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mamanverdant

Raised in the Texas hill country outside of Austin in a small bubble, popped that bubble and moved to Los Angeles in high school then to Northern California for college. After a few years in the corporate world, I moved back to Austin to run my family's 20 year old business and build a family. Now I'm doing my best to raise my son (more to come) in the Texas hill country without a bubble. Wish me luck!

S N O W

We saw a unicorn today! No not really, but it did snow, and those two sightings are just about equal in Austin.  So much so, that everything shuts down, thus the time for this post.  I’m happily sitting in front of the fire, cuddling with the two year old and watching the snow melt out the window.  I’ll be heading into work in about an hour, but when it snows you waste no time.  We woke up early this morning and ran out on our balcony to check it out, we quickly realized more layers were required so after throwing on boots and jackets we ran outside to play.  Doiron thought it was cool for about ten minutes before he was ready to go in and warm up.  Daddy made us oatmeal while I lit the fire, and that my friends, is Doiron’s very first snow day.  I can’t wait to show him real snow one day, but judging by his quick retreat he’ll need a full snowsuit, hand warmers and a steady stream of hot cocoa, guess he really is a native Texan.

prints snow egg pool oatmeal diz fire

3/52

52 Weeks / / 3/52
52 Weeks / / 3/52

Doiron: always a truck in hand, surveying his kingdom

 

PS: It is SO HARD to just pick ONE picture . . . .

T W O

inviteBear with my tardiness here, Doiron turned Two over a month ago . . . and since this blog is a supposed scrapbook of his life, it warrants a post, late or not.  It was a fun get together, larger than I realized when planning but so amazing to see just how many people in the world care about our Doiron, we had lots of family and friends (some who were womb buddies but we had never met yet!) and many were there in spirit.  Bryan’s parents were visiting from California, THANK GOD and they helped me whip everything together, as well as put a few finishing touches on the party that we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own, so so very thankful.  Here are a few pics from our soiree ala my sister Ryan (thanks love!)

Smiling at Baby Henry
Smiling at Baby Henry
Cousin Henry, Womb Buddy Amazing Jane, and Cousin TK!
Cousin Henry, Womb Buddy Amazing Jane, and Cousin TK!
What's a party without a little, er a lot of queso!
What’s a party without a little, er a lot of queso!
Doiron couldn't focus to open all of his gifts, thankfully his friends stepped in to help, so many fantastic books!
Doiron couldn’t focus to open all of his gifts, thankfully his friends stepped in to help, so many fantastic books!
Fork? No thanks I've got a front end loader . . .
Fork? No thanks I’ve got a front end loader . . .
Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake . . . so good!
Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake . . . so good!

And finally, in an effort to obtain something physical for Doiron’s memories, I wrote him a little letter.  One of my favorite items to stumble upon on other blogs are parents letters to their children.  Writing is probably one of my greatest weaknesses, already as I read back over this I blush, but it’s what I was feeling that day and I’m glad I wrote it down.  I’m uploading it here mostly because I’m worried I’ll lose this journal (but hopefully not, because I’m hoping to continue to write him little notes of love throughout his life in here).  So have a laugh with me and enjoy.  And happy happy birthday do my man cub, 2 is gonna rock (it already is)!

2

 

1 & 2/52

Painting Al Fresco, and watching cars
“A Portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014”

Doiron Dale: 1/52 Painting Al Fresco & 2/52 Watching Cars in bed for the umpteenth time

2013 came and went in the blink of an eye.  I’ve never been one to worry about time, I don’t mind getting older, I don’t mind waiting until the last minute to do something, in fact I thrive on it (I didn’t start making Christmas gifts for my family until 10 pm on Christmas eve, and lets not even bring up my fifteen page art history papers in college)! But when it comes to my son, I frequently feel as if time is slipping away and I’m not doing everything I can to capture each precious moment.  That is why I started this blog, in lue of a baby journal or scrap book.  I’ve been inspired by the 52 project, or project 52 on many blogs and have decided to take a crack at it, I’m already off to a miserable start as I forgot the first week, but hey I’ve got 5o more to get it right, so wish me luck!

In the mean time, check out the first 52 weeks project I ever saw, and fell hard for!  As well as an old high school friend of mine who just welcomed her baby Hera in December, I’m jealous of the catalog of first year pictures she’s about to acquire, but all the same I know my little man is going to change an immeasurable amount himself.  So stay tuned, send me reminders, and enjoy!  At the end of the year I’ll have to make a little book or something . . . Bonne Année!

 

Time

I do not understand how anybody has time to keep up a blog . . . maybe time management has something to do with it, because I know the ones I follow are moms, moms with like 4 kids.  I only have one and I have no. time. for. this.  But I’m not giving up, somehow its already the middle of November it’s F1 in Austin, then it’s Thanksgiving, then I’m setting up a pop up shop (in addition to my two stores) then family is coming in for D’s 2nd Birthday, which means there’s a party to plan, then there are Holiday events like parades and strolls, then there’s another pop up shop, then it’s Christmas, and then I breathe.  So who knows what will be posted on here between now and the new year but I’m excited for all that is happening in my life.  Doiron is starting to talk (finally) with Ca! for every car he sees and Bubee! for every baby he sees and Moo! with a finger to the sky every time we walk outside, day or night.  Maybe even cuter than his words is the excitement that he has for his own identification of things, I remember when his little buddy Luke, just one month younger than D, started these words it seemed like it snowballed into more and more words and now he’s repeating everything he hears, it feels like one day I’m going to wake up and have a talking kid, I can’t wait.  But I will wait because time keeps slipping away from me, I feel lazy and unproductive, so I’m doing something about it, I think, wish me luck.  For starters here are some photos from our quick trip to see Bryan’s family over Halloween, it was a blast and a blur, too fast and so. exhausting.  We miss these peeps like crazy and absorb every minute we can with them, one of our highlights was bringing D to Disneyland for the first time . . .you should have seen this kid with Mickey, he pretty much wanted to take him home with him . . . the photographer had to ask us to get our kid off of him, so here are our pics from the trip.  Thanks for tuning in folks.   Souhait sur une étoile!

mickey1 scenes light pirateline LIft PModel sleepytiki mickey2 Leia play sword dressed car

Pardonner et Oublier

Pumpkin PatchAre we seriously already into the second half of October already!?  It’s been flying by with gorgeous cool weather and lots going on after two weekends of ACL fest and flooding rain and pumpkin patches and little league games, and getting ready for a trip to LA in TEN DAYS where we’ll be visiting with family and taking D to Disney Land for the first time, we’re sooooo excited!!!!!!!  But with all of this going on, not only have I forgotten to note any memories here but also, completely. forgot. my. anniversary.  If it wasn’t for facebook, I’m not sure I would have ever remembered, but there I was on my lunch break, checking out my news feed and I was reminded of a few acquaintance’s birthdays and Tegi Hahn’s Wedding Anniversary, “eh who cares” I thought to myself, “wait, what!?”

My husband and I both had to work late that night, my shift being a double . . . so at the end of the night I called in an order to Stubbs (which has somehow escaped my BBQ repertoire my entire life) and swept by the babysitters (my amazing babysitter who also pulled a double watching my babe along with her 3) to get my precious sweet baby boy whom I adore.

Except, all of the sudden, this kid does not want to go to bed.  We got home around ten, snuggled and nursed, he fell asleep in my arms right as my husband got home, we went to lay him in his crib and Doiron, lost it.  Screaming “No000” and “Owwwww” and just plain screaming.  From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was against the “crying it out” method.  I want my son to feel comfortable and confident in his sleeping quarters and not feel abandoned, or worse, have there be something actually wrong and I’m just ignoring his cries for help.  When he’s sick and he cries I get him immediately and bring him to bed where he can nurse as often as he needs to soothe his ails.  But this always results in him thinking any time he wakes up now he can come cuddle with mommy, which I honestly kind of love, but it does making sleeping soundly a bit more difficult on all of us.  So Bryan, bless him, has to be the enforcer and literally put himself between me and our son.

So there we were on our third wedding anniversary, sitting on the living room floor, eating cold bbq to the sounds of our almost two year old screaming bloody murder.  Oh, but, I can’t forget to mention the fantastic gift my hubby crafted me, my very first coupon book!  Next day off we have, I’m cashing in the one where he takes care of D all day, and I’m finally painting my bedroom!When I was in elementary school, my favorite bedtime stories were those of my mother’s childhood or my own where in the moment our mothers were not laughing, but now our stomachs hurt and tears rolled down our faces from laughing so hard (ie: the time my mom cut her bedsheets to be sure they were straight across the top of her bed, or the time my sister locked me in the bathroom with the lights off and thought she had killed me as I slammed my two year old self against the door trying to get out) maybe this will be one of those stories.  I’m already chuckling at it now . . . but it certainly wasn’t romantic.  Not to mention that though we eventually won the battle of the beds that night, once we finally got in our own bed, up strolled our fat cat Diz who plopped himself in the spot Doiron would have been and stretched out victoriously.

So there it is y’all, my third wedding anniversary . . . no leather gifts, no fancy dinners, no celebratory vacations . . . and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am so happily content with my life right now, I may moan about not being able to buy anything I want, or take more vacations, but when I close my eyes and breathe I remember that I’m doing exactly what I’ve wanted since the first day I met Bryan, living in a house full of love and hearty baby giggles, with a few screams on the side.

Truth Be Told

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I’ve been a little, lets say hyper, lately.  Wishing I could buy more expensive clothes and shoes for Doiron, maybe me too, wishing I could do more things to my house, wishing I could get pregnant again.  Maybe discontent is a better word, which makes me so angry, because I have a pretty awesome life.  Some of this discontent comes from surfing the blogosphere and comparing myself to the many amazing women writing out there, ok, a lot of the discontent.  But on the same hand there is so much inspiration to be found, if I could only step back, breathe, and take the positive and leave the negative self doubting thoughts floating in the cloud.  So that’s what I intend to do.  This is a free calendar that an amazing artist Oana Befort offers on her blog, not only am I enamored with her work, but she has fantastic posts featuring her baby boy and life in Romania.  I love to set her calendars as my desktop background for a little ounce of happy while I’m working, I can’t wait to see October’s.

I recently discovered a high school friend of mine has a beautiful blog as well, Kimber is expecting a baby girl so my envy of her is about to increase, but meanwhile she just posted a little exercise called taking stock.  It’s a fantastic little list to help ground yourself and pool all of those millions of thoughts into something tangible.  So here is mine, please share yours too, it’s so comforting to see what others are experiencing . . . à trouver un équilibre

Taking Stock

Making . . . a home

Cooking . . . real home cooked meals, mostly vegetarian

Drinking . . . The last of our Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka, transitioning to White Mocha Spice Latte’s

Reading . . . Twilight, actually I’m listening to it in the car

Wanting . . . a baby girl

Looking . . . for fall colors (doesn’t really happen here)

Playing  . . . Etta James all the time, and with Trucks . . . all the time

Wasting . . . energy on things out of my control

Sewing . . . I’ve had fabric for pillow cases sitting in the trunk of my car for about two months now

Wishing . . .for it to get cold, and stay cold.

Enjoying . . . too many cookies from the new cafe around the corner

Waiting . . . to have a baby girl

Liking . . . rediscovering Texas with my family

Wondering. . . what will happen tomorrow

Loving . . . watching my husband watching my son, so much love there.

Hoping . . . for financial stability

Marveling . . . at the success of our new store

Needing . . . to continue and build on that success

Smelling . . . Christmas tree candles, all year

Wearing . . . my glasses more and more

Following . . . my toddler everywhere

Noticing . . . every millimeter Doiron grows

Knowing . . . I am lucky

Thinking . . . way too much

Starting . . . a new website for my store

Bookmarking . . . way too many blogs for my own good

Opening  . . . boxes upon boxes of fall clothing *cha-ching*

Giggling . . . when Doiron is naughty,  trying. so. hard. not. to.

Feeling. . . kinda overwhelmed, but determined.

 

 

September Fourth

It’s a special day.  It’s the hubs birthday and this year it just so happened to fall on the one day we have off together.  I decided to show him one of my favorite things about summer in Austin, Hamilton Pool.  It’s just a short drive from Pflugerville to Dripping Springs, an adorable little town with delicious food and fantastic shops, but it wasn’t my birthday, so other than a quick trip to Goodwill to find swim trunks for the forgetful birthday boy, there was no shopping.  But who wants to shop when you’re on your way to a natural spring fed grotto.  Every summer of my childhood had at least one trip to Hamilton Pool, but the beauty was lost on me as a child, returning after a thirteen year absence with my husband and son was simply magical.  It was a gorgeous day, not too hot, rain clouds were floating over with distant thunder rumbling through the air.  The birds were singing and tiny frogs, snakes and giant catfish were visiting.  Doiron of course loved swimming through the cool waters and drinking as much as he could, it really does taste amazing.  We finished up at Rosie’s Tamale House, another bit of nostalgia for me complete with light up velvet paintings and cream cheese stuffed jalapenos.  This day reminded me how wonderful it is growing up in the hill country and Bryan and I agreed that this too shall be a frequent memory in Doiron’s childhood.  Days like these remind me of every reason I fell in love with Bryan, and no lie, his biggest selling point was the father I knew he would be.  He loves our son more than I ever imagined possible and proves every day that his family is his first priority, and he never fails to tell me he loves me, too.  We’ve only been married for 3 years (next month) but life has only continued to get better, and I only see good things in our future.  I am a happy mama.  Je vous souhaite bonheur.

plant garden hike monkeytoes rules rocksPool B1 B5 nature curl

Lullaby

I always thought putting toddlers down for their naps was supposed to be hard. But apparently D takes after me, sleep is good, sleep is easy. I used to nurse D to sleep whenever I was in charge of naps and bedtime, and there were times he didn’t want to leave my arms, I’m not gonna lie, I kinda enjoyed it. But it does make getting stuff done rather difficult. About six moths ago we had to switch daycare providers, it was the best thing that ever happened for Mr Doiron. Rhonda is amazing, she has three beautiful kids who have quickly become Doiron’s best friends, the only way I can get him to go home with me is the mentioning of milk. The day Rhonda told me that she just lays Doiron down for nap time everyday without a fuss I was a bit in shock. Bry had a pretty easy time getting him down with a cuddle and a song (there’s nothing sweeter than hearing your husband sing to your baby y’all) but as D got older and wiser he started to test his limits and put up a bit of a fight. Until one day, Bry discovered if he just gave home a bottle of water and set him in the crib he was a happy camper. I highly doubted this would work for me given that the milk machine was close at hand, but it does y’all and we have absolutely no fits at bedtime.

Today as nap time approached D was still pretty spunky but showing the usual signs of nap time crankies. I got his bottle and picked him up, sang his special lullaby and placed him in the crib. He sat himself up and I braced for a wail, but stood my ground told him I loved him and walked out. No cries, just a few giggles and raspberries then silence. I can’t help but to peek at him while he sleeps, and it kills me when he has tucked himself in and pulled up the blankie. Here’s a few shots, all on my iPhone and in the dark so sorry for the quality. I thought I’d also give your peek at some of my favorite bits of his nursery. Fais de beaux rêves

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Port Aransas

We took a family trip to the Gulf Coast a few months ago.  It’s a lovely 3.5 hour drive from Austin to Port Aransas, Doiron did amazingly, in large part due to Cousin Mike riding with us and keeping him entertained.  That and the BBQ pit stop we made in Nixon, not only did they fill our bellies but it’s a family owned joint and the owners had their three year old grandson there, the boys spent an hour riding trikes and chasing each other around the restaurant, it was fantastic!  My parents spoiled all four of us sisters with a gorgeous beach house.  Bryan and I lucked out and got the master that had an adjoining bath to die for, with a giant bath tub which Doiron and I made full use of, and a walk in shower that was at least 5 feet square.  All of my nephews were with us, Michael (Mike, as his buds at school call him, and me ‘cus I’m the cool aunt) who’s ten and starting fifth grade on Tuesday, holy cow!  Nathan who’s the smartest eight year old I’ve ever met, and our newest boy Henry, six months old.  We desperately need some girls in this family, I’ve been elected to make the contribution, and I will happily oblige before too long . . . But for now Doiron is LOVING his time with his big cousins, they ended each evening with a joint shower, it was hilarious, a little gross at times, but mostly adorable.  And seeing D with baby Henry melted my heart, he’ll give kisses, he’ll smack him occasionally but quickly apologizes with a hug when reminded to be gentle, and “help” Henry with his passy.  I can’t wait to make D a big brother, but on the other hand there are just a few loose ends we’d really like to tie up before making the leap of another baby, I’m hoping we’ll be “ready” within the next year and I look forward to sharing my full experience here.  Until then, you’ll just have to enjoy my single subject pictures.   Mike didn’t make it into many shots,  he would escape with the “big boys,” my youngest cousin and his friend both 16, every chance he got.  He even got to go on a solo trip with them into town for ice cream, I’ve never seen his chest puffed so big, it was adorable and made my eyes well up a bit, he’s our first baby and about to be a teenager.  I’m also disappointed that I didn’t take many shots of my parents or my Aunt Chris and Grammie who also joined us, they shared a house a block away that had a wrap around porch where we spent the evenings catching up, I don’t get to see my family often enough, even the ones who live in the same city.  Anyway, here are the few 35 mm shots that I’m happy with, the misty beach really messed with my focusing abilities, but it also gave the ones that turned out a sort of dreamy quality,  Beaux rêves de l’océan

BBQ porch mike Henry Boys nap wagon birding BirdingNathan IceCream walk truck hair