Phone Photo Friday





Can anybody hear me? I’m down in this cave…

Just kidding.

Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth—er, blogsphere—this week. Time has gotten away from me. I have several things I was planning to share this week…projects, house build update, Precious’ baby dedication at our church…but they will show up here next week instead. Between the above mentioned activities, I’ve also been on deadline at work the past few days.

We’re housesitting for friends this week. My parents are super great but it’s nice to have some space—a lot of space, actually—for just the three of us. Jason currently has Precious with him down at our home build—in the air conditioned Silver Bullet I imagine, since it’s almost to the triple digit temps out there. Our foundation block started going in this morning. Yay! Meanwhile, I’m working away in a very quiet, peaceful house. I looked out the window this morning and spotted this deer grazing in the backyard:

I’ll be back soon!

Reusable Swim Diapers


At the beginning of the summer, I was excited to find Huggies Little Swimmers on sale at Target for $8 something for a back of 20. I had a coupon too so I got 2 packages. Then I started thinking about my plans to swim with Precious almost everyday and about our beach vacation later this summer. I realized we could easily go through 20 in a week or two. When I got home, I googled reusable swim diapers out of curiosity. to the rescue again. (BTW, did you know I LOVE Amazon? Haha.)

As it turns out, for the same price as a package of 20 disposable swim diapers, I could have just bought one reusable swim diaper that would last us all summer. I ended up ordering two different brands for comparison and also for days when we’re in an out of the water several times. (Or in the case of a messy one that we need to switch out…)

A couple of things I learned in my research:

• Swim diapers are not meant to absorb water; they are meant to contain solid messes. This applies also to disposable ones. If they were designed to absorb water, they would just be regular disposable diapers. Apparently quite a few parents have learned this lesson the hard way, getting their kids dressed for the pool and then plunking them in their car seats… they don’t absorb liquids. Not very much anyway.

• Because their function is to contain #2, they need to fit tight around the legs and waist. Be sure to order the right size or er on the side of smaller if your kids is between sizes.

The first one I tried is this iPlay swim diaper in white. (12 month size. Precious is 20 lbs.)  I’m a big fan of this one because of the snaps along one side which make it easier to get off when it’s wet. Also, because it’s white it’s less noticeable under a swim suit.

You can see how it’s almost totally hidden under her bathing suit in these outtakes from Precious’ 11 month portraits:

She was not happy about being on her back. She was ready to roll over and get away. I tried setting up the quilt vertically. That wasn’t any better…

The second one I tried is the FINIS swim diaper in Blue Octopus. (Medium) For both I opted to get unisex friendly colors since I knew Precious would only fit them for a few months and then they can be passed along to another kiddo. The benefit of the patterned swim diaper is that it can be used as the swim suit. For Precious, I pair it with a rash guard swim shirt or put it under a swim suit if I want her to match.


New Home Update


Last week the ground was dug and leveled for our new home and the concrete was poured for the footers (the base that the foundation blocks will sit on). I had to get a phone replacement and I lost a few pictures so almost all of these are from Jason’s phone. I took this one of Precious. We take walks down to the new house several times a day.

There was a lot of junk buried from the previous house. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but the house that was originally on this lot had a fire and was demolished. According to the city codes, they’re not supposed to do this…ahem…although, our contractors and the footer guys didn’t seem terribly surprised. It’s not usable as fill dirt so most of it had to be hauled away.

After the ground is leveled, they did trenches for the concrete. There is a trench for every load-bearing wall as well as some square pits for support pillars. Our house will have a crawlspace, not a basement, in case you’re wondering why its so shallow. Our ground is very rocky in Tennessee so basements are not very common. (Unless it’s a hillside property, blasting is usually required to get deep enough into the rock for a basement. $$$) We considered doing a slab instead of a crawlspace. I’m happy to explain why we decided on crawlspace if anyone really cares. Otherwise, I’ll spare ya the details.

Once the trenches are finished, rebar is set in place for the concrete. I learned the difference between concrete and cement last week, in case anyone else is interested. Quick answer: cement is an ingredient of concrete.

Speaking of, here comes the concrete truck! On my birthday. Biggest and most expensive birthday present I’ve ever received!

It was about 95 degrees out that day.

This was taken after the first truck load. It took about 2.5 truckloads of concrete all together. Later on in the building process the concrete truck will be back to do our garage and back patio.

On Thursday the concrete blocks were delivered.

This week, that block should be going into place around the foundation and the front of the house. It’s so exciting!

Phone Photo Friday


Precious: Monthly Portrait 11


My dear daughter, at 11 months old you are quite obviously transitioning into toddlerhood. You haven’t impressed us with too many new words this month, instead you’re all about new motor skills. You’re officially a crawler now, which means we’re all getting more exercise chasing you into the next room before you discover something we haven’t childproofed yet. Lucy is also getting more exercise. Our lazy old cocker spaniel has been keeping her distance from you for the past 9 months and now she has to keep jumping up to move away, narrowly escaping your grasp. I don’t think any of us is sure what you’ll do once you do catch up with her. From your back, you flip over so quickly and start crawling that it was almost impossible to get your photo this month! You were pulling up to a stand before you learned to crawl so now it’s a very smooth process: crawl across the room to the cabinet/door/table/chair/dogfoodbag/etc. and pull yourself into standing position. That also means you’re spending a lot of time standing up in your crib. I’m not sure what you hope to accomplish by this. Usually we let you get tired (or bored) for a while then go back and lay you back down and remind you it’s time for sleeping. That’s working so far. You’re cruising a bit also, moving with more and more fluidity from the coffee table to the play table to the person who is spotting you.

Even more amusing than all the mobility are your new dance moves. It started with clapping. At first you would clap the back of your left hand with your right but within a week you mastered the palm-to-palm clap. You also love to move your head side-to-side to the music—any music. Daddy introduced you to beat boxing recently in an attempt to show off your dance moves. Not only did it work, you love it! You’re even doing your own version of a beatbox. A couple days ago you were having your own dance party in your car seat, going “tah tah tah” and swinging your head around like Ray Charles, occasionally throwing in a few claps or a “yeah!” You’re adorable and such a good time! Thank you for entertaining us everyday, making us smile and laugh.

Your hugs and kisses are arguably the greatest reward to being your mom. You’ve added a back pat to your hug, which is the sweetest thing. You were upset over some teething pain the other night and as I hugged and rocked you, you started patting my back as if to say, “You’re doing a good job, Mom. You’ll get through this.” I should note that you now have 5 teeth through. That one on the top (left of center) was a doozy—the first tooth that’s caused you obvious pain. The 6th has been stubbornly working it’s way to the surface but it’s still not through.

I’m breaking the white onesie protocol this month and photographing you in your bathing suit because we’ve been going in Grandma and Grandpa’s pool as much as possible. Despite the hard time I’m getting from Daddy and Grandma, I’m determined to teach you to float on your back this summer. After months of trying to teach you to hold your breath to no avail, I realized I could more easily teach you to blow bubbles. You’re getting it! I’m not trying to push swimming on you because I love it; it’s for your safety. But I do hope you’ll be my pool buddy for many years to come. Happy 11 Months, Ali-gator!   

Recent Thrift Store and Estate Sale Finds


Jason and I are currently refinishing this chair pair we picked up at a thrift store. I’m excited to show you an “after” picture when we’re all finished. It may be hard to tell in the picture but they’re covered in a sticky, stinky old vinyl. Apparently they’re made by the Dearborn Company in Chicago. One of the chairs—I named them Douglas and Davy, by the way—had this tag on the bottom:

I spotted a couple boxes of Shiny Brites at an estate sale that I couldn’t resist. ( I have a modest collection from my granny.)

This cart is very similar to the black one I found a few weeks ago. I’m planning to spray paint them both a matching color.

I’m not sure what to use this little table for but I thought it was cute.

New Home Update


Last Wednesday, the surveyor came out to mark the four corners of our property and to plot out where our house will be situated on the lot. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that our property is even larger than it appears, especially because one of the side fences is about 10 feet inside the property line; not right on the line as we (and our neighbor) had assumed. Thankfully, our neighbor is not upset. We’ve met several of our neighbors already and I’m really thankful we seem to be surrounded by great people. Jason took all these photos of the surveying.

On Thursday we broke ground! It was a wonderful anniversary present.

Things are moving quickly so I’ll have one or two updates a week on the house build. Today is my birthday and we’re hopefully getting a delivery of concrete for our footers. We might even get a delivery of concrete block for the foundation and front wall.

Father’s Day


A very brief recap of yesterday. I posted this on Instagram from church:

Father & Daughter. These two have such a special bond. Someday she’ll understand how hard he fought for her and how close she came to not having a daddy. Happy Father’s Day, Jason. We love you to the moon and back!

And then Precious look a nap on her daddy’s lap during the sermon and we got to sit through the whole service for the first time in as long as I can remember. It was awesome!

On our way home we stopped at Wendy’s to get frosties because I saw this post Friday at Adding Members. We love the work that the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption does. On Father’s Day weekend they donate $0.50 from each frosty sale to the foundation and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. Frosties and french fries…no need to twist my arm!

We got our Wendy’s frosties! Support kids in foster care today in honor of Dave Thomas and his adoption advocacy!

After that, we went down to our property to dream about landscaping while Precious was napping. (Progress reports coming soon!) We ended up standing out in the tall weeds for a couple hours talking to our new neighbor…getting devoured by chiggers. UGH! I hate chiggers. We capped the evening off with a poolside dinner with family and friends and swimming. It was a lovely day.

Phone Photo Friday