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Friday, March 30, 2012

Foto Friday: Spring has sprung

I had really hoped that Sammy's stomach issues (and mine) were the result of a twenty-four hour bug, but it turns out that whatever this is wants to linger a little longer, which means Sammy and I spent all of yesterday holed up at Casa L to the third in recovery mode.  This translated to me curled on the couch in the fetal position while I let Sammy watch copious amounts of Nick Jr.  Whatever works, right?  We both seem to be on the up and up now, but I have the feeling it may be another day or two before we're back at one hundred percent.

Anyway, here are few spring photos that I took on our trip home from San Antionio; we had made a brief pit stop in Fort Stockton to check out Paisano Pete (the world's second-largest roadrunner statue) and stretch our legs a bit.  Surrounding the visitors center were several beautifully blooming wisteria trees and their perfume was just heavenly, attracting all sorts of insects (along with me and my camera).  Here's hoping your weekend is filled with all sorts of spring loveliness!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Texture Thursday: Thrift-store goodies

I'm totally phoning it in today--Sammy is having some stomach issues and he was kind enough to pass them off to me.  So to tide you over while we both recover, here are some of the fabulous fabrics I've found at the local thrift stores recently.  I've got some ideas brewing for them, like making Sammy some new sheets for his big boy bed and some curtains for the master bathroom, but those projects are going to have to wait until Sammy and I are back and operating at full speed.

The Daily Wyatt

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless{ish} Wednesday: Working with wool

{With baby #2 on the way, I've decided to take the leap into making my own diaper covers.  Thanks to handy dandy sites like Pinterest, it's super easy to find patterns and tutorials for making all sorts of different cloth-diapering accessories.  I decided to start off by making some wool diaper covers using thrift-store sweaters as my material.}

{This is the perfect time of year to score some excellent deals on wool sweaters; my local thrift store is offering them for half off of their already low prices, so I managed to pick up a few that met my requirements--soft, cheap and 100% wool.   Some tutorials recommend cutting up the sweaters beforehand so that they will felt more evenly in the wash, so I took a few minutes on each one to remove the cuffs, pockets and sleeves from each one.}

{Once your sweaters are cut, place them in a pillow case that you then knot; this keeps all of the wool fluff that the sweaters shed during the felting process from clogging up your washer and drier. I also threw in a few golf balls into each case to aid in agitation.  I wound up washing the sweaters in a hot wash twice and drying them on high twice just to be on the safe side.}

{Using this soaker pattern as my guide, I cut out all of the pieces that I would need--I decided to be a little wild and crazy and used cuffs from another sweater to punch up the contrast a bit.  One tip to the wise--be sure to use polyester thread when sewing any diaper cover to avoid any kind of moisture wicking from the cover.}

{Here's Sammy modeling his new cover; I think it turned out pretty well especially considering that this was my first time ever making something like this.  Now all I need to do is lanolize the cover and then it will be ready for Sammy's super-soaking naps.}

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Taking time to stop and smell the roses

I feel as though I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off lately--I don't know if it's because spring is finally here or because I'm in "nesting" mode or what, but my to-do list seems to be growing longer by the minute (some examples: finish the craft/guest room, start sewing diaper covers, make an infant car seat cover, work on the backyard a bit and so on and so forth).  I'm actually enjoying this burst of creative energy but it also means that I've been neglecting other things, like my blog reading list, inbox and sleep schedule.  The rose bushes in the backyard, however, are enjoying all of my manic attention, even though I honestly have no idea what I'm doing back there--Captain Husband and I have been cutting back the stuff that looks questionable and apparently that's been working as we were rewarded with these two gorgeous blooms over the weekend.  Now if only we could coax some grass to grow in the backyard--then we'd really be set.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Unsolicited Uterus Update #2

May I have a drum roll, please?  Baby #2 is a boy!  According to the ultrasound technician, he's looking good and measuring right on target for an early August birthday.  This news all came as a welcome relief, especially as I haven't been feeling him move at all and I know I was definitely feeling Sammy by this point in my first pregnancy.  Turns out I've got an anterior placenta, which is keeping me from feeling all of the little flutters and whatnot.  I was pretty happy to see him kicking and punching on the screen, even though I couldn't feel a darn thing.

In somewhat related news, I've decided to make a switch in my insurance by going from TriCare Prime to TriCare Standard.  This means I'll be able to choose a doctor and will no longer be beholden to the military health care system.  I've been terribly unhappy with my experience so far and the stress of the situation was really keeping me from enjoying what should be a happy and exciting time in my life.  Of course this now means that I have to find a doctor that's accepting new patients, STAT, but I'm just so happy to be done with all of that other nonsense.

 then, she {snapped}

Friday, March 23, 2012

Twenty-one-month update

Sammy turns twenty-one months old today--only a few more months to go before I have a two-year-old on my hands (eek!).  I know it's only been a months since the last update, but I really feel as though Sammy's grown quite a bit in both the physical and emotional sense since then.  He's saying "please" and "thank you" all of the time now and is starting to put sentences together.  Sammy loves to play hide and seek and thinks it's hilarious to jump out and yell, "Boo!"; this usually happens when I'm trying to use the bathroom.  Sammy also loves playing with older kids and often treats them like they're there for his own personal amusement, but fortunately they're usually happy to oblige him.

I'm pretty sure he's grown a bit taller in the last month and am now thinking I need to go shopping for some 3T pants as Sammy's starting to look a bit ridiculous in all of his high-waters. Sammy also got a new pair of shoes the other week and is wearing a size 8 now.  Based on the following symptoms--drooling, chewing on his fingers (and anything else he can put in his mouth), and inflamed cheeks--I'm pretty certain he's cutting some of his two-year molars, but there's no way in the world I'm going to stick my finger in his mouth to find out.

New words:
Ouch, sorry, go, look, eat, light, bus, truck, milk, books, knock-knock, boo, notebook, "I don't know," "Where did it go," "I'm sorry," "This way," and last but not least, the oh-so-charming "I don't want it."

New tricks:
Assigning objects an owner--he goes around the house and points out the things that "belong" to mommy or daddy.  For example, according to Sammy, any and all tools in the house are mommy's (he's actually right); this trick can be somewhat funny as he usually employs it whenever one of the parental units is attempting to take something away from him; I guess Sammy's logic is that he can't give daddy the object in question if it belongs to mommy and vice versa.  Sammy also likes to "read" the letters that he sees; a while back I was changing his diaper in Target and he surprised me by reading off S, T, H, R, O and P from the warning sign on the changing table. Sammy has also started helping at bath time by putting on his own lotion and combing and brushing his hair. Sammy has "please" down pat and gets very put out when the magic word doesn't always work magically (like when he asks for Blue's Clues over and over again while saying "pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease?" and I've put my foot down because we've already met our quota of two episodes per day).


Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Queen of the Missions

Our next stop along the Mission Trail was the San Jose Mission; completed in 1782, this magnificent complex was the largest of the missions of the area.  This self-contained community was home to approximately three hundred and fifty Native Americans at its height and was sustained by extensive fields and herds of livestock.

The architectural carvings of the San Jose Mission were unlike any that I had seen in San Antonio and were truly works of art.  I think Fr. Juan Agustin Morfi summed it up when he said in 1778, "In a word, no one could have imagined that there were such good artists in so desolate a place."  Above is the famous Rose Window of the San Jose Mission Church, which is a masterpiece of colonial Baroque artistry--even Oscar Wilde was impressed when he visited the Mission in the summer of 1882: "Those old Spanish churches, with their picturesque remains and dome and their handsome carved stonework, standing amide the verdure and sunshine of a Texas prairie, gave me a thrill of strange pleasure."

The Mission fell into disuse and disrepair over the years until it was restored in the 1930s by the San Antonio Conservation Society and the Works Progress Administration.  One of the buildings that was restored at that time was the large granary, which now houses a miniature-scale model of the Mission compound as it would have appeared in the eighteenth century.

The gorgeous barrel-vaulted granary also retained remnants of colorful trompe l'oeil frescoes of architectural elements, such as columns and chair-rail moldings.  It was also a good fifteen degrees cooler in there, which made it a nice place to stop and linger while soaking up the history.

Walking around the Mission, it was easy to see why it was known as the Queen of the Missions--beautiful details popped up in the most unexpected of places, like this carved downspout along one of the walls of the church, or the somber putto framing the rear entrance into the chapel pictured below.  I easily could have spent several more hours exploring the Mission, but the three of us were getting a bit peckish so it was time to head back to the hotel and figure out what to do for dinner.  I know if I ever happen to find myself in San Antonio again, I'll definitely be setting aside a full day to explore all four of the Missions in great detail.

The Daily Wyatt

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless{ish} Wednesday: Sampling the local fare

{One of the hard parts about being in San Antonio was finding places where the three of us could eat--Captain Husband tends to gravitate towards more American fare and likes many of the popular chain restaurants, whereas I'd like to try food from local eateries or at places that we can't find in El Paso, which can be a bit difficult now that we live in the southwest because I have the lowest tolerance for spicy foods ever.  It's actually kind of embarrassing how much of a wuss my tongue is.  Fortunately Sammy is pretty easy going and will usually try whatever we put in front of him and if he doesn't like that, he'll gladly pick and choose from our plates. }

{On our last day in San Antonio we headed out onto the River Walk to find lunch and wound up dining at the Ibiza Restaurant, which offered a mixture of Mediterranean and South Texan cuisine.  Our food was absolutely delicious--did I mention the heaping portions of sweet potato fries?--but Sammy was more interested in the condiments.  Some people's kids, right?}

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On a mission to see some history

I hope you guys aren't getting too tired of all of my photos from our recent trip to San Antonio; I promise there's only a few more days' worth to go.  There was just so much fabulous history on display that I can't help but share as much of it as possible.  On our second full day in San Antonio I managed to talk Captain Husband into taking a short car ride to visit the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park; the park actually preserves four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio (the Alamo is the fifth).  Our first stop was the Mission Concepcion, which was completed around 1755 and is one of the best preserved of the Texas missions.

The entrance to the church building was surrounded by an elaborately carved stone portal; according to period descriptions regarding the church, the facade was further decorated with brightly-colored frescoes, which have long since been lost to the ravages of time.

While the exterior is bereft of any painted ornament, the interiors of several of the Mission buildings still retain remnants of their colorful eighteenth-century frescoes.  These ceiling and wall ornaments were revealed and preserved during a restoration project undertaken in 1988; today only four rooms clearly show the remnants of these beautiful works of art; the two ceiling ornaments pictures above were found in the baptistry (left) and the library (right).

I could have spent several hours wandering around this architectural gem (CH was keeping Sammy happily occupied outside on the grounds of the park while I explored), but we had more missions to see before they closed for the day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

When Irish eyes are smiling (and soaking wet)

I hope everyone enjoyed their St. Patrick's Day weekend!  We didn't really have anything fun or exciting planned, so we decided to head over to Fort Bliss and see what was going on over there--after all, we couldn't let Sammy's awesome tuxedo t-shirt go to waste.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at Freedom Crossing and then headed outside to partake in some family fun.

The high on Saturday was in the low 80s so the splash pad was fully operational and a lot of little ones were taking advantage of that fact.  Sammy took a little while to warm up to the idea; after all, the water was kind of on the frigid side.

But after a few minutes of watching the other kids having so much fun, Sammy was soon darting in and out of the fountains with glee and sopping wet.  I don't know who had a better time--Sammy, doing all of the playing, or me and CH laughing at Sammy's silly antics.

 then, she {snapped}

Friday, March 16, 2012

Foto Friday: A round-up of Green

In an effort to thin out some of the photos that I still have to go through from our trip to San Antonio, and because tomorrow's Saint Patrick's day, I've decided to feature not one green photo but four today. There was definitely no shortage of green to be had during our short stay in San Antonio--I'm still kind of in withdrawal.

Teeny tiny cactus sprouts and spikes at the Alamo.

Beautiful memorial fountain at the Alamo.

Architectural ornament on a late nineteenth-century building on Houston Street.

Gorgeous Gothic-revival iron fence in the historic King William District--I want to go to there.

I hope you enjoyed a bit of the greenery that San Antonio had to offer--have a great Saint Patrick's weekend!

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