Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just a few updates...

We've been super busy in the Parsons household since the fall started and now we're well into the Holiday Season.

What I've been up to...
I started substitute teaching, which has been a tremendous blessing both financially and for my soul.  It definitely makes me NEED to get back into the classroom.  Plus, without that extra income I'm not sure how we'd afford Christmas.

Speak of Christmas, I did my first Black Friday shopping as a mom this year!  I got some awesome deals - a play kitchen, play tools, Vtech laptop, Elmo DVD, Elmo Memory game, an immersion blender, Dirt Devil dust buster/hard surface vacuum, and plenty of clothes.  All in all we spent about $300 and saved at least that.  All of Christmas is taken care of except for parents and grandparents -- and I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing for them!

Since my last post, I've been trying to be a bit more creative.  Thanks to my good friend, Tara, I've learned how to knit!  I just know the basics right now and am not very good at it.  Plus, I can only knit when Jackson is in bed because he is fascinated with the knitting needles.  His favorite thing to do is pull them right out of the project I'm working on, which sends me into a BLIND PANIC every time!

I've also been in the kitchen a lot more.  Thanks to Pinterest I've tried several new recipes.  Including Nutella hot chocolate, 2 minute mug brownies, and a DIY Hibachi dinner complete with fried rice, teriyaki chicken, and shrimp/white sauce!  It's by far my new fav meal!!

Is your mouth watering? Because it should be.

I've also been spending a lot of time on and trying to work on my photography.  We had our FIRST SNOW of the season yesterday and was able to get Jackson out for a bit to take some pictures.  I am eager to get my new Auto lense from Santa because by the time I kneel down (remember 25 weeks preggo here) and adjust the focus on the lense, the shot is gone!  Plus, I had the blue snow problem (slightly fixed with editing) -- but I'm still figuring out white balance settings.  Here's some shots from yesterday...and I don't think they're too shabby at all...

This one's blurry but that face is to DIE FOR!  Ah, he kills me!

I'm going to try and do some Holiday family portraits of us and some friends of ours this weekend with twinkle lights.  I'm SUPER excited yet trepidatious about it not working.  We'll see how it goes!

An update on Jackson...
He had his 6 month evaluation and he is still pretty far behind in his speech.  Farther behind than we originally thought which was heartbreaking to find out.  The good thing about all of this is we now have a new Interventionist and she does so much more with him than our previous one did.  You can tell that everything she is doing has a purpose and she isn't just coming over to be a big toy.  It makes me feel a lot better about the intervention and gives me hope that it will start to help him more.  Also, they are recommending him for another speech therapy evaluation.  It'll take several weeks for us to get in and see if he qualifies.  Last time he tested out, so we'll see this go'round.  In a way I hope he doesn't test out.  I just want him to get all the help he needs to get caught up.  Do you know how hard it is to watch your sweet little boy try to tell you something, but not have the words?  He gets so frustrated and it upsets him so much.  It rips the heart right out of my chest.

Lastly, a pregnancy update...
Ok, so this second time around I have definitely been slack.  I haven't taken ONE baby bump picture yet and have a tough time remembering how pregnant I am on a daily basis.  I have my glucose test next week, which makes me nervous.  Sweets haven't been too agreeable with me during this pregnancy, which makes me doubly nervous that there is a reason why.  Sweet Ruth is moving around like crazy.  Her favorite times of day are late at night and starting at about 6 am.  I never woke up because of Jackson moving, but this little girl seems to wake me up all morning long!  I'm thinking she's gonna be an early riser!

We've started clearing stuff out of the extra bedroom to make it Ruth's nursery.  So far we've cleared all but the linens out of her closet and emptied out most of the drawers in the furniture.  We also cleared out a cabinet in the kitchen to use for extra baby bottle/container/etc. storage.  We put a shelving unit up in our laundry closet and already have it filled with the contents we've cleaned out of the cabinet, drawers, and closet.  Next, we just need to finish clearing out the room and sell the furniture.  Once we get it all cleaned out, we can paint and start putting everything together!

Speak of...I'm gonna get started on that now...


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Do you ever get bored with yourself?

I do.

I don't know why.  I don't think I'm a boring person, really.  I actually think I'm fairly interesting and fun to be around.  But sometimes, I feel like I need to add to my repertoire.

I get bored with my everyday routine.  Because in all actuality, I do a lot of nothing very interesting.  My days consist of these activities, and not necessarily in this order -- wake up, play with my son (which is actually very fun and interesting), clean the house or do laundry of some sort, check facebook, twitter, and pinterest a gajillion times a day, read a couple blogs I follow and maybe write one of my own, shower and make myself presentable at some point, maybe take a nap, play with my son some more, feed my family at least 3 times a day, and watch wayyyyyy too much TV.  Some days I work on improving my photography, but not nearly enough.  Some days we actually make it outside of the yard and go do something fun, but again, not nearly enough.

I've been following several blogs lately and have several crafty friends and family members that have really inspired me to tap into my creative side. has really helped with that too -- although pinning doesn't make you crafty unless you actually do the things you're pinning!

So here's a list of the things I am GOING to learn how to do and hopefully do on a regular basis.

1.  Learn how to crochet and/or knit.
-  I have several family members and friends that can do one or both and they make some of the cutest things.  I would love to be able to make Ruth cute hats, headbands, and blankets.  Or make myself an awesome scarf.  But I've got to learn how to do it first!  Check out my incredibly talented friends, Liz and Melody, and their awesome creations at Babymine Creations and Melodyjoy1983.  Also, I have to mention my cousin, Carrie Ann, and her blog.  She doesn't mention how talented she is at crocheting, but she is and hopefully she'll be selling her stuff soon!

2.  Learn how to sew.
-  I used to know how to sew.  In fact, I did it so well in middle school Home Economics that my teacher would get me to help her finish her own projects.  However, between 8th grade and now I've lost every bit of knowledge.  I can't hem, can't use a sewing machine anymore, and can hardly sew on a button!  My good friend, Tara, sews very well (she knits too - should've mentioned her above) and is always making stuff for herself, her two boys, and nieces.  You can check out some of her stuff on her blog as well - My So Called Motherhood!

3.  Plant a garden and preserve all the home grown goodies.
-  I have fond memories of my grandmother and grandfather planting a huge garden every Spring.  Corn, tomatoes, okra, green beans, squash, cucumbers, carrots, etc etc etc.  They also had fruit trees and pecans galore.  I'd watch them till, plant, maintain the garden, and then harvest.  We'd shake down plums, apples and pears, and lay out huge tarps to collect bushels of pecans every year.  We'd eat the fresh goodies all Spring and Summer and then my grandmother, mom, and aunts would can the rest to eat throughout the Fall and Winter.  We always had canned green beans, pickles, jams, jellies, and other delectables to choose from all year long.  Now I know all of those aren't achievable but a small garden with enough to give us fresh produce during the Spring and Summer and enough leftovers to can would be possible.  And, I could collect local produce from the famers market to can throughout the year.  I NEVER thought  I would have a desire to do this until I started following some blogs* about gardening and canning.  I don't want my children to grow up without those memories, so I've GOT to make this happen...for me and for them.
*I decided not to post a link to the blog because I tried to contact the blogger to get permission to do so, but never heard anything back.  If you'd like to follow it yourself, send me a message and I'll shoot you the link.

4.  Get in the kitchen with my kids and explore old family recipes.
-  Between seeing my friend Tara (yep, same one mentioned above) do lots of fun things in the kitchen with her kids, hearing my cousin talk about my late great grandmother's fried apple pies, having an old memory of an old picture of that same great grandmother making apple butter in her backyard (thanks to this post) -- I've been thinking a lot about old family recipes that will go extinct unless my generation passes them along.  I've already forgotten many of the things I grew up eating and feel a NEED to dig them up.  I come from a long line of amazing, Southern women who knew what they were doing in the kitchen.  And, I'd be doing them a disservice if I didn't continue their legacy.  So, this Christmas - I'm asking my grandmother for a box of passed down recipes.  And, I will make EVERY LAST ONE!

5.  Go exploring with my little boy
-  OK.  One last mention of Ramblings of a Lovesick Mommy, and My So Called Motherhood here.  These two mommies inspire me to get out with my little one.  They are constantly doing fun things with their babies - whether it be a walk down the road to see the fallen leaves, a trip to the museum, or just doing a fun activity outside where they can make a mess.  I don't do this nearly enough.  We spend WAY too much time indoors...and that scares me.  I've never been big on the outdoors, but I want my little boy to be.  I want him to be active and wild at heart.  So, I've gotta suck it up.  And besides, every time we actually do go outside and do something fun, I always have a blast.   

I know all of these things will take some time.  I can start learning to knit, crochet, and sew before this little girl comes into the world.  Gardening and canning will have to come next Spring.  But getting in the kitchen with Jackson more and taking him exploring can happen at least every week.

And it should!