As the middle child of my large family, Susie, definitely tries to stand out from the rest. She is a biking enthusiast (owning the cutest shop selling up-cycled bicycle jewelry), an outdoorsy gal, and most of all, a free spirit. She and her fiancé, Clayton, brought me to this abandoned sheep field - the same place that he proposed to her a few months ago - so I could capture their playful romance.
We had a fabulous Christmas Eve dinner (a tradition we hope to continue every year) of Cornish Hen, roasted veggies, cornbread, and a freshly baked cranberry cobbler. Ryan is an amazing cook, when I get around to posting recipes they are usually his. To top off this amazing holiday, Ryan gave me the greatest gift! He proposed! It was something we had talked about, but I never was sure it was coming to fruition, so I was so surprised and excited. The ring is amazing, and I only gave him about 100 suggestions so the fact he got it spot on is outstanding. It's an antique platinum and diamond engagement ring from the early 1900s (most likely '10-20's). The metal work is intricate and delicate. It's very unique, so it's totally me! He gets me the best out of anyone I have ever met, which is the reason I said YES! So I'm sure there will be many future posts about wedding planning and all that silliness.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Tonight we're celebrating Ryan's birthday. I think he's pretty deserving off all the fanfare of a birthday, but he likes things simple. I love that about him. A viewing of the Hobbit and some snuggling is in order, and he would think that's just as fun as a party with cake (I'm still sad there's no cake).
Although spiders don't bring to mind warm and cuddly thoughts, when I see my son sit down and draws spiders all over his table, telling me about them, I can't help but feel that way. I'm an artist, and I've always felt like art is an excellent way to tell a story and express yourself. I'm so happy that Julian is finding this out for himself. Usually he makes me do all the drawing, but last night it was all about him and his spiders.
So, I kind of went off the deep end and bought a 12' tree. I have very high vaulted ceilings, so it would be criminal to pass up showcasing that. The whole lot of sparkling silver and turquoise-y blue ornaments are from my parents who've collected them over the years, so I was very fortunate to decorate my tree at no cost.
I've never been so thrilled about having a tree. It seems kind of silly, I know, but this is my first really excited Christmas since my divorce two years ago. When I had to start my life over again, I kind of had to put the holidays on the back burner. I put out a little Charlie Brown type tree, maybe some pine scented candles, but that was it. Luckily, Julian was very young and probably won't remember these half-hearted Christmases. Now maybe a 12' tree is a little bit of over compensation for those years - but it's a beautiful and magnificent over compensation!
Enjoying something like the holidays after your life is flipped takes some time, but I'm happy to know I can enjoy them again. And just in time, Julian is totally soaking this all up!
So this kiddo has been hanging out with his grandparents in Florida. Lucky dog! We played at the beach and flew a kite together. Julian is super dexterous with his hands and totally controlled that thing. I will admit when I flew it I tangled it up quite a few times, eventually making it unflyable. Luckily being buried waist deep in the sand was a fine alternative to kite flying.
Thanksgiving is today! I'm looking forward to spending time with my large immediate family. With my 3 of my 4 siblings having multiple children -it's a lot to take in. Large groups of family doesn't intimidate me, but I do get quiet because it's a lot to take in. Not to sound corny because it's Thanksgiving time, but I am so glad I have a family that can gather 'round a table and totally get each other. I'm very thankful that Julian gets to grow up around these awesome people and hopefully become pretty cool himself.
Boy, let me tell you. My son has just turned three and it's been a battle to get that kid to quit the diapers. I couldn't break it down as to why. He's smart, picks up skills quickly, adaptive, so why the struggle?
I read him books about pottying, we watched videos where Elmo dances to the enchantment of taking a deuce, I even implemented a sticker program. Now Julian did take to the sticker program: a chart where he gets a sticker for every time he potties. He would even remind me of the prizes - Ice cream for 3 potties, No bedtime for 5 and a Toy for 10. We never even made it to the ice cream.
Feeling destroyed, his Granny sensed a moment to help out this new mom. A potty training veteran, she was determined to get this boy trained.
So far the best method is constant nudity. And many, many accidents. I was always afraid of him making a mess and ruining a trip to the store, or worse the couch, so I never tried it longer than an hour or so. But apparently it's what he needed most.
He now stands (or sits) 90% pee trained. The number twos are a bit of a struggle, but she reminds me that sometimes boys just like keeping that to themselves.
Thank you, Mom! You've been a life saver.