Monday, August 31, 2009

Fun Family Weekeend

Another busy weekend for the Rollins family! We went lots of places, saw lots of things... but unfortunately, we forgot the camera for our adventures so we don't have a single picture to share. :( My bad.

On Saturday we went floating down the Ichetucknee River with Jared's Mom and Dad, Dusty, Arin, Chad, Amber, Gavin and Anson. We were smart and all rented rafts that kept us out of the freezing cold water. For Arin and I, it was because we are pregnant so of course we had to do it for the sake of the babies. We're sacrificial like that :) We went in at the North end, floated down for a couple hours, and got out at the midway point. The weather could not have been more perfect and it turned out to be a great day. We didn't take the camera because we didn't want to risk dropping it in the water or getting it wet, but just imagine the 10 of us floating down the river, rafts tied together, with Amber and I freaking out at every over-hanging limb because of the fear of a snake falling down into our tube. Thankfully, no snakes were spotted :)

That evening Charlotte and I headed over to my Dad & Bobbie's house for an 89th birthday party for my Grandma (Dad's mom). A Meng gathering is never a small one and it was great to visit with so much of the family. The no-camera thing here was simply me forgetting to bring it along, but picture Charlotte riding around in a red wagon with her little cousin (third cousin, I believe) Adley. They were adorable!

Then on Sunday, we went to Silver Springs with the Rollins family (minus Dad and Megan, who weren't able to go). It was a little warm, but most of the park is shaded so it wasn't horrible. This trip made me remember my first family outing with the Rollins family in April 2004 when we went to Wild Adventures for Megan's birthday. Our theme park pattern tends to be ride, food, ride, food... Luckily, the rides at Silver Springs are much more mellow than they are at Wild Adventures! We had a great time, especially Anson, who really enjoyed seeing all the fish, turtles, and gators. Even with a big day the day before, all of the kids did really well and seemed to enjoy themselves. We intended for the camera to make its way to Silver Springs with us, but in the hustle and bustle of getting fourteen people into three vehicles, the camera bag was left on the front porch :( So you'll just have to picture the cuteness of Charlotte riding on the carousel for the first time, waving to everyone as we circled around (I believe Arin and Amber did manage to get a picture of her- maybe they'll be kind enough to e-mail it to me). Another great picture you can imagine is Charlotte and Ella in their matching dresses, both leaning to look at the fish on the glass bottom boat. And the video that we weren't able to capture was of Gavin losing his balance while pushing PawPaw in the wheelchair, trying to regain his footing and control as PawPaw goes flying down the hill and into the tree, with Gavin ending up getting stuck under PawPaw and the wheelchair :) Once we knew neither of them were hurt, I seriously almost peed my pants.

And in true Monday fashion, it is past noon and I am still in my pajamas. I'm so grateful for the luxury of being a stay-at-home-mom!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Potty Skills

Charlotte went poopie on the potty tonight! Woo-hoo! Right before bedtime, after she had just had a dirty diaper changed (apparently she had not finished her business), she pulled me into the bathroom and started to climb onto the toilet (with the lid down). I got the hint, so I put her little potty seat on the toilet, plopped her on it, and sure enough, she started pooping! (The things you never thought you'd talk about before becoming a mother...)

What made it adorable, if it's possible for anything to be adorable while such matters are taking place, was that after each and every grunt and toot, she would smile big and clap for herself. It was precious. We rewarded her with two marshmallows from Lucky Charms, the only part of that cereal she believes to be worth anything.

Every now and then she'll grab at her diaper or bring me a fresh diaper to let me know she would like to be changed, but I haven't been consistent with putting her on the potty to even pretend or practice she's going, so she's showing some initiative for getting potty trained all on her own!


Folks, I know you have all been waiting with bated breath but the moment has finally arrived... the cabinets are finished! And in my humble opinion, they look pretty awesome. Take a look for yourself at the before and after...


After painting, Before distressing

Up close

And the final after, with some rough sanding on the edges to keep them from looking so new

Up close...

In the pictures it's difficult virtually impossible to see a difference with the distressing, but it did make a big difference.

There was an extra step involved that I did not foresee in the beginning, but Jared pointed out to me. The base that the cabinets is sitting on was white, which just looked silly with the black cabinets. It may not have looked as bad if it was the same color as the baseboards, but they are all painted the same horrible beige that the rest of the walls in our room are painted (Who paints the baseboards and trim the same color as the walls? Previous homeowners, not us!). It's something that someone may have never noticed, but it looks much better than it was before. One of the reasons we have not yet repainted the baseboards is because they are all up against carpet and we weren't quite sure how to deal with the mess of painting without getting the paint on the carpet when the carpet actually touches the baseboards. I did a little googling, and the easiest thing for me seemed to be to put tape on carpet with a little bit of it up touching the baseboard, then shove that excess down between the two. And to prevent any paint splatters that are sure to happen when I'm holding a paint brush, I taped some newspaper down as well.

And I must share with you some of the little tricks I've learned from blog stalking reading some of my favorite frou-frou blogs (listed in the sidebar to the right).

To save time rinsing out the paint brush or roller after every use, wrap it up in saran wrap, stick that in a ziploc, and toss that into the fridge. It keeps the paint from hardening on your brushes and saves a ton of time and mess-making. (I promise I didn't put it amongst the food in the fridge, so you don't have to worry about eating at my house and getting poisoned. Promise!)

To save time rinsing out the paint tray, cover it with aluminum foil. I love short cuts!

And just to tease you a little bit, I'm also working on this little beauty.

We found her at a yard sale for $12. I'll hopefully have her "After" pictures next week!

Edited to add: I have to mention that I did this project all by myself. And I'm not saying that to complain about not getting any help, because I really enjoy doing this sort of thing. But I just want to brag that all the labor was done by yours truly, including the use of the drill! That's right, I used a drill :) I'm like Ty Pennington, only I don't run around topless with a megaphone.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sleepy Girl

Yesterday at 9:15 a.m., Charlotte fell asleep while sitting on my lap at the desk

This is what happens when a little girl wakes up at 5:45 and just plays in her crib until 6:45, rather than going back to sleep. If she didn't look just like me, I would wonder if she was even mine - I don't understand how any offspring of mine could be such an early bird!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Don't Think She Gets It...

I don't think she understands the whole "baby sister" concept...

(Please pretend I'm a good housewife who made the bed yesterday...)

Oh, and for those who missed the announcement on crackbook, we have decided upon "Naomi" as the name for Baby Girl! The middle name is yet to be decided, but I feel so much better now that she at least has a first name!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Recovery Week

This week has been one of recovery! I have been wiped out from the Texas trip. With the exception of yesterday and today, I don't think I made it out of my pajamas before noon at all since we've been home. And that's only because I'm paranoid that even on a quick trip up to the drive thru, I'll get in a car accident and have to step out of the van in my scruffy pajamas :) And in full disclosure, on Wednesday, I was still in my pajamas when Jared got home from work. One of the perks of being a stay-at-home-scrub mom!

Yesterday, we had what was intended to be a "5 Year Class Reunion". I know it's traditional to wait 10 years, but I had many people tell me that they'd really like to have one at five years and as the Class President, I agreed and tried to oblige. Well, our class funds are pretty much at $0, and I didn't start planning far enough ahead of time to get deposits from anyone, but after talking it over with several of the other class officers (namely Gavin, my Vice President, senior prom date, and now brother-in-law!), we decided something more casual would be fine for the five-year mark. So we picked a date, time, location, spread the word as best as we could within the time allowed. It was to be yesterday at Keystone Beach from 11-2:00. No agenda for the day, just come, hang out, bring some food, play some volleyball, and reminisce about the olden days...

I am certainly glad that I did not go to any trouble to order food or plan any games, and am even more glad that no money was put out by myself or any of the other class officers... because only five people showed up. Well, nine, including two spouses and two toddlers. But five people from our class. I was somewhat disappointed, until I realized that the four others who showed up were four of the people I was closest to in high school. They were four people who had everyone else in the class showed up, I would have been disappointed with the day if they had not. So the trip to Keystone was not what I expected, but was definitely worth it. We sat around Keystone Beach roasting (even in the shade) until 12:15 or so, then decided to head up to Johnny's for lunch. It was great to see them and it made me grateful that my best friends from high school are still my best and closest friends even now. All five years that we're removed from high school. :)

The Class of 2004 (minus Gavin, who had to leave before we thought to get a picture), including me, Kristina, Shannon, and Windee

Yesterday afternoon I started working on getting the bathroom cabinets sanded so that I can repaint them. For the second time. The first time I tried, I gave them a half-hearted sanding before applying the paint that was leftover from when we had the exterior of the house painted. That's right, I used exterior paint on the interior. And apparently, that's a no-no. If only we had someone in the family who owns and runs a paint business who could steer me away from such mistakes... Yeah, I'll blame Dusty. It's easier that way. So exterior paint is different from interior paint- I thought it was just made to be more durable. But there's more to it than that, as I found out. It needs the sunlight and all sorts of other explanations that the guy at Lowe's can tell you while he's looking at you like you're an idiot for not knowing those things. Otherwise it bubbles up and doesn't go on smoothly and just makes a mess of everything. And then you might end up with those ugly half-hearted sanded and horribly painted cabinets in your bathroom for several months because you don't have the energy to mess with them. Not that that happened here. I'm just saying, some people might run into that problem.

So yesterday I took my new sander and made a mess of the back porch while I sanded them down really well. I still didn't do as good of a job as I probably should have, but I think it was good enough. I'm impatient and I'll never learn. Then I gave the cabinet and front of the cabinet doors a coat of tinted primer. After dinner I'm planning to do the backs of the doors, and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get myself out of my pajamas and into public-appropriate clothes so that I can get some interior paint. My window of time for painting during the week is pretty much limited to Charlotte's naptime (ha! Like I won't be taking a nap myself:) and after her bedtime, but I'm hoping this project can be finished by the end of the week. That's my goal. And all five of my blog readers can hold me accountable to that. If I'm not finished by then, feel free to give me a good lashing in the comments. That'll teach me to get my butt in gear!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Howdy, Ya'll!

Howdy, Ya'll! Today we returned from a quick little tour of the Lone Star State! Jared's cousin, Kristina, married Bobby Brown (not the one involved with the Whitney Houston drama, but I'm sure he gets mistaken for him all the time:). The wedding was in New Braunfels, which is near San Antonio, and the day after the wedding, we did a little (very little) sightseeing of San Antonio's Riverwalk and the Alamo. After a morning of sightseeing, we headed north to Huntsville (just north of Houston) to visit Jon & Staci Sheptock and their girls. Jon was one of Jared's best friends in high school and he sang in our wedding. If you didn't hear him then, go to his website, have a listen, read his story, order his CD (or ten), and contact him to sing at your church. (Jon, we'll be expecting any royalties from CD sales that come as a result of this blog post... I think all of 5 people read it:). After a visit that seemed impossibly too short with them, we were up early this morning to head back to Jacksonville. It was a fast and jam-packed trip, but we had a great time!

On Saturday morning, we saved putting Charlotte in the van until the very last minute, thinking she would fall back asleep on the way to the airport and snooze for a little while more. Wishful thinking. But she did quite well on the plane ride there.

She munched on her breakfast...

Enjoyed the air vents blowing on her...

And played the "Hmmm" game with Daddy

Gavin had already been in Texas for a week or two visiting some friends, but he met us in San Antonio and rode to the wedding with us. Charlotte adores her Uncle Gavin. I think it could be his dapper dress uniform.

And here are lots of pictures of the wedding for the Rollinses who were not able to attend...

Michael & Krista

Some random woman's hairdo, with a blurry Jeff & Mackenzie in the background. Mackenzie just had their son, Jayden, two months ago. Doesn't she look fantastic?! She's one of those women who has lost nearly all of the pregnancy weight already. My instincts tell me to hate her for that, but she's just too sweet to.

Jamie, the maid of honor, with Bobby's brother, the best man

Kristina & Uncle Mark, who also performed the ceremony

Kristina & Bobby, listening to "I Will Be Here" sung by Bobby's father. It doesn't get any sweeter than that! His dad's band played at the reception too. They were so much fun!

With some Texas scenery in the background

Kristina & Bobby had a choreographed first dance that was soo fun! I got a video of the last half, which I'll try to upload later.

Father-Daughter dance

Jeff dancing with Charlotte

Gavin dancing with Charlotte :) She's a dancing fool!

On Sunday morning, we had a short amount of time to see a couple of the highlights of San Antonio (about half of that time was spent looking for a bathroom for my pregnant bladder)...

The Menger Hotel! Aaron, my brother, was called "Menger" in high school. I, therefore, ended up being "Lil' Menger".

The Alamo. We didn't end up staying too long. Charlotte decided to have a screaming fit. ::sigh:: Traveling with kids is a whole different experience.

A tree at the Alamo that should really be in our yard. I would have had the best time climbing on this thing as a kid!

If you don't have a large, orange, foam, 10-gallon hat in Texas, everyone will know you're a tourist. We like to act like the locals when we travel.

We went on a boat tour of the Riverwalk. It was beautiful! We had plans to eat at a place called Boudro's that I read about on Southern Living's website, but Charlotte was quite grumpy on the first half of the tour, then fell asleep for the second half, and we just decided to get on the road and drive for as long as we could in peace. (Our ride was not peaceful for as long as we had hoped...)

We had a lot of fun visiting with Jon & Staci. Their girls, Anna, Sadie, and Chloe are adorable! Charlotte had so much fun chasing them around the house and they were so sweet to her.

Anna and Jared playing Wii tennis. Jared and I also tried the dancing game, but both of us were horrible. We have videos of that, but I'm not sure they'll ever make it into cyberspace :)

Jared and Jon playing tennis (or baseball). Jared might tell you otherwise, but Jon whooped up on him!

Charlotte and the girls had fun playing in the pool...

Then Charlotte took some driving lessons

Then they enjoyed some ice cream and popsicles. Some of it actually made it into their mouths!

Texas sunset... Look at that orange and blue sky- God is, indeed, a Gator fan!

Charlotte helped me get all of our things packed before we headed home

Loving on Daddy in the airport. See those red spots on her face? She has three more on her arms. And I'm pretty sure they're all the work of the same stupid mosquito. Poor thing.

And we ended our trip with some authentic Tex-Mex :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

So Cute :)

I found this cute toy iron in a consignment shop and Charlotte has loved playing with it! Before we let her use the real iron we'll have to explain to her that using the leg for an ironing board is not such a good idea.

Girlfriend's got style! (She put them on by herself:)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Miracle Sippy Cup

I didn't think such a thing existed, but I have finally come across a sippy cup that doesn't leak or spill! Can you hear the sounds of the angels singing in the heavens, too?! I got a pack of two from WalMart for around $7. Totally worth it! There isn't any sort of attachment to the lid- just the cup and the lid, which has a small valve from which Charlotte can easily enough suck her drink. The brand on the cup is "Learning Curve", but when I looked on WalMart's website for it, I couldn't find it, but this looks almost identical.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


If You're Happy and You Know It or Oh, Happy Day? You decide :) Please ignore the filthy socks. She was wearing them (with no shoes) while running around in the garage. I swear I do wash her clothes. Sometimes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fwd: Re: Fwd: Fwd:

Jared got this in an e-mail from his Uncle Bill and it just cracks us up!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Ah Wuvue"

Translation: I Love You!

For all the toddlers out there who read this blog, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: These three little words will get you just about anything you're wanting. Hugs, kisses, soda, candy, keys to the car... no one is really sure of the limitless power of these words, however, so please use them wisely.

Charlotte's First Haircut

I finally broke down and gave Charlotte her first haircut! She's had a combination of the mullet (business in the front, party the back!) and Zac Efron's bangs (he's one of the actors from Disney's High School Musical. I haven't seen it, I'm not a crazed fan of his, I've only seen him on interviews on the Today Show and such things. I swear!).

The Mullet

The Efron Bangs (I'm coining that term!)

Giving a haircut to a toddler is a process. Not something to be completed all in one sitting. At least if your toddler is named Charlotte Michelle and doesn't understand the concept of sitting still. It's probably horribly crooked and uneven, but I figure she'll never sit still long enough for anyone to notice it. Just like she won't sit still long enough for me to get decent "Before" and "After" pictures. Here's the best I could do...



With so many different layers that she has naturally grown, it'll be a while before she actually has a cute haircut, but I think this is an improvement over what she had.