Sunday, May 29, 2011

Second Birthday, Twice as happy!

Little Lincoln is living proof that the second child never gets quite the same treatment as the first. Although he is just as loved! His birthday was Thursday and he turned 2! We didn't have a themed birthday party and invite all of his friends. Well, he only has about 2 friends right now and he shares both of them with his older brother. But what more could a 2 year old want than a tricycle from a garage sale and a trip to Chuck E. Cheese with his favorite 3 people in the world! It was still a drastic improvement for him over his birthday party last year. He is much happier with us and life in general! We're still planning a family celebration (including a theme and fabulous cake!) but his actually birthday didn't even include a cake. Hey, these kids don't need anymore sugar than they already consume on a daily basis. Can't an afternoon popcicle count for something! So we printed the coupons and made the trip to meet the mou-f (mouse). It was a pretty fun little intimate party. He ran around placing coins into the slots and then walking away. He liked to get away from me. He didn't, however, like the mou-f (mouse). When the giant mouse made his appearance on stage, he clung to me like I was his mama! We ate pizza and allowed orange soda to be consumed in mass amounts! They boys did participate with the other children following the mouse in a adorable version of cupid shuffle. Lincoln even tried to follow the left right directions and he knows how to move! When we had accumulated around 600 tickets, we called it a night and redeemed them for some very valuable prizes. Lincoln scored a miderman (spiderman) ball for his birthday gift from his big brother. I'm sure they acquired some other treasures but those didn't end up getting out of daddy's truck with us. I'm not sure WHAT could have happened to those tiny frogs and spider rings?!?Hmmmm.....

I can hardly believe my baby is TWO! I often recall when I started this blog I was about 36 weeks pregnant with him.

Lincoln's driving the "oh, wow"!
Lincoln will be our little athlete. The boy's got an ARM on him!
This looks WAY too much like my five year old sitting at a slot machine. In essence, I guess it kinda is. So where's the payout?

Here is Lincoln, clinging for dear life in fear of the giant rat in front of us!
A two year old's dream dinner! Pizza and Soda! But in my defense, there was no other refined sugars consumed during this birthday dinner.
Winner, Winner, Pizza Dinner!
Ok, let's see here, who is having more fun?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ripe and Ready!

This week, we joined my MOMS group on a journey to the strawberry farm. This was no NC strawberry patch. No way! This was a working farm complete with goats, chickens and COWS!

Little Lincoln was in heaven.

He has a thing for cows.

The ones that go Mooooo and drink water.

Those are actually his favorite 3 words. Cow, Mooo, water.

He has been known to put them into song. Ok, back to the farm.

So Jason drove us an HOUR away to the strawberry patch. I didn't mind the drive so much as we approached the Kentucky line and the green rolling hills nearly blinded us. We have been browned out in NC with all the sandy soil. We forgot how green things can be. Jason made fun of me on the way up because I brought my rain boots for the picking. I knew the mass amounts of rainfall we have had and I wasn't going to chance messing up my pedicure. Well, as we drove up, he regretted his flip flop decision. The strawberry fields were like rice fields with beautiful and bountiful red fruit just waiting for us. After a picnic with the other moms, we got a head start on our strawberries. Jackson and I waded the water to get all the best strawberries. 3 FULL baskets later, we had enough strawberries to share with the entire street. And that is just what we did! I made 2 strawberry pies and delivered 2 large bowls of strawberries to the nice neighbors we have made friends with. The rest will make for delicious smoothies this summer. Lucky for us, this farm also grows blueberries! I see a return trip coming in July! We LOVE some ber-berries, as Lincoln says!

Hooray for rainboots!

"This is how you do it, Lincoln"
Lincoln is running from the goat after it tried to eat his sailboat outfit!

This is his "kissy-face," how can anyone resist?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We Belong!

We are settling into our new home here in Nashville and really enjoying it. It is a smaller house and I have found that smaller house means more mess, or at least less places for it to go.
I have made several new friends and Jason has met some of their husbands. We went to the city wide picnic last weekend with a couple friend and ended up taking our 3 toddlers with us for a sushi dinner. It was adventurous to say the least.

Last Thursday was a great day weather wise (unlike tonight and tomorrow where I am having anxiety over the severe weather heading this way.) So we made our way to the Nashville Zoo. We have visited here before and I knew it was a great zoo and we would like to be members. A friend of mine had given us a referral to use for a discount and combined with a military discount a yearly membership was really affordable! We now belong to the zoo. Well, we don't belong TO the zoo although I have considered donating my kids at various times and its still not out of the question. The playground at this zoo is worth the membership alone. Its a fantastic wooden play structure that the kids just love. {it is note worthy that I, the blogger, did not forget to take great photos of the kids at this lovely park and zoo. No, they were on Jason's phone which is now out of commission so zoo photos will have to wait until our next visit.}
Then on Friday, Jason caved and got us a membership to the Mid-Tennessee YMCA! It is a really great gym. By really great I mean 40+ treadmills complete with built in TV's and an impressive schedule of any classes you can think of. They also have a great wolf lodge style indoor pool,87 degrees, no sunscreen required! And if that wasn't enough, all my mommy friends also go there! They have great childcare too. So all in all, it's pretty great. I did a 530am class on Monday. Since then, I haven't been able to scale the stairs in our house without a significant amount of pain. I might be able to rejoin my fitness peers tomorrow.

I think we are getting along pretty well in the city. Thanks to the GPS in the phone, we never get lost and always find our way home. We like it here. It's SO GREEN! Everything grows so well here. If you know us, you shouldn't be surprised but we have done LOTS of work in the yard. It looks great now and I'm pleased with the way it all turned out. We have families coming in this weekend and next week. We're still not sure where we are going to put them but we are glad they are coming to visit! Who's next? We are taking reservations for the Music City!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quick, Before the Coffee Runs Out

We are busy people here! We love Nashville and are really finding our place here. Here's a random and fragmented list of what's going on in the deFoor house. You can thank Lincoln for his 6am wakeup call for this blog. Otherwise, I'd still be sleeping. Cheers! (from the coffee mug)

I am really diving in to meet people around here. The playground that is across the street from our home has proven to be a haven for moms and nannies alike. Jackson's large window faces the playground from upstairs and every time he sees someone out there, he's putting his shoes on and ready to go! I met a sweet friend named Gretchen and she has since texted me for an afternoon at the park! Yay for mom friends!

I have also joined a MOMS club that has 64 SAHM's in it. They do A LOT of stuff and I think it will be fun and seem to keep us pretty busy this summer. That's a second hip, hip hooray for new friends!

We have met some of the neighbors too. Our next door neighbor is an Iraqi family. They have been SO incredibly sweet to us, bringing us brownies, donuts, water, and 2 of her countries meals. One included fish. A WHOLE fish, eyes included. It was interesting but everything else she has sent has been heavenly! She has 3 little girls that adore the boys and Roxy too!

We visited a new church this weekend. It is much like our last church except for one thing. The pastor is on TV, well, a screen anyway. This church has 4 campuses in Nashville and we have a campus pastor as well. It was a great church service and the kids LOVED LOVED the kids church. We are going to visit but I can see us going there. We just have to work on Jason laughing at the people when they raise their hand to answer the TV pastors questions. He chuckled to me on Sunday while saying, "Do they know he can't see them?"

We went to the Farmers Market on Saturday. It was a mini version of the great Raleigh one but it was about 7 minutes from our house! I LOVE this urban living! Ha-Urban living in middle TN...isn't that somewhat of an oxymoron?

I'm suffering from what my Northridge girls might say is a "Lack-O-wine" syndrome. Here in the bible belt, you can't just pick up your favorite red at the grocery store. Oh, no. You have to go to a package store for it. Ok, kids, load up! Mom's got to go to the package store for the booze. Leave it to TN to humiliate you for a nightly glass of vino!

I have a registered Kindergartner! Jackson has been registered at his school which I CAREFULLY spent my last 2 months in NC researching. I'm happy, ok, ecstatic to tell you it is the only 10 ranked public school in the entire county of Metro schools.

Lincoln is still obsessed with cows and his mama! He ends every single thing he says with mama. Snack, ma-ma! Cow, ma-ma! oh and then there is his newest favorite phrase..."doh tie, daa-ye" (Roll Tide, daddy) He says this to constantly remain in his dad's good graces. It works!

We have been busy little bees in our front yard. I think it is finally right where I want it. I love flowers and herbs and lucky for me, it rains here and things actually GROW!

I'm planning my garage sale route for the weekend. My yard sale dreams came true when an Internet friend shared a site with me.
It finds and maps the most efficient route for all the yard sales I might want to go to. All that's missing is Mari.

Pioneer woman made her comeback in my kitchen this week. She has helped me prepare Chicken Cacciatore and Chicken Taco's and both were successful. I also made my favorite little bistro's coleslaw and it's one I need to share, it's healthy and mayo free! It will be a hit at your next cookout, try it!

There is so much to do here, both in our house and out in the town that I hardly ever spend time on the computer anymore. Most of my blogs are composed in my head and some of them are never being written. Must work on that, but not at the expense of sleep.
Goodnight ya'll.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dixieland Delight

This morning we hit the great outdoors early. We have officially moved back to the deep south as it is only the middle of May and the temperatures have already hit the mid 90's. Oh and the humidity, lest we not forget the 100% humidity.

We hadn't fully explored our neighborhood and Roxy was due for a walk. With my second cup of coffee in hand, we had Jason reassemble my stroller and we set off to see the train bridge that runs through the neighborhood. There is a train track that you can actually see at the end of our street. We were already melting and I had abandoned my cup of coffee because it was cooler than the air outside. I noticed there was a paved trail that led into the woods.

Ahhhh (cue the angels singing)!

We stumbled upon our new haven, a perfectly shaded running trail that curves right along the Harpeth River. We knew we lived close to it, you can see it driving in but we had no idea it ran in our own backyard! As we got along the trail, I looked back and quickly showed Jackson that you could SEE the river through the trees! We walked along the trail noting all the butterflies and honeysuckle. Oh, the honeysuckle! If I could bottle that scent and post it to my blog for your aromatic sensation, I absolutely would! We also spent some time discussing the enormous potential for snakes, ticks and poison oak! Yes, the good ol' deep south!

The boys stopped in a shady spot for a little honeysuckle snack and as they feasted on the wildflowers I noticed a cicada on a branch and called Jackson over to capture it. He is our universal critter catcher, the boy has no fear. These were not the usual summer cicadas. They had RED eyes, like they were from the devil or something. I called dad to ask about them and he informed me that they were 13 year cicadas. Apparently they last emerged from the ground in 1998. That's the year I graduated HIGH SCHOOL folks! Wow! I learned that the invasion was expected from this local news source. And invasion it was. As I looked further and Jackson collected more, I realized that they were everywhere, millions of them.

Once the nostalgia of the bugs wore off, we continued our trek and came upon a small clearing that went straight down to the river. Joy ensued in Jackson’s eyes as him, me, Lincoln, Roxy and walked down the trail and began walking down the steps to the riverbed. At the bottom we found a flat rock with graded entry to the swollen Harpeth River. It was running swiftly and the water is high due to recent rains. We toured his new fishing mecca and I hear him scream “Bream, bream, I see a bream!” That’s my daddy’s fishing talk coming out. It was muddy, buggy and snakes were not just possible, but imminent and he couldn’t have cared less. He looked at me in all seriousness and said “This place! I dreamed of this place!” Oh my sweet southern boy! He all but RAN back up the rolling hills to our house to tell his dad that he had found the perfect fishing spot, complete with worm rich soil for the digging. I can tell you now, that won’t be the last time we visit our trail down by the river. It will, however, be the last time that I bring my girly, white fluffy dog with us to the muddy trail! Poor Roxy had a sink bath after the muddy experience. She spent the next few hours perched over the floor air conditioner vents.

To sum it up, I have a feeling we’re going to like this place!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Queen of my Cardboard Castle

It ain't fun.
The boxes pile higher and higher.
You begin to think they will never be unpacked.
The picture above is my kitchen.
It is finally here! The glamorous move to Nashville.
Day 2 the boxes and furniture started flowing in and that's when it got really overwhelming. My house was turning into a cardboard castle. How was I ever going to unpack all those boxes while corralling those 2 boys....well...
While I was taking the crown throne of cardboard kingdom, the boys were doing things like

Because you see, they were in ALABAMA with my parents. After a little persuasion, we all decided the boys would be better off postponing their move until after the chaos had settled. Well, the cardboard chaos anyway!
They, including Roxy and Cotton, spent the week with Mom and Dad and I can't even begin to tell you what an incredible blessing that was. Jason and I worked from SUN up till past sun down on unpacking, moving and organizing. We are still far from being done but I think we can safely put away the sharpies and box cutters for now and bring the boys home.

We packed, up packed and repacked the garage area 3 times. The neighbors couldn't decide whether we were coming or going or both!
The first day, the movers came in with a 24 pack of bottled water and brownies compliments of my next door neighbor! How sweet! When I came to tell her thank you, she delivered me a bundt cake, homemade! Later in the afternoon, while bragging about her cake for lunch, she offered to cook lunch for me the following day. I might have met my neighborly match!
While we are quite different, I have a feeling we will get along just fine!
She is a native Iraqi. She has 1 boy and 3 girls. She can COOK! The next day while loading up the trailer for storage, she delivered a native Iraqi meal with chicken, rice, pickled salad, yogurt sauce and beans! It was different and fantastic!
I can see some Pioneer woman in her near future! Any suggestions?

I was going to bed amid the mess one night, I actually had to clear off the bed just to lay in it. I had to build a path to the bathroom so no nighttime injuries would occur. I looked over and in the windowsill sits THIS book. Isn't it IRONIC!
So most of the boxes are gone, some to storage, some to tornado victims in the Alabama areas hit by the April 27 storms and some are put away in my new kitchen. Thankful is when you see that your beloved washer and dryer WILL in fact fit in the laundry room provided. It was touch and go for a while and those are 2 machines no momma can do without! It's got some work to go and I've never seen so much WHITE in my life but since painting a rental isn't usually a good idea, I'll have to find other ways to insert color in my life until I can call another house MINE. For you that know my last house, this will be quite an adjustment for me.
Here is most of what's left of the boxes. We are equally as thankful that the trash comes on Tuesday so we can have 30% of our garage know, to store more STUFF!
Even the outside of the house needs a little more color in my opinion and THAT I can do something about. Lowes will be seeing me often over the next few weeks. Flowers, now that is the kind of moving I can really get into! And lucky for me, Lowes is only 5 miles away, come to think of it, Home Depot is only 1 mile away. And Target #1 is 4 miles, Target #2 is 6 miles...
Do you get it yet? We are close to EVERYTHING! That may be the very most exciting thing about this place. I can be anywhere in town in about 10 minutes. Now that's something I can get used to pretty quickly.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

How Now Zoo Cow?

This photo montage represents Lincoln's trip to the Montgomery Zoo. We visited there with Jason's aunt and uncle during our 2 weeks living ouy of our car like gypsies. It was a fun filled 2 weeks but traveling ain't easy on a 2 year old who has a special relationship with his bed (specifically his bumper pads). So this was Lincoln's commentary...

Lincoln: Cow?
Me: No, Lincoln that's an American Alligator.
Lincoln: Cow?
Me: No, silly, that's a hungry jaguar.

Lincoln: Cow?
Me: No, that's a, hmm, that's a, well, it looks like a kangaroo/pig/rat to me!

Lincoln: Cow?
Me: Nope. Flamingo. Try again.

Obviously he's a little confused. With a beat up face and mussed hair, who can blame the little gypsy baby.

Lincoln: Cow?
Me: Well, considering we are not on a farm but at the zoo, this is about as close as you're going to get Lincoln.

Lincoln: Roll Tide! (you thought he was going to say Cow, didn't you?)
Jason: Yeah buddy! Roll Tide, elephants!
Sadly he's managed to brainwash my 2 year old also.
These 2 salivating over the sight of those ugly elephants. I prefer the tigers at the zoo. They get to lay around and eat MEAT!
Lincoln: Cow?
Me: Ok, buddy, it's time to go home. We can see cows just about anywhere.
Jason: Yeah, Mom's college was FULL of cows!
Smart Aleck!
Lincoln: Cow?
Me: No, bud, that's a horse. Do you ever give up?

Lincoln and Jackson: Roll Tide!
Me: Ugh, I've LOST this battle. Oh well, I've still got enough pride to say WAR EAGLE!
And that concludes our trip to the zoo.
For journalism sake, there was a MAJOR meltdown by Lincoln over a pb&j or a juice box or maybe nothing at all shortly before the conclusion of the zoo trip. Sadly it wasn't the first one that day...nor the last.
Oh Lincoln!