushing his teeth, then going. He has a stool in there that he drags around to reach the sink and the toilet. Not sure what this all means, since I know Potty training is a beast but I am proud of him for being able to control it so well. 
His daddy is an excellent teacher, Thank GOD, because I am not! 

so that is all for now! Stay tuned for next week!

** New foods tries this week : Salami, Pasta with Marsala sauce, apple sauce.***

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A LONG Overdue Post.....

A while back, I made a few comments alluding to things going on with us that I would get to eventually.. maybe etc. Well today we shall discuss one of those things : Fenn's Development.

For the past year while all my blog friends and Fenn's birth mates have been talking and talking and doing.. there was a huge gap of that happening over here.  At first it was not a big deal, then it got me a little jealous of all the communication you guys were having with your toddlers... and then I became seriously worried and paranoid about it. I will never forget coming home to the baby sitter one night and she told me " He is the MOST silent toddler I have ever been around, I think you need to have him tested"...

And that just opened up a WHOLE other can of worms.. and lots of conflicting professionals and more intense evaluations. I never wanted to talk about until I had some concrete info, and I also was mulling over what kind of privacy I needed to give my boy.

So here we are MONTHS later and I can tell you some updates. Praise GOD there is nothing wrong! All 3 of his current therapists say that he does have a speech delay for unknown reasons and that it would be resolved.  They also all THREE told me that his other trouble was BEHAVIORAL. .. ie. my boy was bad! I knew he was kind of wild and just chalked that up to being a 2 year old little boy, but apparently there is a line you can cross there...

Obvi I am leaving out tons of details because this would be a million paragraphs long but the long and short of it is that  he was over 2 years old before he ever really started to say any words other than Momma, and he finally started pointing to things as well. 

He just turned 28 months old yesterday and he has made great progress in the last few weeks. Here is a quick list to kind of put it into perspective for you. Those if you who have kids his age will def understand more after seeing this list I think.

  • He is now pointing and asking for things like milk " ilk" and Juice "jooose" 
  • He says a few phrases " there it is" "see it" ( pronounced like "sh*t") "here you go", Thank you" " up please"  "eat yayaya"  "more wafa" ( more waffle). 
  • He has started using his sign language again as well with more, please, help etc.
  • He is following basic commands and instructions
  • He totally "gets" what a bribe is now and most times it works. Today I told him, as he was resisting leaving school, if you will stand up, hold my hand and walk like a big boy I will give you a cupcake in the car" and that joker stood up and got to trottin. Then in the care he said " update" which meant "where's my cupcake lady?!"
  • He knows his ABC's and numbers and stuff like that and just lately has started saying them out loud. Up until 2 years old I had no idea who knew what anything was because he could not/would not say or acknowledge it, then one day I asked him ( when he started pointing) to show me a " bus" " plane" etc and he did with each one, and same with his alphabet and numbers and all. I was SHOCKED at how much he actually knew about since he was never communicating any of it. Then about 2 months after that he started saying them all.

I really can not put into words how jealous I have been of all you guys out there with talking kids telling you what they think or want and telling you they love you or calling your family members by their names. It has secretly been killing me. When I was watching RHWNJ reunion show and Jacqueline was discussing her son's autism and how he will never be able to tell her he loved her, I cried my eyes out because those were fears of mine during this year of silence as well. It has been a long journey.

So thanks to the great state of Tennessee we are given ( for free) early childhood evaluation and intervention if you qualify for speech therapy and things like that. Fenn has qualified for Speech, Occupational & Developmental Therapies. 

The Occupational therapist is working on his food issues, so in social media I call it " food therapy". In reality they cover lots of stuff but that is one of the main focuses for him.  At about 1.5 years old he decided to go from " will literally eat ANYTHING"  to " will eat nothing" and for a long time would only eat yogurt, then he would only eat "mash packs" ( baby food squeeze pouches) then he only wanted total junk food like ritz crackers, buffalo pretzels and nutri-grain bars.
After a few sessions we have come to see that his issues are more about the appearance of food than the taste. I am not sure what causes this, it does run in the family a little ( picky eaters) but it does absolutely make me crazy. As the mom who breastfed for an eternity and then made home-made baby food forever, the "only wants processed foods" kid should not be MY baby! 
I will be doing more blogs about this in the future because I do think it is fascinating and it might be helpful for lots of you guys out there if you struggle with food battles. I also think it is important to sort of speak for " the other side" or kids and families who don't follow the status quo because it would have been great comfort to me this past year having read this kind of stuff somewhere.

I will also cover all the discipline cause that has been a doozy! I can not believe how much I was letting him work me, and how much easier life has been since we got a lot of that under control.

So there is one of several updates and things to come! I am relieved that he is totally OK, and also intrigued by how different kids can be with their development and ways they learn etc.  I am AMAZED at how overjoyed we have been hearing him talk these past few weeks and how FUN it is hearing his little jabbers. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

We had a fun Thanksgiving in Nashville with some of my oldest friends and their families! @edwardsedition and @Maconbabies and all their families stayed here with us in Grizawood and it was hilarious and so fun. As usual I learned some good parenting tricks.  Now , when peebs is acting up and tantruming, I say, " Do you need to go to your room and cry?" and after a few times of making him stay in his room to cry he will answer the question and say " wooooooo" while shaking his head and quit crying immediately. Hilar.

We are working on our table manners. While I am trying to talk peebs into eating something other than Ritz crackers , these girls had their kids saying " May I be excused" and " I enjoyed it" before they can leave the table! It was pretty impressive ( and hilarious when they got mixed up and said " I hope you enjoyed it" ha) so we are now working on those concepts. 

Here is a pic of day 1:

KP suggested I read the book " Fairytale interrupted" and since I know nothing about the Kennedys I decided to do some background research by watching The Kennedys mini series on Netflix ( the one with Katie Holmes). I am so glad I am watching it because I forgot lots about history and this makes it more memorable than any text book.

I have almost completed all of my Christmas decorating. It is different decorating this house than my old one so I am having to make some adjustments! I still need a Christmas tree skirt and a pretty wreath for the front door. I have unsuccessfully looked for those the past 4 years.

My parents gave me Christmas money early so that I could do some black Friday shopping and Bed Bath & Beyond has the Dyson line 25% off. I have wanted one of the cordless stick vacuums since moving into this house and boy is it awesome. We have all hardwood floors in this house and I can use this on them, as well as vacuuming my couch, area rugs, door mats and clean my car with it! Thanks Santa!

and that's about all for now! 

Don't forget my cyber sale at www.shopgrizas.com. I have lots of great cords and chargers for iphones and ipads up to 40% off retail!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tip Tuesday: Next Issue App

Hey Guys! I have a GREAT new app for you on this Tip Tuesday in Holiday Season! It is called " Next Issue". It is just like netflix, except with magazines and not movies. 
You can have a free month trial and see how you like it, and then after that it is $9.99 a month for most monthly magazines or $15 a month for access to weekly subscriptions like People Magazine.
I LOVE magazines especially for road trips and I especially love reading them on my ipad so that they don't clutter up my house/car and weigh down my handbag! Now for $10 a month I get :
People Stylewatch
Real Simple
Food Network
Rachel Ray
Country Living
Harpers Bazaar 

anyway ... you get the picture! If you like reading magazines and have an iPad, you should totally look into this app. ( this also works on Android Devices!)

DownLoad Here

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pinspiration : Pot & Pan Organization

You may have seen this picture on pinterest of the pot & pan organizer. I have been dying for it but I thought it was special cabinetry when really, it is an add on that you can easily purchase and install from Lowe's made by a company called " Rev-A-Shelf" and it is pretty awesome! 

 So here is what I was working with before:

 and my hot handyman at work
 and the after math! Perfectly organized pots and pans that you can access without having to stack and unstack!
 It would be prettier if I had all matching color pots and pans like the demo pic but you can still appreciate it. FYI you can customize the sizes or slots so the amount of pans you fit will vary. These organizers come in various sizes, we bought the XL version.

Link to purchase

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chalk Paint Buffet Makeover!

A few months back I was in my hometown and over at cousin Marshall and Jessica's house and spotted a piece of furniture in their dining room that was mid-makeover and fell in love. He was not into it so I offered to buy it off of him and he obliged! $120 for this beauty:

 ( Thanks Mrs Becky!!)

I decided to try to mimic a finish I saw in Ballards on the Casa Florentina line with some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. (If you live in Nashville you can purchase Annie Sloan paint at C'est Moi on Church St. in Brentwood.)
We bought the "Duck Egg Blue" and the clear wax and the dark wax. Here is a pic so you can see how awesome the inside is, and see that we were not so ambitious as to paint the inside!
 This is after the 1st ( and only coat of duck egg blue). Typically chalk paint does not require any prep work but Marsh had already primed it for me so.. that was cool. It looks weird until it dries. Ole Annie Sloan says paint all over the place very haphazardly and we thought that looked bad so we just painted it all traditional style with brushes ( not rollers as to conserve the paint).
 Close up:
 Here is a pic of the front before any dark wax was applied. We did clear 1st then the dark. I don't know why the dark wax comes in such a big tub because you only use a smidge. The wax also is very smelly, and gave me a headache so mom and Erik did all this work! If you plan to do this be sure to put the clear wax on first so that you can wipe off as much of the dark as you want. Otherwise you will end up with a MUCH darker piece.
 and here is the finished product with duck egg blue, clear wax then dark wax applied. 
 Close up of the finish. It is so hard to capture this paint color properly on camera.
 And here are some pics once we moved it inside. The color looks different in every shot
 You also can not tell from the pics but this thing is massive! It has great lines and I LOVE it!

This is the most accurate color of the actual piece. Now I will need a new mirror and buffet lamps! Stay tuned.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Colors & Website 
Ballards Design Casa Florentina

Blog of inspiration

House of Antique Hardware ( to purchase new pulls for the front)

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