Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Addition update...

At this point in the project there is visible progress each day, that makes it so much more interesting. Pretty soon, the visible progress will drastically slow once we move on to electrical, pluming, etc. But for now it is nice! All the walls got put up and Peter started on the roof.

Wythe supervising

At first Peter was worried that the trusses wouldn’t work since they were a couple of inches too short. He didn’t want to re-order the trusses and lose the money already put into them so we briefly contemplated (once again) putting a 2nd story on the house. He went down and talked to the county and they said that we would need to submit detailed floor plans to get the approval for the 2nd story. We worked the plans that evening and as much as having more space seemed appealing the task of deciding in one evening where every window, wall, door, washer, dryer, etc. would go was daunting. You can’t decide on a floor plan in a couple of hours that will work for years to come, so…we went back to the original plan on just having one level. Peter talked to an engineer and was able to make the trusses work so we didn’t have to reorder them after all! This past weekend he got a lot of the trusses put up, with the help of a neighbor, and he has continued working on it this week.

When working by himself he has used bungee cords to assist him in setting the trusses, always creative!

'til next time...

Blueberry Season

It is a good thing we don’t have to live off of what I grow! Although my blueberry bushes are now producing berries it is apparent that you would need more than 2 bushes to provide more than a snack. I will say that the berries this year were large and very flavorful and the most amazing part is that the raccoons didn’t eat them before I got them!

This will not be a very productive growing year for me. After weeks of procrastination I managed to wait too long to put my vegetable garden in. Last year we had decided that we would not put another garden in until we could fence the area in. Every year we have the constant battle of keeping the wildlife out of the garden. Last year the entire garden was wiped out in one night. It was apparently a planned attack considering that deer, bear and raccoons we all involved. In one night we lost everything, all the plants were stripped and trampled to the ground. After months of tending the garden it is frustrating to lose it all; which is why we decided to fence it in this year. However, this year we are busy with the addition and fencing a garden spot is low on the priority list. I did think about planting a few tomato and pepper plants but as previously mentioned, i was successful in waiting too long. I honestly don’t have the energy this summer to take care of a garden. Maybe if I was a pioneer woman and my family’s life depended on the food I could grow then I would find a way to do it. But since that isn’t our only food source then I will use the excuse of having one baby and one on the way to take a break from gardening this year!

’til next time…

Monday, June 22, 2009

Addition update...

Lots of progress has been made in the past couple of weeks. We are in the stage where the progress is visible and looks impressive! While Wythe and I were in Charleston Peter put the floor in.

Then over the past couple of weeks has put the exterior walls up. He has been laying out the walls, building them and then getting a couple of strong backs to help lift them into place.

On Sunday he got the back wall set in place. Now with the walls up we can get a better feel as to what the addition will look like! The roof trusses were delivered today so he will be putting those up this week. With all the rain we have been getting he is trying to get the addition under roof and weatherproofed as soon as possible. Once it is under roof then we won’t worry about the rain so much. Today we had another reason for celebration….the air conditioning unit was installed and we will have cool air blowing again! It has been a miserable spring/summer without the A/C. I am so looking forward to enjoying A/C again!

‘til next time…

Friday, June 5, 2009

First road trip with baby...(Part 4)

Sunday – And again, we were up way too early; we did get to see the sun rise over the water each morning, which was beautiful! Once again we went for a drive, we drove down some pretty roads, and to Boone Hall Plantation. We didn’t tour the Plantation, I have actually been there before, it is absolutely beautiful but it is also pricey and I didn’t want to take Wythe in and then have to leave right away. We also went to Starbucks again, Wythe had breakfast while I enjoyed some caffeine. Then we stopped at one of those beachy tourist shops to get a souvenir. Wythe got a little tee shirt and we bought daddy a hat. After that we headed back to the house where most everyone was up and about. That afternoon was just a very relaxing, enjoyable afternoon.

We spent lots of time sitting on the porch, visiting with family, Wythe continuing to be his charming self! The house was just so pretty that it was fun to just sit and enjoy!

We also spent more time in the pool; Wythe was really enjoying the water!

I took him down to the ocean to get some more pictures of him by the water. I wasn’t sure it the waves coming in would scare him or not so I set him down on the sand right at the edge where the water would come up to his legs. He watched the water for a little bit and then when the water came up to him he just started splashing in it, wasn’t scared at all.

"Wythe contemplating the ocean"
"come back water...where did you go?"

"ooo..this feels funny on my feet"

Although, he did decide that he likes to eat sand. I thought that surely after the first taste he would realize it is not good but he must think it is yummy because he continued to shovel it into his mouth. I kept scraping the sand out and he would put another handful in so I took him back to the house to clean him up.
"yummy...sand, my own sand buffet"

Wythe's sand moustache

That evening we had the birthday party for Wythe’s aunt; she was the reason for this whole celebration after all! We enjoyed a scrumptious dinner, prepared by another aunt, and then had an evening of singing and stories.
Wythe showing off his skills...to an adoring crowd of course!

"if no one will get me a soda I'll get one myself.."

Wythe got to accompany the singing by playing the drums, I’m sure he thought everyone was singing especially for him!
Wythe on the drums...

Monday – That morning we got up, ate breakfast and started packing to go home. It would have been nice to stay a couple more days but daddy was really missing us. As much as Wythe was enjoying all this attention I think it was also wearing him out, he was starting to get a little cranky. We got packed up, said our goodbyes and got on the road. I knew that this trip home could be difficult, and it was. We were both so tired and poor Wythe was just miserable, he cried and cried, was just really out of sorts. We had to make some extra stops and once again I was reminded how South Carolina doesn’t believe in changing tables, not even the rest stops have them, so Wythe got his diaper changed in the grass quite a few times. My neck and back got all messed up from twisting around in my seat while driving to hold a bottle or pacifier in his mouth, needless to say we were both eager to get home! We made it home a little after 9 that evening, after 11 hours on the road. Wythe was so happy to see his daddy and to be out of his car seat! It was a great trip though and we are really glad we went and survived our first road trip!

‘til next time…

First road trip with a baby...(Part 3)

Saturday – Once again Wythe decided to wake up bright and early, I guess he was afraid he would miss something. I decided that we would go for a drive and maybe a walk. So we went into Charleston and drove around a little. We parked down by the Battery and took a walk.

Since it was so early the temperature was still pretty comfortable but you could tell it was going to be a hot day. We walked around the water and then stopped and took at picture of Wythe by the cannon balls.

Then we walked to look at the homes Charleston is famous for, they are so beautiful!

By the end of our walk there were quite a few people out and about, running, walking their dogs, etc. There was an arts and crafts festival going on that weekend. I thought about going there and I also wanted to go to the outdoor market but by the time it was opening Wythe was in need of a nap.

So, I loaded him back in the car so that he could go to sleep. Wythe got a nap in the car while we drove back towards the house.

That afternoon we spent some more time in the pool. Wythe was getting more and more comfortable in the pool. I held him on his stomach in the water and he would move his arms like he was swimming, it was so cute!


Wythe was having a blast the whole time. He was constantly the center of attention and he knew it, I think he was thriving on it. He had lots of pictures taken of him and got to the point that he would stop and pose when he saw a camera flash, I don’t know where he gets that!

That night we all went to dinner at a restaurant on Isle of Palms. You could actually see the place from the house, most people walked over there. I drove since I didn’t feel like lugging Wythe and all the paraphernalia. At the restaurant we were seated on an outdoor porch. It was nice because the atmosphere was pretty casual so Wythe’s little shrieks didn’t stand out. He did pretty well at dinner other than knocking over a water glass into his aunt’s lap! He did get pretty fussy at one time but I stood up with him and jiggled him till he went to sleep. The restaurant was a seafood place and I ordered crab cakes with a tomato, onion and cucumber salad, it was delicious!

After dinner we all went back to the house. I went up to put Wythe to bed and ended up falling asleep myself so it ended up being a pretty early night. The rest of the house stayed up and played games till pretty late but Wythe slept right through the riotous laughter!


'til next time...

First road trip with a baby...(Part 2)

Friday – Wythe was up several times in the night and at about 5:30 I finally gave up trying to get him back to sleep. We sat on the floor in our room and played with his toys and watched TV. The house had cable so there was several cartoon channels. Between TV and toys I was able to keep him quiet for about an hour. Then we headed downstairs to fix something for breakfast, which Wythe ate out on the porch.

After breakfast I took Wythe down on to the beach just so he could stick his feet in the sand for the first time. He got to sit for a few minutes in the beach chairs we had set up on the beach.

I didn’t have him dressed for the water so I didn’t want him really playing in it. I just stood him up in the sand and then let him stand in the surf while he got his feet wet.

I tried to take a few pictures of us together out there but was having some trouble pointing the camera in the right direction!

He also got to check out a hammock for the first time, at first I think it scared him but then he seemed to enjoy it.

Later than afternoon we got in the swimming pool. It was Wythe’s first time in a pool; he did really well! At first he wasn’t too sure about it but before long he was splashing around and trying to drink the water. A friend of ours loaned us an inflatable ring that has a sunshade on it. After playing in the water for a while I decided to try out the ring. At first I didn’t like it at all, it seemed really unstable and he kept tipping to the side. Then I realized that I had only inflated one ring, not both…hmmm…details, details! It is amazing how much better it worked once I was using it properly! It worked out really well; it allowed him to spend more time in the pool without being in the sun the whole time.

By later that afternoon he was absolutely worn out, being in a new place, swimming, seeing all these people, I’m sure his brain was on overload! He was exhausted but wouldn’t or couldn’t settle down, I tried everything to get him to sleep and nothing would work. Finally I took him down to the porch, put him in the hammock and started swinging him, after about a half an hour he fell asleep. He looked soooo sweet sleeping in the hammock!

That night most of the house was going into Charleston for dinner but since it was going to be a late night a few of us stayed home. We ordered pizza and had a relaxing night in.

'til next time...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First road trip with a baby (Part 1)

Last week Wythe and I took our first road trip. I will separate out each day into separate posts so that they aren’t as long.

Thursday – This was a new experience, Wythe and I left early in the morning to drive to Charleston, SC. The drive should take about 8-1/2 hours but I knew it would take a little longer because of extra stops. We were about 10 minutes down the road when Wythe needed a diaper change, which emphasized my suspicion that this trip was going to be an interesting experience. We stopped in Warrenton for a diaper change and I took advantage of the stop to get some Starbucks coffee that should keep me awake for a while! Fortunately when we got back on our way Wythe fell asleep for a while, so we had a peaceful drive for quite some time. We stopped in North Carolina for lunch, it was a small town and no one had a baby changing station, little did I know that this was to become a frequent problem. I ended up changing his diaper in the grass outside of McDonalds…not one of our classier moments. But on the bright side, the McDonald’s was one of those 50’s style ones so that made lunch a little more interesting. The cashier gave Wythe a toy even though we didn’t buy a Happy Meal; Wythe had to eat sweet potatoes, no French fries for him! The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, we stopped several times for fuel, diaper changes and feedings. Overall Wythe did really well, he was a little fussy but not more than I would have expected having been in the car seat for so long. The house we were going to was actually on Sullivan’s Island not in Charleston. I had been to the island before, along with Isle of Palms, but that was years ago and the area had totally changed. Going to Sullivan’s Island you now cross over a huge bridge that must be fairly new. The bridge has a pedestrian walkway on the side and lots of people seem to walk across it.
We got to the house in the early evening after about 10 hours in the car, we were both glad to be out of that car! Several of Wythe’s aunts and cousins were already at the house and more were coming in over the next several days. Wythe immediately began to work on charming his relatives while I uploaded the car and got us settled into our room. They gave us a corner room to stay in; it was the perfect room for us. It kind of jutted off the corner of the house so there weren’t adjoining rooms, that way people didn’t hear Wythe every time he fussed. There was also a little TV in the room, which came in handy as well.
The house was beautiful, inside and out! The flooring was all old heart of pine flooring and most of the trim in the house was the wide decorative trim. Many of the door handles were the old hardware as well.
On the back of the house was a large screened in porch that had a hammock, chairs to lounge in, and a table and chairs for dining. The porch overlooked the swimming pool on one side and the beach from the back.

I was pleasantly surprised how close the beach was to the house. So often when you hear of a house that is “beach front” it seems to mean that it you stand on the roof you can see water. But this house was literally beach front, such a gorgeous view. You could sit on the porch and listen to the ocean. Directly across from the house, across the water, was Isle of Palms.
That night we ate a delicious dinner of lemon chicken. Wythe sampled the lemon and despite making horrid faces continued to try it again and again! We all got a good laugh out of his expressions. That night we played the game “Apples to Apples”, it was fun, we laughed a lot, especially when one of the cousins picked “having children” as the most “outrageous” thing! We were pretty tired after the drive so we went to bed at a decent hour.

'til next time...