Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tree House

A Tree House

A tree house, a free house,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.

A street house, a neat house,
Be sure and wipe your feet house
Is not my kind of house at all~

Let's go live in a tree house.

Shel Silverstein

My dad (aka "Doe Doe" {named by my nephew, Bayer}) is making a tree house in Aiken for the grandkids.  This is mostly because he is just a big kid himself.  He's well-qualified for this job because he's a tree climber - not just when he was a little boy, but he's been known to climb a tree or two even at 62 years young!  Example: last spring, I walked outside onto our deck, and he was 20 feet up a dogwood tree, taking down a dead limb.  Unfortunately I missed that photo op, but here he is demonstrating his athletic abilities at a ceremony to get his black belt in tae kwon do.  He's the little guy on the left breaking a board with his foot.

He also has lots of practice building treehouses.  He built a house for my sister and me when we were growing up, and he's assisted friends in tree house building projects for years.  Here's a picture of the ladder that was on our tree house growing up - you can see he had us write our names on the wood, and he routed them in to make them permanent.  My handwriting at 6 years old is part of this ladder forever. 

Well, our treehouse came down about 15 years ago when my parents built an addition on their house, but my dad had the foresight to save the ladder.  Now its incorporated into the new treehouse for McCord and his cousins, Bayer and Calla.  Here are a few shots of the work in progress that I took last Monday on a trip to Aiken. 

Check back later for more pictures on the progress. 

I am so excited that McCord and his cousins will have the opportunity to grow up in a tree house like my sister and I did.  I'm sure this house will not only be a place for climbing competitions and tea parties, but will also be transformed into a boat sailing the high sea, a spaceship ready for takeoff, and a car ready for racing in the imaginations of their creative little minds. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Update on the Gift for Grandmothers

They're finished!

Bo & I realize that every day and every moment is a teaching opportunity for McCord, and while he's too young to remember this experience, we hope to teach him by example to give to others freely and from the heart.  Aiya and Gee Gee gave so much to our little family of 3 when they stayed with us after coming home from the hospital.  Their love and support were the gifts we needed most at that time, and we hope to teach McCord to share his gifts with others in the same way.  I enjoyed this experience with McCord so much and realize that he and I received the greatest gift of all in watching Aiya and GeeGee enjoy their platters. 

The great art of giving consists in this: the gift should cost very little and yet be greatly coveted, so that it may be the more highly appreciated.

~Baltasar Gracian

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekend Project

Did anyone see these great micro fiber towels at Target's dollar spot this week?  They're cheap ($1 for 2)and super-absorbant, so I snatched up a couple to make some new kitchen towels.  This project was so quick - here are the steps for an easy weekend project. 
  • Choose a coordinating fabric to sew to the reverse-side of the towel
  • Trim fabric to size of towel
  • Place fabric and towel right sides together and pin
  • You may want to add some trim - I chose this rick rack, but would have used these pom-poms (below) if I'd had enough on hand

  • Sew around the border of your fabrics and remember to leave about a 4 inch opening in the boarder to pull the fabrics right sides out (as if you were sewing a pillow covering)
  • Before pulling fabric right sides out, trim corners and excess fabric from the boarder, then pull fabrics right sides out
  • Iron edges of your new kitchen towel and topstitch around the towel with a coordinating thread (I set my machine to the triple stitch setting for a more substantial look)
  • If you are really feeling Martha Stewart-ish, you could put a contrasting thread in your bobbin so you'll have a different color topstiched on each side of your towel

  • Hand sew the opening closed
  • Enjoy your new kitchen towel!
This project was so quick, I had enough time to make two between McCord's naps. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Splish Splash

Here are a few belated pictures of McCord's first real bath.  He had a stuborn umbilical cord that didn't fall off until he was 6 weeks old!  He loves bathtime and I do too!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

First Church Experience

Bo and I mustered up enough courage to take McCord to church for the first time last week, and it was so good to be back in the sanctuary surrounded by our church family.  We feel so blessed to belong to such a supportive and encouraging church.  We thought McCord would sleep through the entire service, but he had other ideas...the two of us had to listen to the sermon in the narthex, but he made it back for the end of the service.  Not too bad for a 6 week old.  Here are a few shots of the first experience. 

We look forward to watching McCord grow up in the church and can't wait for his baptism on September 19th, 2010. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer's Not Over

Although Rock Hill schools started back on Wednesday (sorry Kasie and Alison), it's still summer in the Redmond household.  And summer means vacations near water.  McCord has his first two vacations coming up to look forward to - one to the ocean with the Redmond Family and one to the lake with the Keisler Family.  Of course he needs to look nautical for these momentous occasions, so here's a little diaper cover I worked on for him to wear. 

This pattern came from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing for Baby.  If you have a baby in your life or one in the future and you're a beginner sewer like me, you'll love this book.  It has lots of cute (and easy!) projects with simple instructions. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Baby Gift

A week or two ago, I went to the mailbox and was so excited to find a small package addressed to McCord - it's still such a thrill to see his name in print!  Inside was one of the most thoughtful and unique baby gifts I've ever seen from June and Kent Sullivan.  Bo and I were so moved by this sweet keepsake, that I just had to post pictures so all of you blog readers can enjoy it too. 

Here's McCord's block - it arrived in a sweet red pouch with a drawstring.  As you can see each side of his  block is personalized. 

The company that designs these blocks makes them for baby's first Christmas, Baptism, Adoption, and lots of other occasions too.  For more information about these neat blocks, click here

Thank you so much Sullivans for thinking of McCord!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Little Something for the Grandmothers

Bo and I are so thankful that both of our moms were willing to stay with us after McCord was born to help us get adjusted to parenthood.  We had a lot to learn between the diaper changes, breastfeeding, and burping, but we were fortunate to be able to learn from the best.  Aiya ({pronounced Eye - ya}my mom) stayed the first week and GeeGee (Bo's mom) stayed the second week.  In addition to helping us care for the baby, they cooked, cleaned, and did laundry - lots of it! 

McCord and I felt creative yesterday, so we set out to make something for Aiya and GeeGee to thank them for all of their love and support. 

Here we are at Clay Escape in Fort Mill where you can choose from a variety of pottery pieces to paint and design any way you choose. 

Look at all of the options of pottery and paint colors...


The owner's name is Jennifer and she was extremely helpful, and she loves babies, so we had a great time messing around in the paint. You can tell she also has a great sense of humor...

Here's the budding artist...

... and here's a sneak peak of McCord's contribution to Aiya and GeeGee's gifts.  You'll have to check back later for the final results.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

McCord Visits Hospice

Last week McCord and I popped into Hospice & Community Care to intoduce the Handsome Monkey to all of my work buddies.  For an organization that provides emotional, spiritual and physical care to patients who are in the dying process, you would be amazed at how much life there is on our campus.  I was so humbled to see everyone stop what they were working on to meet McCord and to delight in his cute little self. 

Here he is enjoying some sweet talkin' from Barbara...

...and getting lots of love from Holly, Jane, and Tam.

Apology Cookies

Dear Rock Hill Animal Hospital,

McCord sincerely apologizes for his meltdown during Hank's appointment.  We hope the oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies make up for any ill feelings!

Friday, August 6, 2010

McCord is One Month Old!

So many of my girlfriends are great at documenting their children's milestones with photos.  I don't know if I'll be as disciplined, but we are going to try to take a picture of McCord next to his maple on the first day of the month (his birthday) so we can watch him grow with the tree.  Bo and I managed to get off to a good start for his first month birthday, but I've temporarily misplaced my camera, so you'll have to check back to see the photos here are a few photos. 

Watch me grow with my maple

One month old with Lil' Mac
Lil' Mac, do they take naked pictures of you too?!!!

Here are a few things that I want to remember about McCord's first month -
  • At his one month appointment, McCord weighed 9 lbs. 3 oz. (he gained 3 pounds from his first appointment!) and was 22 3/4 inches long.  He's in the 30th percentile for weight and the 85th percential for height.
  • You slept in your car seat for the first couple of weeks because we couldn't get you to sleep in the bassinet.  We love the bassinet so much (it was the same one GeeGee - my mother-in-law - had as an infant) that we had you sleep in the car seat inside the bassinet.  Sounds silly, but it worked. 
  • At first you couldn't stand diaper changes, but you quickly grew to enjoy them
  • Your umbilical cord is still attached at 4 weeks old!
  • To the pediatrician's disbelief, you enjoy your nightly sponge baths
  • McCord got his first bottle of breast milk at 4 weeks old and sucked it down!
  • Your daddy and I are amazed at the noises you can make when you're sleeping - you are definitely "all boy" because you grunt, gargle, and fart freely
  • You started smiling at your mom and dad at 3 weeks old.  We thought it was just a coincidence at first because it seemed early, but quickly a pattern emerged that you'd smile at your favorite things: sponge baths, diaper changes, walks around the block, car rides, and looking at anyone who's baby talking to you
  • So far, you enjoy looking at the ceiling fan and the two toys that dangle from your car seat
  • One of my favorite memories of your first month is the drive home from the hospital. Your dad drove us home, and you and I rode in the back seat. We happened to be listening to a James Taylor CD and "Carolina On My Mind" was playing when we crossed the stateline.  I was overcome with emotion about bringing a baby home to our house, seeing the "Welcome to South Carolina" sign, and hearing the lyrics, In my mind I'm going to Carolina.  Your dad and I were so excited to be leaving the hospital.  All of the things we dreamed about, the life we intend to share with you, was all right in front of us at that moment.  I wanted to remember that moment forever, so I took this picture of us on the ride home.  You can see we both still have our hospital bracelets on.

How truly blessed we are to have you in our life, McCord.