December 5, 2011

What’s the Point of Pinterest?

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 9:31 pm by Tamara

For a while now I’ve heard people gushing about how addictive the website “Pinterest” is.  The first time I went to it I completely didn’t get it.  Then one day my cousin commented that Pinterest is like “organizing the internet,” and my little ears perked up.  I love organizing things. I have a color-coordinated closet.  I organized my DVDs by genre, time period, title, and color, until I got married and (with trembling lower lip) finally agreed to just organize them alphabetically and by genre so Adam could find them too.

Pinterest is basically an online inspiration board.  I’ve seen authors, artists, interior designers, etc, have pin boards above their desks where they save things that inspire them: photos, scraps of fabric, favorite quotes…whatever.  That’s what Pinterest is: an online pin board.

The reason I didn’t get Pinterest at first was because I was looking at the home page, which isn’t organized.  Once you have your own profile page, however, you create “Boards” which are a collections of your “pins.”  Here are some of my boards:

Some of my Pinterest boards. Clearly I need to add more pins!

For example, I created a board called “Things I Love to be Surrounded By,” which is basically a collection of things I would love to have in my dream home one day.  When I see a picture on a website of, say, a kitchen that I love, I click “Pin it” and Pinterest makes a “pin” out of that picture and adds it to my collection.  So now I have a collection of pictures to give me ideas for decorating my house in the future.  Here’s a screenshot of some of my pins on that board:

One of my Pinterest "Boards" and some "Pins"

The cool thing, though, is that it also adds a link to that website along with the picture.  In the past, I’ve bookmarked websites that I wanted to remember, but that means I have a billion bookmarks, and a link just isn’t as inspiring as an actual picture.  Now I can go to my “Crafts” board and see pictures of all the crafts I’ve thought would be fun to do, click on the one I want, and instantly go to the website that has directions for it.

You can create as many boards as you can think of: craft ideas, books to read, thought provoking articles, pretty clothes, recipes, Christmas/party decorations, time/money saving tips…whatever!  You can view other friends’ boards, too; I’ve gotten some great ideas for crafts to make, recipes to try, decorating tips, etc from friends’ pins.  You can also search for pins: I searched for “Photo Wall” to get ideas for how to hang pictures in our new apartment, and this is some of the results:

Pinterest Photo Wall Search

I wouldn’t say I’m “addicted” yet, but I think it’s going to be a fun tool to organize and keep track of things that inspire me and websites that I just plain want to find again!  One warning: the images aren’t filtered, so you do run some risk of running across risque images, particularly if you do public searches.  If you’re mostly using it to organize your own websites/pictures and see what your friends like, though, the risk is pretty minimal.  If you’d like an invitation to join Pinterest, just let me know!

December 4, 2011

Snow!

Posted in Water Droplets at 2:03 am by Tamara

In case you didn’t notice, it is once again SNOWING here on Watermarked One!  I set this up last year to automatically start every winter because I loved it so much (and was in South Carolina and missing snow).  I forgot all about it until I logged on today and there it was!  I love snow!!  Have fun playing (it follows your mouse!) and happy snow season, everyone!  :)

October 13, 2011

Six Months Old

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , , , at 12:29 am by Tamara

Bear just turned six months old.  I can’t believe it–where did the months go?  We’re loving every day of discovery and development.  He lights up our lives in more ways than I could ever express.  I’m pretty convinced that he couldn’t get any cuter…and pretty convinced that he’s going to.  :)

Bear, Six Months Old

Loving life!  And boy do we love him!!

Praising God for our handsome, healthy, heaven-sent baby boy!

September 24, 2011

Our Home

Posted in Water Droplets, Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 8:00 am by Tamara

I felt a little weepy the other day when the realtor put the For Sale sign in front of our house.  It means we’ve officially said someone else can have our house if they want it.  (Wait, WHAT?!  No you can’t!  Go away!  MINE!!!)

Okay…I know I can’t say that.  But that doesn’t meant I don’t want to.

So, I thought I’d post some pictures for posterity’s sake, and because our house makes me so happy.  Oh, and if you (or someone you know) wants to buy a home in Columbia, let me know.  I GUESS I’d let you buy it.  But only because I know if you’re reading this I like you, so you’ll provide a good home for our house.  So without further ado, the grand tour:

Our Happy Little Home

Our living room and front door. The blue/brown/green color scheme is so peaceful and soothing to me. It's a complete 180 from the Middle-Eastern-inspired gold and red apartment I had when I was single, and I've loved them both!

It's a travesty, but we've never used the fireplace. We didn't even think to use it when we moved in and the heater was broken and it was 40 degrees inside. Oh well--it sure is pretty to look at! I ADORE the paint color in this room. It's called Twilight: a gray-blue with purple undertones. Ah! Love!

Dining room. The chandellier in here makes me so happy--it replaced a hideous gold thing that I stared at in consternation and disapproval for a year and a half! (OH, and it is brushed nickle...it kind of looks gold in the picture. Ahk!) And I love the pretty table and chairs we got from wonderful friends!

Kitchen. Had we been here longer, I probably would have painted the cabinets white and put brushed nickle hardware on them. I love the pretty new floors and stainless appliances (the ones when we bought the house were a giant shudder of horror!)

The cheery breakfast nook!

Berean's room. The Poohbear decals go all the way around the room. His crib should be where that bed is, but it's still in our room, so....

Lots of sweet cuddles happen in that rocker. Warm fuzzies in my heart!

Hall bath. I love that shower curtain. Except that it shrunk. So if you buy it...don't put it in the dryer.

The office side of the office

The library/music room side of the office. We packed away two whole book shelves. Sniff. It's okay, little books! We'll be reunited again soon! The violin painting was Adam's grandma's. We miss her!! The piano music is open to a song called "Own Me." Get it? Subliminal messaging for potential home buyers?? Haha! Yeah...I doubt anyone will notice. ;)

Master bedroom. Someday I'm going to make a beautiful headboard. And stain the nightstands. And do a gorgeous ombre paint effect on our dressers. And....

Master bath. There's no way to get the pretty purple shower curtain in the picture, unfortunately. It has a huge tub, which would be spectacular if I wasn't completely freaked out by all the bacteria and parasites that I am sure lurk in tubs, resisting my futile attempts to disinfect them to death. (In other words, I only take showers. With flip flops on. This is another topic that seems to come up much more often in my blog posts than I think it should. Hm.) There is also a great walk-in closet with plenty of room to display my RED SHOES! Oh, how I love them.

The raised bed square-foot garden Adam built. Uh...this picture may have been from last year. Because this year I may have planted the garden and then totally abandoned it to the savage South Carolina heat. I have gardener guilt. Although those of you who know me know that it probably died a kinder death at the hands of the elements than it might have at the hand of my black thumb. One thing remains this year, though: my beloved rosemary!! It survived three freak snowstorms and is growing spectacularly, without me doing ANYTHING to help it. Sniff. I already loved rosemary, and love it so much more now for it's valiant effort!

Well, there you have it, a tour of our beloved house.  We have been SO blessed to live here.  We’ve learned a TON about handyman skills, been able to have dogs, been surrounded by an environment that makes me feel cosy and happy, and made so many memories.  It never could have happened without my incredible parents who have blessed us so generously.  We love you!

I’m so sad to leave, but also trusting that God has great things and wonderful memories waiting for us in Colorado.  And I know, ultimately, that Adam and Rean and time together are what will make our home, whether it’s a mansion or a cardboard box.  Before you know it I’ll be blogging about our new apartment!  Looking forward to it!

September 2, 2011

A Poopie Afternoon (or “Baby and Poo, Doggie and Poo, Mommy and Poo” or perhaps “Too Much Information”)

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 8:18 pm by Tamara

When this afternoon’s events started happening I planned to post the story on my mom’s Facebook, because almost nothing is too much information to share with Mom/Grandma, right?  However, as the events progressed it became clear that this story was way too long for the character limit.  Hence this post.  If you are not my mom and/or have no interest in will-be-funny-to-me-someday baby poop stories, feel free to forgo!

I’ve been mildly sick the past few days—just enough of a head cold to make me tired and yucky feeling.  Today added, erm, mild digestive issues.  So I put Berean in his jumperoo (mistake #1) and went to the bathroom.  It was almost naptime, and I was dreaming that maybe I could crawl in bed with my box of tissues and sleep for a while, too.  While I was in the bathroom, Rean of course started crying like he was dying, so I went to rescue him and discovered a massive diaper leak.  It had run down both his legs and he was standing in a puddle of it (on the carpet, of course).  This is the third time in a week and a half he’s had a diaper leak in that darn jumperoo.  Wah wah wah.

Even though this leak blew the last leak I wrote about out of the water (and while we’re on that topic, why am I writing about poop so much?  Is this subject an unavoidable side effect of motherhood??), I didn’t have the heart to take pictures and Adam was at work, so I changed Berean’s diaper and got him wiped down well enough that I could set him down to get a bath ready.  When I carried him back out to the living room, what do I see but our little dog Lily crawling out from under the jumperoo.

Now, a little back story, we just paid $56 to get her groomed.  (Okay, in my defense, I have to add that we usually only pay $35, but I’d been looking for weeks for a coupon and she was getting so matted that we couldn’t put it off any longer).  So she came home from the groomers smelling like peaches with a bright white coat and little sparkly pink bows in her ears (and for 56 bucks she’d better!)

And now this afternoon, out she crawls from under the jumperoo, and I realize that she has been rolling in the poop puddle.  I don’t think there could be a more incongruous sight than this foofy little formerly-white-dog with pink sparkly bows who should be all dainty and girly and is instead covered from head to toe in mustard yellow baby diarrhea.  So here I am with a baby covered in poo, a carpet covered in poo, and now a doggie covered in poo.  Oh, horrors!

So I lock her in the kitchen and go to get Rean’s bath ready, which of course requires moving all the dirty dishes from the kitchen counters into the kitchen sink (it only occurred to me later that I could have put his tub in the bathtub.  Sigh.)  As I’m doing that I look down and see that the dogs are playing, which involves Knightley chewing on Lily, who is covered in baby poo.  Oh, horror!  So I kick Knightley out of the kitchen and give Berean his bath.

Next I put Rean in his crib, hoping he’ll take the aforementioned nap, and go bathe Lily, which requires moving all the dirty dishes out of the kitchen sink and onto the kitchen counters (which also could have been done in the bathtub, but my poo-traumatized brain didn’t think of it).  Of course, once I have a sopping wet, bedraggled and soapy dog, Rean starts wailing from the other room like he’s dying.

So I quickly finish rinsing Lily and go check on Rean, and thankfully this time it is only spit up and not poo.  I get him calmed down and cleaned up and come out to deal with the poo-covered carpet.  Of course, the carpet shampooer wasn’t cleaned out the last time it was used, so I have to do that.  And, of course, Berean starts crying again.  I get him settled down again and come to clean up the carpet, and of course, the shampooer isn’t working.  It was a sizable poo puddle to begin with, and Lily’s rolling has smeared it into a much bigger puddle, so I really don’t want to have to do this on my hands and knees (with my runny nose dripping all over the place).

I finally get the carpet cleaner to sort-of work, and am sweating (probably with a fever) by the time I’m done.  Thankfully by this time Rean is quiet.  Praise the Lord!  So I go to empty the dirty mustard yellow water into the toilet, and, of course, accidentally drop the reservoir itself into the toilet.  I mean, what else would I do at this point?  After cleaning that up, I let the dogs outside.  Lily decides that she doesn’t need to walk all the way to the grass and instead pees all over the deck landing, right where Knightley always jumps up to come inside.  So I clean that up.

By the mercy of God, Berean was still asleep at this point.  So, I sneak into the bedroom, curl up in the fetal position, and take at nap.

Oi.

Ironically, he was not wearing the Poopie Onsie today.  But he WAS wearing the onesie that I always hang up next to the poopie onesie (yes, his closet is color-coordinated.  It makes me happy!)  So does this mean that Poopie Onesie is spreading its poopie-leak-inducing condition to the other innocent clothes in the closet?  Oh, Lord, save me!

I took this a few days ago. Good thing I have such a cute helper for all the poopie baby clothes!

Lily, post-grooming and pre-poopie. Too bad you can't see the sparkly pink bows very well.

August 28, 2011

Playing Baby Games

Posted in Water Droplets tagged at 8:54 am by Tamara

Berean is four and a half months old now, and every day is more fun than the last!  We’re seeing his little personality develop, and he’s starting to play little games with us.  I love it!

First is the eternal classic Peek-a-Boo.  He’ll put the blanket over his own face now, which amazes me!  It means he’s learned a cause and effect (if I put this over my face and then take it off, Mommy makes a funny noise!) and also a sequence of events (put it up, pull it down, hear funny noise!)  Those are pretty major developments!

He’s just so yummy that I love to pretend to eat him.  Now he’ll play along—I’ll open my mouth and make a “nom, nom, nom” noise, and he’ll wave his hand in front of my mouth teasing me for a bit before he pokes it in my mouth and I “gobble” up his hand.  He thinks it’s hilarious, and I love that he’s learned the coordination to put it up to my mouth, and also the interaction that he can tease me for a bit before he lets me gobble him.  So cute!!

I also love that he’s interested in interacting with us.  He loves touching my face now.  I’ll stand him up in my lap and he’ll put both hands on the sides of my face and pull me to him.  Aaaaaw!  I’ll either give him a kiss and squeal “I kissed you!” or say “Can I have a kiss?” and put my cheek to his mouth and make a kissing sound and squeal “Aw, thank you!”  He just loves the reactions either way, and will grin and squeal back with an adorable little bashful shrug.

The desire to interact with us is such an exciting thing.  It means that he’s showing an interest in and ability to develop relationships, which is huge, and something I don’t take for granted!  I just love playing with him and hearing his adorable squeals and giggles and seeing the mischievous sparkle in his eyes.

August 22, 2011

Recipe for an Idyllic Morning

Posted in Water Droplets, Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , at 1:01 pm by Tamara

Berean and I had a great morning.  Usually my mornings consist of feeding Rean while eating dry cereal with my fingers, drinking from the half-empty water bottle I forgot on the floor the last night, and wondering if Rean will fall asleep again long enough for me to take a frantic shower.  But this morning was particularly blissful, in spite of the fact that I was removed from another blissful state (sleep) a little earlier than I could have wanted. But still, it was rather idyllic, so I thought I’d document:

The first, and most important, ingredient is a happy baby. The recipe will most likely not succeed without it.

The next ingredients are French-pressed caffe verona and vanilla caramel creamer. Oh yum. I almost put the coffee grounds above the press' plunger by accident. Clearly I needed to stay in blissful state #1 a little longer this morning.

Adam brought me strawberry and blueberry mini-scones from Panera. Yum, yum, yum!

Yes...I'm a month behind. Um, plus a year. Heh. Nothing wrong with a 2-year reading plan! The point is to keep reading!

Next, my chronological Bible, complete with an "Emma" bookmark just to make me smile.

I'd probably get more read if Berean didn't make so many distractingly cute faces!

He was making smacking noises and opening and closing his mouth as if to say "Can I try that, Mommy?"

I also might get more read without cute-but-needy doggies. Exhibit A: Lily.

Exhibit B: Knightley. "I want in, I want out, I want food, I want out, I love you! I want in, I want out...."

The distracting view of the messy living room doesn't help, either....

Clearly, the nighttime pick-up routine did not get accomplished last night. Oi.

But, hey! Bible read, yummy breakfast eaten. Progress!

At this point, I listened to my dreams of a long, peaceful shower get cried away as Berean fought his nap.  When I picked him up to try to rock him to sleep on my shoulder he kept pushing back to look into my face as if to say, “Mommy, you are already beautiful and you smell fine to me–no need to shower!  Now, can we forget about this nap thing and go play?”

Oh well, you win some, you lose some. All in all, I think we have the makings of a great morning! Who needs a shower? On with the day! I love my life. :)

Update: as of this posting, I am glad to report that both a clean living room and a shower have been accomplished!  Now, Berean.  About that nap….

August 9, 2011

The Poopie Onesie Strikes Again! (Installment Three)

Posted in Water Droplets, Watermarks in Progress tagged at 11:11 pm by Tamara

I wrote here about a onesie I got Berean that says “Mommy and Daddy Love Me,” and how both times Rean has worn it he’s had a poopie diaper leak.  Today I saw it in the closet and thought, “Haha—even if the streak continues, today is Adam’s day off (evil laugh).  But there’s no way we’ll hit three in a row.”  And on the onesie went!  And this is what transpired….

"Hey, I'm wearing the infamous onesie again! I wonder what I should do today." (So a couple hours later, Mommy is innocently going along with her day when....)

"Hm, what is that spot under the jumperoo?" (Poke head under Rean's bum) "Nuuuuh uhhhh! Inconceivable!"

"Houston, we have a problem."

"What? There is a problem in my diaper area? How could this be? Just look at my innocent little face!"

"It's okay, Mommy and Daddy love me! Hehehe!"

"Hey Daddy! Your turn on diaper duty! Hehehe!"

Post-bath. Clean and cuddly!

"So, Rean, what would you like to wear now?"

"How about my 'Mommy Loves Me' onesie!"

And what have we learned?  1)  Never to take Berean anywhere in that onesie.  2)  Our four month old can read his shirts!  And 3)  We adore our silly little boy!!

Baby Toys: All You Need is Four!

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 12:35 am by Tamara

I’m determined to keep the toy situation from becoming out of control.  I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it, because baby toys are so cute, and it’s so fun to give him things, and….  But clutter stresses me out, and I would really rather have a few great, quality toys that Berean loves than a million cheap ones he doesn’t play with, so I’m determined to try!  We all know we only really played with a couple of our toys as kids, anyway.  Of course, it’s much easier to keep a handle on it right now when he has no idea what toys he has!  Haha!  But for the time being I’ve found four baby toys that cover all the bases, are safe and well-made, Berean loves, and I love too.

1.   Freddie the Firefly.  This was the first toy Berean showed an interest in, and it’s great for when babies are just getting interested in toys but don’t have a lot of coordination.  It’s easy to hold and has fabric in the wings that makes a crinkle noise, which he finds fascinating.  Now that he’s older he’s getting interested in all the different textures — it has parts that are silky, fuzzy, ribbed, knotted, knitted, etc.  He’s fascinated by the contrasting colors—the front is colorful and the back is a bold black and white pattern.  It also has a mirror, teeter toy, clinking rings, and a squeaker.

I think it’s a beautiful toy. Maybe I’m silly, but I’m really affected by atmosphere/ambiance and it makes me feel stressed to be surrounded by kid’s toys that are garish and clashing.  This one is bright and cheerful and the colors are gradated so they coordinate really nicely.  And, last but not least, I’ve also read that Lamaze is committed to not using PVC in their toys, which is great.

2.  The Skwish.  It seemed like every family I babysat for as a teenager had one of these, and I was just as mesmerized by it as the kids!  The black strings are elastic, so you can squish and pull on it and it springs back into its original shape.  The balls on the rods slide so as you turn it it’s like looking at a kaleidoscope and it makes a gentle clinking sound.  It is very lightweight and easy to grasp, so great for helping develop motor skills.  I can just see the neurons firing when he’s playing with it and watching it move!  Manhattan Toys says that all their Skiwsh varieties are made with replenishable rubberwood with a water based, non-toxic finish.

3.  Sophie the Giraffe.  When Berean started gnawing on everything I got one of those circle gel-filled teethers.  Not only was he totally uninterested in it, but he seemed to have a hard time holding it, and even though the packaging said it was non-toxic I was a little unsure.  I kept thinking they needed a stick-shaped teether so he could easily get it in his mouth.  Voila!  A giraffe!  I was a little surprised how pricy it was ($20), but it got great reviews (4.5 stars on over 1,300 reviews!) so I gave it a try, and Rean loves it.  It squeaks, and Rean loves to fling it around and make it squeak as much as he likes to chew on it.  It’s made of all natural rubber (from a tree) and food paint—no harmful chemicals.  Again, I’d rather have one expensive but safe chew toy he loves than a lot of cheap ones I’m not sure about.

4.  Blankie Bear.  Rean loves to cuddle this when he’s falling asleep in his swing.  The bear is snuggly, he loves to chew on the fur on the edge, and the underside is cool satin.  If I put a stuffed animal in his lap it rolls off as soon as he moves, but the blankie part of this keeps it in his lap.  I wouldn’t put it (or any loose blanket) in his crib, but it’s great for when he’s in his swing or high chair.  I got this as a gift and couldn’t find a link to the exact one, but I love the look of the Pooh Bear one in the link!

With these four toys you have something soft and textured, something hard with movable parts, something chewable, and something soft and snuggleable.  All your bases covered in four toys!

So, what are your favorite baby toys, and what would you recommend for when he’s a toddler (and beyond!)?

August 8, 2011

Friends!

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 5:15 pm by Tamara

I forgot to take pictures with Josh & Megan :( But here's one with Josh from our our wedding!

The past two weekends we’ve gotten two huge treats: visits from friends!  First Adam’s college roommate Josh and his wife Megan came to Myrtle Beach for a family reunion.   We drove over there and had a great time introducing them to Berean, catching up, playing Ticket to Ride, and enjoying the beach house their family rented.  The one thing I failed to do was take pictures.  Sigh!  I never got to know Josh and Megan very well because they lived in Madison when we were in Milwaukee, but on the drive home I told Adam how sad I was that we don’t live close by them, because I just love them!  It’s not that often that you can have a close friend from your single years and then both get married and have all four of you get along.  Every time we’re with Josh and Megan, though, we have so much fun!  It was such a treat to get to see them!

This weekend my college roommate Danielle and her husband David came to visit us.  What are the chances of both Adam and I getting to see our old roommates in one week??  Danielle and David are preparing to go overseas as missionaries, and they made a stop here during their crazy summer of traveling all over the U.S.  It was so, so fun to see them!

Berean is a very smiley boy for me and Adam, but he’s pretty thoughtful whenever he meets new people.  When I handed him to Danielle, though, he was immediately all smiles.  He knows a pretty lady when he sees one!  David, however, smiled at Rean from across the table and flashed a peace sign, and Berean immediately burst into tears.  Lol!  Poor David!  Berean had pretty much the same reaction to Megan and Josh, interestingly enough.  He smiled and cooed for Megan, but Josh came up and made a funny face at him and he started wailing.  Poor Baby!  What’cha gonna do?  I guess he just likes charming the womenfolk.

Danielle and I truly are kindred spirits.  We are ridiculously alike in the way we see the world—David and Adam were just shaking their heads at all the things that we think make perfect sense that they..don’t.  Haha!  The guys decided to go see a boy movie in the evening so that Danielle and I could reenact the oh-so-fun girls’ nights we would have during our single years (Berean was allowed to join the girl party, however, and he got very upset when I tried to put him in bed before it was over!)  We ate the same junk food we used to get, watched a girly movie, and talked about everything under the sun.  Danielle is one of those friends I can dissolve in uncontrollable laughter with one moment and then share the deepest things on my heart with the next.  What a blessing to have a friend like that!!  I wish they lived closer, but it was so, so good to see them!

So, Adam and I are starting this week sleep-deprived from staying up too late talking, but so refreshed.  It’s amazing what visits with wonderful friends can do to encourage you!  Now all the rest of you who I love and miss so much need to come see us!!

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