Friday, November 21, 2014

Say Yes to the Dress!

My baby sister is getting married.

My beautiful, talented, smart sister.
My empathetic, sensitive, feminist sister.
My headstrong, opinionated, complicated sister.
My lovely, loving, and deserving of true love sister.

We came (Bridals by Lori).  We saw (Flo).  We conquered...she said "Yes to the Dress"!

Here's a little preview.

(They totally live up to the hype on TV by the way.  Flo interpreted Amy's aura in about 2 seconds, and we only had to try on what, maybe 4? dresses before we found "the one".  If you are wanting an absolutely exquisite experience guided by true professionals, go to Bridals by Lori.)

Amy is absolutely stunning, and I'm sure she will radiate happiness on her wedding day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ethan at 7 months old

Ok, those with kids probably remember the "Baby Dayz".  It is so fun with him right now.  He is getting more independent (and opinionated), and we are enjoying our time as a new little family.  I am trying to be very present and remember that when things are tough - it will too pass, just as quickly as the times that are wonderful.

Here is Mr. Ethan in a nutshell at 7 months...

Daddy, until he's bored, then Mommy
Mommy, until he's bored, then Daddy

Playing in his jumper
Being outside and going for walks

Favorite toys: Connectable rings, Sophie, Taggie the Elephant, really any tag or zipper on any toy
Standing on our laps
Playing in his crib in the morning after nursing, with the mobile and either Tigger or Monkey 
Favorite foods: Mommy Milk (of course), sweet potatoes, sugar snap peas, carrots, celery, broccoli
OK foods: Chicken, apple slices, prune purees
THAT DANG TV!!  We have to turn it off all the time (bummer for us) because it totally grabs his attention for 10 seconds
Sitting (with help from toppling over)

We have moved on from the bouncer since he started trying to launch himself out of it.
Nursing during the day
Snuggling or cuddling in the "baby" cradle position
Sleeping in the car
Teething - we got 2 teeth (bottoms) in 2 weeks!
Car trips longer than 1 hour
Bottles less than 4 ounces

7 months old vs 1 month old!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Christmas 2013 in Georgia

Fort Mountain Camping (with a 7 month old)

We decided to return to camping now that the weather has cooled off.  We headed up to my favorite park, Fort Mountain State Park, during the first weekend in October.

We had a lot of fun once we got through the traffic up I-75.  We set up the camper, unloaded the firewood, and made some jambalaya for dinner.

Ethan's reaction to his first campfire was priceless - he was "woo-ing" like normal, with his arms outstretched to either side (also like normal), and then he caught a glimpse of the fire as it flamed up.  He stopped in his tracks and just stared.  He looked at me.  Then Daddy.  Then back at the fire.  Grinned.  Then started "woo-ing" again.

We set up the pack and play on the convert-able dinette area and left our queen size bed set up like normal and put him to bed with minimal fuss.  A typical night with diaper, jammies, book, nurse to sleep, with his sound machine and nightlight going.

Jeff and I proceeded to have (multiple) s'mores and we had a chance to reconnect as a couple - it was so, so, so nice.  Those moments of peace and quiet, when it's back to just the two of you, are really rare.  We were so grateful for it.

10PM rolled around and it was time for Ethan's dream feed, and our bedtime.  While I sat and nursed, Jeff got ready for bed.  And then...Ethan woke up, woke up - and was scared.  He was sleepy but did not know where he was, why he was awake, what the heck we were doing, where was he sleeping, etc etc etc.  I would hold him and was SURE he was asleep, and then put him in the pack and play and then... WAAAHHHHH.  Jeff would do the same... then WAAAHHHHH again.

We finally ended up tearing down the pack and play.  I slept on the dinette, while the baby slept with Jeff in the bed.  We are NOT co-sleepers, so Jeff didn't sleep very well for fear of rolling onto the baby (who loves to snuggle up against you).  There was only a thin buffer between my butt and the plywood, so I didn't sleep very well either.

The next morning was cold and called for rain.  We were exhausted.  So we decided to make breakfast, have a nice walk, and lunch, and naps, and then head home before spending the 2nd night.

Quitters?  Yeah, maybe.  But maybe we are just being smart parents, working with E's development as best we can.  He is just not used to having anyone or any other noise in his room during night sleeps.  This is great for 99% of the time when he is in his own room and crib, but not so great when we want to camp.  So we have been smarter too - we rented a cottage with his own bedroom for our next trip (more on that soon).

We'll try camping all together again sometime, but maybe not for awhile.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fall Fun Spectacular

Before we had the baby, we had decided that we were going to be the kind of family that "did stuff" and were not going to stay at home, just because it was easier.  So - here is our FALL FUN SPECTACULAR!

This weekend kicked off 2 months of fun - which we have been totally taking advantage of!

Sept 27 Saturday was the Fayette Flyers fly-in and family day.

Jeff met with his Remote Control (RC) Airplane group and everyone flew their planes while mingling with the other families.  There were burgers and hot dogs grilled on the grill, various sides, and desserts (all pot luck).  We of course brought Scotcheroos - it's like the south has never seen them before!!!  We are deemed Master Chefs wherever we bring them.  (If they only knew.)

A very nice family let me sit under their tent so E could nap away from the bustle of the potluck.

Sept 28 Sunday we went - for the 6th year in a row - to our Fall Fun Spectacular in North Georgia.  This was the first year there were three of us though :)

We started out at Burt's Farm

Of course HAD to take a pic with the John Deere

Ethan was thrilled to be out and about, watching the kids and playing on pumpkins

Then we headed just a little ways down the road to see Ann and her family at R and A Orchards

Ethan's first trailer ride - note, NOT a tractor ride.  That honor is reserved for Grandpa this summer.

Baby tried to help - as always...

We got our fill of apples, fried pie, so-so sandwiches, a cider!  And our first fall trip as three Hartmans.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Our first date with Garth Brooks

- Insert high school story here :) -
I was a varsity cheerleader for our football team.  We were in the playoffs.  It was the final game before making it to "The Dome" for the state championship, and the Monarchs were playing at home.  For a tiny little school playing 9-man B-school football that had never gone to "The Dome" before it was a Big Deal.

The playoff game also coincided with Garth Brooks playing in Sioux Falls.  And I had a ticket (to go with my family and cousins).

I decided to stay and cheer at the game.  We lost.  (Here's the irony: I don't remember anything else about that night anymore, other than the fact I did NOT go to see Garth Brooks.)

Fast forward 15 years.  On September 20 (and for a lot of other days) Garth Brooks was in town.  THE Garth Brooks.

Now, I knew he was coming, and had planned to get tickets - but as mommies are wont to do, I forgot.  And then they got sold out.  And then we would've had to find a babysitter anyway.  It would be our first night away from E.  Whatever.  Not going.  Another missed opportunity.  One I would probably think about for another 15 years (I'm not melodramatic at all).  But fine.

OUT OF THE BLUE, I get an email from an old colleague who had two tickets and did we want them?  YES YES YES.  Not only were they 'tickets', they were premium tickets in this little special area (not a box seat, but similar concept down on the floor).  OMG YES YES YES.

Grandma came down, and we went out for the first time since March!!!!

To say this was one of the most incredible music experiences of my life is an understatement.  

It is probably number 3, behind 1) singing the Monteverdi Gloria at the Cathedral in Rapid City in college, 2) singing in centuries old buildings, in the birthplace of the great composers on a European tour, and 3) Garth Brooks concert (JT would be #4).

The energy in the room was incredible.  It was like fans had been waiting YEARS and YEARS just to have this shared experience.  It was electrifying.  

We had a blast.  After 15 years, Mr. Brooks, you did not disappoint.