Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Mondays are my cleaning days.  Oh, who am I kidding, every day is a cleaning day for me, but I typically do a really thorough job on Mondays.  While making my way through the house, I see sweet little reminders all over my home that a precious little boy shares my space.  Today I decided to document some of the tell-tale signs of boyhood that are sprinkled throughout my home.

All sorts of cuddly, sickly-sweet creatures fill every nook and cranny of his room and the playroom.

There are more rocks inside my home than outside.  Most of these are from a neighbor's landscaping. (shhhhhh, don't tell!)

The toilet seat is perpetually in the upright position.  At first, I thought this was an annoyance, but eventually I realized that the larger target area is well worth the seat-lowering requirement.

Dirty little shoes in various levels of distress are littered all over my entry area.  Some are peek-a-boo toes...but they didn't come that way.

Along with petrified crumbs from every meal we eat, a variety of die-cast metal vehicles is scattered underneath my kitchen table at all times.  And everywhere else, for that matter.  Walk barefooted at your own risk.

It would behoove certain 6-legged creatures to stay out of sight in our house...otherwise, they will be caught, put into a plastic bag, and placed on display for all to see.  I'm learning a lot about the life span of bugs...apparently, for red-headed ash borers, it's more than 2 days.

Wouldn't trade any of this for anything.  Love my little buddy.


Project 64: Lavender

This week's color was a tough one for me.  With a little boy and a strapping man in the house, and me being somewhat of a tomboy myself, there isn't much in the way of lavender anywhere in my humble abode.  And with JBF taking up two full days of my life this week, plus that icky 24 hour pukefest of a tummy bug that visited Pooky Bear the other night, I haven't been out much.  On the way home from church the other day, however, I spied with my little eye a gigantic lavender muse.  A pale purple rhino.  Who would of thunk it?

Here's my favorite for P64:
Really not sure what my affinity towards pachyderms lately is all about, but hey, let's just go with it.
This is apparently intended as play equipment...it is in the fenced-in playground at a local daycare.
Personally, I'm a little intimidated by the impalement possibilities, but that's just me.
When asked what he thought about his concrete counterpart's purple paint job, the big fella at
the zoo just snorted and rolled his eyes.  Me, too, buddy.



Every six months or so, I have to remind myself that money ain't free.  I consign kids and baby clothes and toys in the semi-annual Just Between Friends sale in Tulsa, and though I love getting the check at the end of the event for all of my sold goods, prepping for the sale is another story altogether.  My mom and I shop garage sales and bargain-basement sales at Target, Old Navy, Wal-Mart, and KMart between sales and end up investing about $200 into items to sell.  I guess that this time around we found some extraordinary bargains, because I've never had this much stuff to prep.  I wish I'd had the forethought to take a before photo of all of the bags of clothes that were piled in the corner of my bedroom this morning after dragging them out of the attic, but alas, it occured to me after I'd already sorted all of the clothes by size and gender.  Here's a look at what I'm dealing with this time:

There are two rows of clothing, stacked pretty deep, from the headboard to footboard of my bed.  After hanging them and pinning them onto wire hangers, my thumbs and index fingers are now bruised and bloodied from being used as thimbles and pincushions for the close to 500 safety pins. 
There are bags of toys, accessories, decorations, sippy cups, etc.  There is a mountain of shoes.

My thumb hurts, and I just finished getting all of the clothing hung...after FOUR HOURS of non-stop hanging and pinning.  Tomorrow, I tackle the task of entering the size and description of each item into the tagging database, printing off tags, pinning the tags onto the items (I am super excited about that step), and taping tags onto the toys and accessories.  Then, on Wednesday, I've gotta cram it all into my car somehow and drive without the use of my rearview mirror or visibility out of any of my windows to the fairgrounds.  Then, I have to stand in line for an eternity to check in and have my items inspected.  Then, I have to place everything onto the salesfloor in the appropriate places.  Finally, I get to drive home and collapse. 
If you're asking yourself whether I complain like this every time, I do.  The only reason I keep doing it is the unbelieveable return on my investment of time.  I just wish they paid me ahead of time.


Project 64: Indigo

Before this week, I never would have imagined that finding something in the color indigo would be a challenge at all.  Blue is my favorite color, so I notice various shades all over the place in random objects, and I imagined that indigo would be a breeze.  Well, all week long I've been tirelessly searching to no avail.  I had all but given up, almost surrendering to the thought of not posting a photo for P64 this week, when a walk with my husband and son through a friend's pasture led me to a wonderful indigo scene. 

Old stable doors once glided to and fro on these casters...and they're a beautiful indigo blue!

Lucky me, Wyatt found some sun-bleached bones to take home as souvenirs from our walk.

My fellas, checking out the scenery.


Waking a Sleeping {Pooky} Bear

Wyatt stopped napping over a year ago, so I know we've played hard when he falls asleep on his own in the afternoon.  Today was one of those priceless days.  There's only one caveat:  NEVER wake a sleeping Pooky bear!

Tuckered out after a long day outside

He is covered in bug tattoos.

Starting to stir...

Breaking my heart...how can he be so precious
all of the time?


Project 64: Playing Catch-up

When I joined the Project 64 photography project blog, it had been underway for 4 weeks, so I missed a few colors.  In a couple of weeks, they're opening a linky so that procrastinators like myself can get caught up.  While those weekly contests have already claimed winners, you can still submit your photos!  It's not too late to start!  I've had so much fun, and I know you will, too.

Here are the photos I'll be submitting on the catch-up date:


This photo has been my favorite jewelry photo for years. 
I use it as my logo for WyBeadery.


On our way home from a week in New Mexico and Arizona, we stopped at
Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo.
Pretty fascinating kitsch.
(The spray paint is carnation pink, if you were wondering)


I tawt I taw a puddy tat.  I did, I did!  A biiiig puddy tat!

I cannot explain it....he's just weird.


Early one morning right after a night of snow.  It was pretty foggy out,
and everything was covered in a layer of frost crystals.


Project 64: Apricot

My incredible friend, Kendall, introduced me to Project 64 Colors awhile back:  it's a photography blog project in which participants submit a photo each week that captures a particular color chosen at random from a box of 64 crayolas.  At the very least, you should check out the blog, but I highly encourage you to join in on the fun!  No fancy camera is needed; your iphone will suffice! 

Heres a link to Kendall's blog, and to P64, respectively:

Since joining the blog, I've come down with a mental illness.  I am constantly on the hunt for the color of the week.  I start rationalizing things like, "is that apricot, or more of a peach? Or terra cotta?"  I shudder at the thought of leaving the house without my Canon Rebel for fear of missing a perfect photo opportunity.  I wonder if my photographs are even worthy of submitting.  I worry that my posed photographs of subjects look too contrived.  Sigh.  Why do I do this to myself? 

As I was discussing with my other super-cool friend, Kim (whose blog can be found at mykidsarefreaks.blogspot.com), I now have a quandry on my hands.  I had all but given up on finding an apricot subject in a natural setting, so I decided to find an object in my home and try to capture it artistically on "film."  I chose one of my favorite little knick-knacks:  a Frankoma GOP elephant mug from my birth year of 1980.  The cheery little guy seemed to smile even wider at his chance for 15 minutes of fame.  I played around with my camera's modes and finally got a couple of great shots; I picked my favorite and was totally ready for the link to upload it on Sunday.  Here are a few of the pics, and my fave:
Isn't he cute?
Such a proud little guy!

My Favorite

Not too shabby, and when I compare my jubilant pachyderm friend to the apricot crayon, the color is spot on.  So, what's my problem?  Yesterday, while outside with Wyatt, I stumbled across this scene:

Utterly simple, dead-on apricot.  Sheesh, now I have a choice to make.  Stick with my long-nosed buddy who worked just as hard as I did to achieve an artistic rendition of himself, or go with my accidental find, which has such an organic feel to it. 
Participants of P64 may upload more than one photo of the color of the week, so that's not my problem.  I just have to choose which to officially submit for the weekly contest.  I'm leaning towards the pots over my mug.  I think I'll make it up to the little guy by enjoying a cup of joe from him later.


Only: The Lonely?

I can remember a time when I imagined myself as the mother of a gaggle of kids.  I have always loved babies, and cannot think of a more precious gift than a child.  Four years ago, when Wyatt came to be, I continued to hold onto this idea of a plethora of apron-tuggers.  Fast forward to infantile mobility, toddler tantrums, and preschool sass, and let's just simplify the story and say that plans change.  Don't get me wrong, this ornery little red-headed angel has blessed my life beyond measure, and I find myself more and more in love with him every day, but I have eventually resigned myself to being the mother of an "only."  Dozens of good reasons not to have another child presented themselves early on in our journey of parenthood; sometimes Jason's rationale, sometimes my own.  At those times when I was not too keen on stopping at one, my heart was absolutely broken.  But then, slowly, I began to recognize what a blessing I have been given as a mother of an only. 

I get to be his playmate.  I get to nurture his sense of adventure.  I get to experience the firsts with him.  I get to be his best friend.  I get to be his defender, his confidant, his ally.  I get to love him like that.

Of course, motherhood of a solitary child presents some interesting and unique challenges, some of which I just named as blessings.  For example:  I am his playmate.  There is no, "go play with your brother!" in this house.  There is no sacred Mommy-time during which two or more children disappear into the backyard to play amongst themselves.  Sure, there are no squabbles between siblings, but guess what...there are plenty of head-butts between the boy and I to make up for those.  We have no one else to argue with but each other most days, and God thought it would be comical to make us exactly alike (He's up there, chuckling, right now).    There are days that I am completely, utterly overwhelmed with this task of raising ONE curious little boy into a God-fearing man.  I am in awe of my friends who have two or more kids.  I have no doubt that the heart doubles in size with each child so that ample love be available for the task; it is the ability to not lose your mind with the added responsibility that baffles and amazes me.  We're all given what we can handle; no more, no less.

I sometimes lament the chance to see Wyatt playing side by side with a chromosomally similar munchkin, but then reality sinks in:  there are no guarantees in life.  While a sibling may indeed provide a playmate and friend, it could just as easily be a source of contention or rivalry.  Cain and Abel, anyone?  When I think of all of the wonderful opportunities that my husband and I will be able to provide for our son simply because he is our only, I cringe at the thought of jeopardizing that for him.  Aside from all of our personal reasons, I look at my little boy and see his "bignormous" heart for other people.  He knows no strangers.  He wears his heart on his sleeve.  He easily loves to the fullest.  He begins every single day with a hop in his step and a smile on his face.  I don't think he's missing a thing.  And as God has revealed to me, neither am I.

While my son will never have a brother or sister to lean on during trials or to celebrate with during victories, he'll have me and his father, and no one on this earth loves him more. 


Express Yourself

I am that mom who thinks that every little moment is photoworthy, so my poor little man has had a camera in his face since his first breath.  One really fantastic benefit has been all of the great facial expressions of his that I've captured over the years.  My sweet little boy is an open book, always wearing his heart on his sleeve.  Here are some of my favorites from the past year...I literally chuckle out loud every time I see these.  Hope you enjoy them, too!

 On the tramway to the top of Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, NM,
about a 1,000ft off the ground.
My sweet baby.
Jason wasn't too fond of the height either. 

Never one to hide from the lens, he was striking a pose.
I wanted a smiley pic of the two of us. 
There are four more just like this, and he has some ridiculous "vogue" face in each one.


He had just dug up a worm, and I told him to smell it.  I think
he and I have the same opinion of that particular aroma.

Out of the blue one day, Wyatt started what he calls his "funny dance." 
Imagine him making this exact face, clenching his fists and pumping his arms
up and down, all while keeping the rest of his body very rigid.
It is creepy, to say the least, but makes us laugh out loud every time.

This was my very first day with my Rebel, and I was playing around with it. 
I really wanted to take a few sweet portraits of him, and this is what he gave me.
I did manage to get one or two in between his silly faces.

He has been trying to learn to cross his eyes lately (a skill that all boys should master
at some point, right?), but only manages to make the "weird" face from above. 
Playing in the fountain, he managed to cross them really well. 
He is very proud of this picture, and it's hanging amidst the cars in his room.

Crazy as I am, I wanted photographic evidence of this adorable child dressed
up as Captain Kirk (or as we dubbed him, Captain Quirk) for Halloween.
Well, as you can see, none of this was in his contract and he needed to discuss
the photo op with his agent before he'd cooperate.
He agreed once we added peanut M&Ms to his dressing room rider.

I think that Jason and I were so pumped up about Christmas this year, that we made too
big of a production out of opening gifts that morning.  The poor kid had no more than
stumbled out of bed and we were overjoyously prompting him to "open this, open that!"
He just about lost it.
We took a break to eat some breakfast, then Jason and I exchanged our gifts to one another.
We barely had time to inspect our new goodies when Wyatt started ripping into his.
Nice save.


A Mighty, Mighty Good Man

I am married to my very best friend.  I could not be prouder of him.  He goes to work every single day, regardless of the horrid weather conditions and long hours, and never complains.  And no matter how long his day was, he always cheerfully greets us and makes time to sit with Wyatt and give him some attention.  He lifts my spirits when I'm down, and humbles me when my pride threatens to topple me.  I thank God every single day for giving this man to me, and every day, I pray that God continue to protect him and bless him with His wisdom.  I pray that I am the wife he deserves, because there are many days that I wonder what on earth I did to be so blessed.  I love you, sweetheart.


Things that go "Vroom"

One of my favorite photo projects of late has been Wyatt's Big Boy room.  We finally got rid of the crib late this fall...I know, he was far past the point of being able to get out of the crib, and he is so tall that his head and toes could touch each end if he stretched out, but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?  Anyhoo, the boy is beyond obsessed with cars.  He can name nearly all of his hotwheels by make and model...and he has about 500 of them!  So when it came time to decorate his room, I knew it would be a car theme, but all I could really find were cartoonish cars and very juvenile designs.  I envisioned a muscle car theme, a design that would stand the test of time and not require another total redo in a few years.  I found some replicas of muscle car tin advertisement signs at the fair, and decided to just go for it.  One morning while driving through town, I noticed tons of classic cars at a local car lot, and I just happened to have my camera, so I stopped and got the above shots.  I added more pictures to my collection over the next few weeks when I ran into great emblems or rally wheels while out and about.  Before I knew it, I had enough pictures to create a racing stripe of photo frames around two of the walls in Wyatt's room, combined with the tin signs and some of my favorite pictures of Wyatt.  I used a few pictures from calendars, but the vast majority of the images are my own.  Wyatt is so proud of his room; it fits his personality so well!  I cannot go into his room without a huge smile on my face, and neither can he!


A Snowy Wonderland

 Sweet little toes
 Our little friends at the pond, freezing their feathers off
 Frost + Snow = OooOOoOOooo

My little eskimo

A snowboy with his snowman

Eighteen inches of snow isn't going to keep us in the house!  Over the past few days, the boy and I have spent hours outside exploring the frozen world.  We have meandered all over creation trying to find the bunny who left a trail everywhere he went, and we've delighted in the spunky little critter's knack for finding the deepest snow to hop upon.  We treated our mallard friends to some goldfish crackers and Grape Nuts (alas, we have no bread, and neither does Wal-Mart!).  We built a pristine snowman in the front yard...the snow is so deep that we never got down to the grass!  Our rule of thumb these days:  stay out until you can't feel your toes, go inside, thaw out, then repeat.