First College Football Game

I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t exactly how RB envisioned his son’s first college football game as Georgia Tech wasn’t on the field. But given that our current home is the furthest we’ve ever lived from Bobby Dodd stadium, getting to a Tech home game is not an easy feat (though we may make the trek some point this season if for no other reason than to escape the renovation mess.) Today we had the opportunity to attend the Wake Forest vs. UNC game. The stadium is ten minutes from our house. Perfect. We had tickets (and a parking pass) generously given to us by a friend and Wake fan who couldn’t attend (and whom I’m guessing is wishing he could have made the trip given the exciting outcome for Wake), a cooler of beer, fried chicken, some football shaped Oreos and (probably) the only Georgia Tech tent at the tailgate.

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8 pictures for you

Unfortunately, just before kickoff it started to storm and the game was delayed. We were able to take cover in the courtesy check area.

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8 pictures for you
This attempt at using the rain delay for a nap was in vain…..

After the first storm blew over, we decided to head home for a bit and regroup (10 minutes from the stadium! so easy!). Not yet having napped, BB was asleep before we left the parking lot. Bonus! We ran home, grabbed a tarp and as the sky looked clear we decided to head back to the game. The tickets we were using were on Deacon Hill and let me just say that even though these might not be the most desirable seats if you’re a real football fan, they are perfect if you have kids. We were able to spread out our tarp, put down our blanket and stretch out (granted the area might have been more crowded but for the storm.)

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8 pictures for you
No way would RB have been this relaxed if Tech were on the field.

Though we missed both the kickoff and the exciting finish (b/c we were nervous that another storm was coming) – it was a good first (of many?) games for BB. Hopefully the next one will be without rain and the temperatures will be a bit more fall-like.

(J)BB

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All quiet on the western front…..

Not much to update on the renovation tonight. Or last night. Or the night before. Or the night before that. Or the night before the night before that. Basically, nothing has happened since Monday.

One afternoon Daniel was here for an hour or so just trying to smooth out the mud so it would dry out faster. It rained on him.

This morning:

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The digger broke. Seriously???

I really hope I have more to write about next week. The living situation is less than ideal and I can only keep my spirits up if there is progress!!!

(J)BB

PS – The backyard really does face west(ish).

First Day of School

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Just kidding. BB and I have actually had a great summer of adventures and travel but the lack of week to week routine took its toll and with the house being torn apart I was definitely ready for the school routine. BB is going three days a week this fall (Tues, Wed, Thurs – LOVE this schedule!) and we’ll add a fourth day in January (unless living in a construction zone gets really bad and I can’t dream up enough outings in which case we’ll add it sooner).

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5 pictures for you
This is how he really felt about going to school today. Daddy bribed him to smile in the first picture with the promise of an after school sprinkle doughnut. I guess he enjoyed the lack of routine and summer adventures.

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I just like the impish grin on his face on this one outside of school.

And for comparison, here’s a side by side to the first day of school last year:
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Just for the record, I think he had a good day at school. I haven’t gotten many of the details yet but when we talked last night at bedtime about the best/worst parts of our day. The best was “school” and the worst was “outside” (which upon questioning I determined meant that because of the rain they didn’t get to go outside at school).

The past three nights the best has been “muffins”/”muffins”/”getting to go to Ronan’s house” and the worst has been “being told no, no, no”/”falling in the water” (he fell headfirst into the hot tub trying to get out)/”nothing” (now that’s a good day). Sorry for the almost completely unrelated anecdote but I needed to write those down so I’ll remember.

(J)BB

Bath by lantern light

We returned from our long weekend to find this:

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The forecast is calling for rain. Figures. Daniel (the contractor) is back there as I type (and in the rain) trying to level it out a bit so it will drain when the rain stops.

They did get the prior addition removed (the part that was on piers was a prior addition we think) so now we’re back to the original house. Here’s what it looked like on Thursday when we left:

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And here’s what it looked like last night:

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(My apologies that I don’t always take the before and after pics from the same vantage point)

This pile is now gone (just like BB the boss ordered – hand on hip and finger pointed is pretty common for that one!):

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We also discovered that something happened to some of the wiring and the only overhead light that works is in the kitchen. The current bathroom has no windows so this is what bathtime looks like until we can get that fixed (days? weeks?).

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It’s all good though because we have our very own digger and what’s better than that if you’re a three year old boy. I’d better keep an extra eye on him because I’m pretty sure he has plans.

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(J)BB

Where we started

Since we’ve escaped the mess of our boxes and boards for the weekend, I thought I’d catch you (my 3 readers) up on where this mess started. I posted back in January about part of our bizarre experience buying this house. Long story short, the other Realtor finally got back to us and we closed on the house at the end of February, a full two months before the lease on our rental house was over. The plan was to do the renovations and then move in. That didn’t happen.

We finally gave up on the “renovate and then move” idea and at the end of May adopted the “move and then renovate” plan. Definitely not ideal but perhaps all the time we’ve now spent thinking about the renovation has saved us from some big mistakes.

Some before pics (in order to illustrate the need for this renovation).

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Pretty much the reason we bought this house. So cute and with a great front porch. So cute and great that we just ignored the awful vinyl siding. And though you can’t see it in this picture, the chimney kind of leans a bit.

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Rear view. Not loving the red paint on the decking. And I HATE lattice. But still, did you see the front porch?

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Lattice, lattice, everywhere. Weekend project in my mind.

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The living room. We didn’t notice that every wall has a different texture treatment. I did notice the sconces, but that just means there’s power up there for the day when I do my all out holiday decorating! Replace the window treatments, paint the walls (or perhaps the fireplace?)

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The dining room. Just needs some paint. The various iterations of the plan have included moving the cased opening to the kitchen but the current (final?) plan leaves it in the current location. Oh and the ceilings in both the dining room and living room were given and texture at some point. And there’s a crack in the dining room ceiling but the contractor says it’s nothing. We shall see.

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19 pictures for you
The kitchen. Serious issues here. Like no base cabinets. And drawers that fall on the floor if pulled too far. And teal countertops. What is up with teal countertops? Our house before last had teal countertops (and red faux tile floors). To be honest, when we were looking at the house I really thought that cosmetic issues aside I could live with this kitchen for a while. Turns out there is no place to put pots or prepare a meal or store even a fraction of my kitchen stuff.

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19 pictures for you
The master bedroom. The only real problem with this room is that closet. Way too small for one person let alone two. It also isn’t deep enough and hangers have to go in at an angle.

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Another shot of the master. The built in bookcase needs to go and take the wallpaper with it. The door to the bathroom used to be a door to a closet we think which explains why it is 6 inches smaller/lower than the door to the room.

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The aforementioned bathroom. It’s the only full bath in the house. This is major problem number 1 and one of the main motivations for the addition/remodel. Also, the tub isn’t level.

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A close up of the tile. I think this speaks for itself.

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Stairs to the second floor. The curve wouldn’t be bad if they weren’t so steep. Also there isn’t adequate headroom to get furniture upstairs (or down as you’ll see).

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The landing upstairs. We were worried from the beginning about BB waking in the night and navigating these stairs but it hasn’t been a problem (the navigation that is, not the waking). The wallpaper has been ripped by both RB and BB in moments of frustration – it wasn’t left in this condition by the seller.

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The upstairs half bathroom. Major problem number 2.

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Upstairs bedroom number 1. The furniture that couldn’t make it down those stairs and was thus left by the seller. I’m thinking of painting it and using it to store toys and dress-ups.

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Standing in upstairs bedroom number 1 and looking through to upstairs bedroom number 2. Major problem number 3 is that you can’t get to bedroom 2 without going through bedroom 1.

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“Closet” in upstairs bedroom 2. It has a hanging bar but like the closet in the master it is not deep enough to hanger without turning it at an angle.

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But it is so cute from the road AND it has a great front porch.

(J)BB

Construction Day 1 (and 2).

We bought this house on February 28 intending to renovate it BEFORE we moved in. We moved in at the end of May and the renovation project FINALLY began on August 28!

Here are some before shots and the progress of days 1 and 2 (with some preliminary work done by RB in advance of the work actually beginning).

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Rear view – Before.

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Rear view (sorry it’s not the same angle) – 30 minutes into the job (apparently this was an easy/high impact part)

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End of Day 1.

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End of Day 2.

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The Before kitchen.

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End of Day 1 kitchen. If you walk through that door you’ve got about 3 feet before you fall to the backyard. BB has been threatened with an all-day time-out if he goes through that door. I give him a week before he can’t stand it and peeks.

(J)BB

Morning Time!

Oh that I could greet each and every morning with the enthusiasm of BB.

On Friday evening, we decided that we’d take BB on his first camping trip. Contrary to my nature, this was a spur of the moment and therefore not at all researched outing. We spent Friday evening and Saturday morning trying to find our gear. For a few hours we thought the tent was in Franklin and the trip wasn’t going to happen but it was finally located in the basement (scary basement according to BB) and we were back on track. We planned a gourmet menu of hot dogs and s’mores and after gathering a few more things we were off by mid-morning Saturday. Things we forgot. (1) Knife (2) Tarp (3) water and (4) paper plates/towels. Not too bad. Wal-Mart to the rescue.

After a delicious lunch at Hob Nob Farm Cafe (delicious!) in downtown Boone, NC, we set off to find a campsite. After an hour of driving (so BB could nap not b/c campsite were so hard to find) and one false start due to a bluegrass festival we found a “primitive” site at Honey Bear Campground just outside of Boone, NC. The term primitive should be used quite loosely as there was very little that was primitive about this campground. Nonetheless, we pitched our tent, lit our overpriced firewood and enjoyed a family evening roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the campfire. BB still doesn’t like marshmallows. Or a chocolate sandwich (i.e. s’more minus marshmallow).

By 10:30 a very excited BB was fast asleep despite the noise of the highway and our tent neighbors snug in his sleeping bad and clutching his newest knot blanket (thanks SPBC) which has very few knots left. At 7:30 the next morning, he emerged from his cocoon and exclaimed “Morning Time!” Successful trip.

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Gathering kindling

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Admiring the fruits of his labor

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4 pictures for you
Campfire time
Songs about pirates were sung, I’m pretty sure those aren’t traditional campfire songs

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6:30am – snug as a bug!

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7:45am – happy camper!

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A few pictures taken by BB

(J)BB

The Boss

BB had his first “playdate” when he was about 4 months old. His buddy (whose head I cropped only b/c I didn’t think it fair to post pictures of someone else’s child on my blog) was about 2 months old and you can see that BB was already trying to get the kid to move his arm or something.

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From there it was pretty much downhill when it came to groups of children. While other toddlers would play together (parallel of course), BB would sit in my lap or cry. When I put him in MMO two mornings a week at 15 months of age, he cried at almost every drop-off. When I returned to pick him up I’d often find him with a puffy face and sitting in the lap of one of the teachers. Some days he would never settle in and they’d call me to come and pick him up (which irked me to be honest….I kinda thought that helping a toddler adjust to being away from Mommy was part of what I was paying for).

We’ve had some teary and clingy mornings at preschool this year (he goes two mornings a week) but all in all he’s either eager to go or at least resigned to give Mommy a kiss and run off to play for a few hours. I’ve moved him to the “big kid room” at the Y and that seems to have solved the tears involved with leaving him for an hour of exercise and though we still have some issues on Sunday mornings because the nursery is in a different classroom than his weekday class, all in all he seems to have adjusted to being away from me and with other children quite nicely.

But, oh, how I wish I could be a fly on the wall. I wonder if his mornings in school go anything like our visit to the playground last night. We arrived to find the playground mostly empty. There were only two boys and their father. The boys were probably 4 and 6. The younger one was playing at a slow pace and the older one was sitting on the bench with his father. BB arrived on the scene, introduced himself, “Hi! I’m Benjamin!” and within minutes had created an all out frenzy of racing up the stairs and sliding as fast as you can. The younger brother was (for effect I’m sure) huffing and puffing – running up the stairs and shouting “I’m winning! I’m winning! He’s going to win!” The older brother after observing for a few minutes decided he wanted in on the fun. Around and around they went, up the stairs and down the slides and BB shouting “You go down that one and I’ll go down this one!” “Go! Go! Go!” “I’m winning!” “He’s going to beat me!”

No longer is he a sideline observer from Mommy’s lap, he’s turned into the ringleader (who has no concept that he’s not just as big as those big kids)!

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4 pictures for you

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(J)BB

A bite….

Nope, not of a vegetable but another kid’s arm. I saw it happen and I was mortified. Then I lost my cool and for that I apologize to random aggressive bigger than my kid’s mom at the bounce center.

About a year ago I bought a 5 visit bounce center voucher from Livingsocial which is going to expire in less than a month (I tend to hoard these vouchers and then use them at the last minute – weird behavior) and we’ve only used 2 of our 5 visits. Earlier in the week, the weather forecast was calling for rain and since we needed to be out of the house this morning I planned our morning outing to be indoors and use up one of our bounce visits.

We’ve been to this particular venue on several occasions and it’s not really that great for little kids. It has 6 different inflatables and all but 1 are basically obstacle course like in that you must proceed from one end to another climbing and sliding and slithering, bouncing is secondary. Because of this, I will only take my 2 year old to the sessions limited to preschoolers but my child while not necessarily the youngest is likely one of the smallest.

My playground philosophy (which extends to indoor inflatable playgrounds) is to encourage my child to try and do things for himself and to just stand close by and spot if I think he’s attempting something beyond his abilities. In other words, I don’t want to be the Mom saying “No BB, you can’t do that – you’re too little” because maybe this time he’ll be able to do it and he’ll be really proud of himself.

So this morning, we’d been playing for about 15 minutes when BB took off in a run towards the big slide. The big slide is probably about a 20 foot drop and requires the child to scramble up a “ladder” with vinyl rungs and rope handles. BB approached the foot of the “ladder” and was quickly trampled by 2-3 kids who needed a lesson in both taking turns and watching out for smaller kids. Undeterred, he waited until the coast was clear and began his assent. He got about 2/3 of the way to the top when these kids hit the bottom of the slide and raced to climb again. As the first kid approached BB’s location, he didn’t even slow down just climbed right over him and tried to push him out of the way when BB tried to stand his ground (and likely use his words). I’m sure it was shear terror that he was going to fall and the fact that this kid was breaking the rules (b/c BB knows about turns and is quick to enforce them when he’s not getting his) that led BB to sink his teeth into this kid’s left arm. It was bad. I was so embarrassed but at this point my kid is crying and screaming at this top of this slide and the bitee’s (sp?) Mom is yelling at me and this is where I lost my cool and yelled back that I was sorry but that her kid tried to push mine off the ladder (mind you she witnessed none of the action). Sorry lady.

BB had to sit in time out and apologize but for the next thirty minutes she continued to give me dirty looks and once when her kid attempted to play near us she pulled him away. We finally just left. Probably not the right move but I was quickly losing my cool.

I’m trying to put myself in her shoes and wonder how I’d have responded if my kid had been the one bitten. I’m pretty sure I’d have tried to find out what happened before berating the biter’s mother (actually I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have berated her at all).

I’ve got to thicken my skin b/c I’m still steaming about it and trying to figure out what I should have done differently. BB isn’t a biter, I think he might have bitten another kid once so it’s not like I knew that this was going to happen.

(J)BB

Subtleties…..

Last night brought the first snowflakes of the season to Winston Salem and I decided it an appropriate occasion to pull out a board game for the first time. I’m not sure how much the confection theme of the game influenced BB but it was quite well received. BB beat me twice before I took a break to make dinner. As soon as I was out of sight, a game with many pieces suffered the fate of some many toys in our house and somehow was strewn about the living room.

As I was flipping blueberry pancakes, I heard the following conversation:

RB: “Do you want to play?”
BB: (excitedly) “YES!”
RB: (singing) “Clean up time, everybody”
BB: (interrupting) “Daddy, it’s not clean up time, it’s pick up time”

I guess he’s figured out that clean up time is the end of the day (or school) whereas picking up means more fun to be had.

I have to say that I was super excited when BB rolled over for the first time, sat up on his own for the first time and took his first steps but the development of language skills is by far the most interesting and impressive stage of development yet.

And just because a post ought to have a picture, here is BB exploring the snow this morning. Good thing we got out early, it’s already gone.

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a picture for you

(J)BB