Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Crains on the Move

I mentioned how infrequent I have been in my blogging.  It's been a very busy few months.  To catch you up on our "project."

We have always had intentions on building a house.  My parents live in a subdivision that my stepfather developed about 25 years ago.  Before it was a subdivision it was our family farm.  My parents picked out their lot, the only lake lot in the subdivision, and built there house about 20 years ago.  They sold the other lots over the years except for 4 that they saved for each of us kids.  I have always known which one I wanted.  The lot right beside my parents that has these beautiful old stately oaks in the front yard and a gorgeous view of the creek below surrounded by mountain laurels like you were deep in the North GA mountains.

Last March we started working towards this goal by meeting with builders.  A year later, we finalized a house plan and a builder and were ready to get going.  We had tried to sell our current home but decided that we didn't want to pay someone to buy it.  So, in the end we decided to rent it.  My parents were nice enough to allow us to live in the top floor of their house so that we could save some $ while we were building and be next to the construction.  We are packed in pretty tight.  My mother, well, she likes clothes.  So after all her kids moved out, she took over every, single, walk-in closet in the entire house.  So this is a picture of the other side of my and Russ' bedroom.

I should explain the living arrangements.  Russ and I have a bedroom and our own bath.  The kids are sharing a room.  Which has worked out quite nicely.  We packed up Henry's crib and he is sleeping on a daybed and Rhiannon has her own big bed.  Henry is loud but Rhiannon sleeps like a rock.  I think they may miss sharing a bedroom once we get in our new place.  They have their own bath.  The other bedroom we turned into a living room/playroom.  It's a nice set up.  We help pay utilities and we buy groceries and cook dinner.  Oh, when I say "we" cook dinner.  "We" = Russ.  :)  This summer we had the pool in our backyard and the kids have loved living with their grandparents.  But by February, we will hopefully be out of here.  And that will be nice too.  Although, I think maybe my parents have gotten used to Russ' cooking so we may be setting two extra plates at dinner.

Some construction pics:

We were really excited about the sign!
Rhi was excited about her boots.  


Henry doing a drive by.

We have a roof!

Rhi says we have it all "wrapped up".  

One of our trails.  
Down at the creek.  Taken during a picnic!

And some pictures of our "backyard".  My favorite.

As of today, the roof is now finished.  The windows and exterior doors are in place.  The electric and plumbing are almost complete.  Hardy plank is being put on now and brick will be next.

I will keep you updated with pictures.

I'm out.  I still have no idea where my winter coats are. . .

Monday, October 8, 2012

Funny Things from My Mama's Boy

I'm going to ease back into this blogging thing.  I have thought of many things that I wanted to remember.  And that was the main reason for this blog:  to document the lives of our family.  Things in our family got a little crazy over the last few months.  And when I picked up Henry's journal, I realized that it's been a for real long time.  So I'm going blog a little a time.  Even if it's small.  So that I don't forget.

More on why our life is crazy later.  Today I want to blog about the funny things that come out of my two year old's mouth.

Henry is a Mama's Boy.  No joking.  No exaggerating.  I call him my tick because if possible, he would be attached to me at all times.  I'm not complaining.  I love it.  But there comes some funny moments.

That kid is a talker.  Rhiannon is having a bit of trouble (understatement of the year here) adjusting to Kindergarten because she talks too much.  At the last parent teacher conference we were happy to learn that she is improving.  And we took that opportunity to warn the staff:   if you think she talks too much, wait to you meet her little brother.  Let's just say that on our 8 hour trip to the beach, our Henry chatterbox NEVER stopped talking.  Rhiannon will sleep or watch a movie and will rest her mouth for a minute.  Not Henry.  Geez.

He's full time in underwear now.  Potty training him was so easy.  Shockingly easy.  But I think God thought he would let one thing about my dear Henry be easy because He knew he has not been the easiest child.  But Henry wants me to watch him potty.  Like sit there with him.  And talk to him.  While he is doing all his business.  I tried to send him with his Daddy a few nights ago.  Henry screamed:  "No!  I want Mommy to watch me pee pee!!"  Russ replied with "Ok Buddy.  That's a little weird but I'll go get her."  Thanks Daddy.

We were at lunch with the Crains this weekend at TGI Friday's.  The server came up and before he could introduce himself, Henry told him "I'm Henry.  I'm a big boy.  I want pizza to eat.  This is my Mommy.  She wants a hamburger."  My ladies man.  Already taking charge and ordering for his lady.  Thanks sweet boy but there are 4 other people at the table.  The waiter then laughed and asked him what he wanted to drink.  Henry replied.  "I'll take a beer."  I tried to divert the situation by moving on to Rhiannon.  Unfortunately, she told the server she wanted a beer too.  I covered my face with my hands and accepted my Mother of the Year award.

Henry thinks that I belong to him and that Russ belongs to Rhiannon.  Which can sound strange when he tells everyone at dinner "No Rhi Rhi!  Russ is YOUR daddy."  Henry honey, he is your Daddy too.

But there are sweet moments.  Like when I asked him if he remembered Disney World from last fall.  And I asked him what was his favorite thing about Disney, and he responded "You Mommy."  Or when he woke up from his nap and came to find me and told me that I was his "best, best, friend."

And I'm not the only lady in life that kisses and babies him all the time.  There are the grandmothers.  And his teacher.  Henry goes to preschool 2 days a week.  This morning, his teacher, Mrs. Suzanne came and got him out of the car.  He flashed her this really big grin as she greeted him.  Then she carried him all the way in the building, kissing all over him the whole time.  Now when Rhiannon started school at 2 1/2, she walked in the building like she owned the place.  Apparently Henry is carried.  He's irresistible I guess.

You are one sweet kid Henry Russell.  And you may be a Mommy's Boy but this Mommy will take it.  And you can live me until you are 85.  For real.

Your Mommy

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A trip to the zoo

We took the kids to the zoo.
I wonder if we should have left them there. . .
We went in November.
Yes. I know it's March.
Baby steps ok?

Anyways. . . the zoo.
Our local library offered this great deal that my buddy Michele told me about. You go and watch a 30 minute video about the history of Zoo Atlanta at the library and then you get 4 free tickets. Yes! I dig free. And I dig the zoo. Rhiannon digs maps.

I especially dig the pandas!

And the parakeet exhibit.

And this baby monkey.

And this monkey. They
tried to keep him.

Henry loved "Dum Bum".

We learned that this DumBum is full of _____.
I love this guy. Hello Handsome. How you doin?

The kids loved statues?

We had a blast. A nice little educational trip. With our two little crazy animals.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Helton Creek Falls

MLK weekend. A 3 day, LONG weekend. We have been
crazy busy the last few, well months! With holidays and Russ' brothers wedding on NYE, we were ready for some down time. Russ and I went out with friends on Saturday night and Henry and Rhiannon spent the night with the Crains. Russ' mother has been sick since August and this was the first time that the kids have spent the night with them in months. After breakfast with the Crains we whisked the kids away for a day trip to the mountains. We like to call it "Crains on Tour."

We headed north to Helton Creek Falls. This is a waterfall that is a favorite of mine and Russ'. We also took the kids almost 2 years ago when Henry was a little over a month old.

I got home and downloaded pictures and just couldn't resist posting comparisons. How did 2 years go by so fast? Last trip I had a infant strapped to my chest and a 2 year old that had some trouble hiking the trail. This trip we had a 4 year old hiker and another 2 year old to help along the trail.

So here is the game:
Me and HRC this year:

Me and Henry 2 years ago!

Rhiannon James in 2012

Rhiannon James in 2010

Daddy and his little hiker this year

Daddy and RJ on her first hike

Family of 4 this year

Family of 4 last trip

We had so much fun. The kids loved seeing the falls and talking about the trees and picking up rocks and driving through the mountains.
And of course ended the day with lunch at our favorite Creekside deli in Cleveland and then home for naps.

Henry didn't stop talking the entire trip. He jabbered from the minute we pulled out of the Crains driveway until he fell asleep that afternoon. I thought Rhiannon talked a lot. Henry is giving her some serious competition. "Mommy look!" Mommy! What's that?" "School bus!" "Tractor!" "Woah! Mountains!" He kept me and Russ giggling.
Our cute little chatter box.