Saturday, February 27, 2010

A friend and former co-worker has been posting about prayers needed for Layla Grace on Facebook for the last few days. I've honestly not paid much attention to them but tonight found that a completely unrelated friend also posted on her blog about this same little girl. That led me to check out her Journal online. I only read a few posts so I don't know the whole history, but basically this otherwise healthy and normally developing baby girl was diagnosed with a very aggressive and rapidly growing cancer around 16 months of age. A few weeks ago the doctors let her family know they had very little time left with their sweet baby. I can't begin to imagine what this family is going through but I can tell you that the power of pray is felt by families when they're at their darkest hour. Please add this family to your thoughts and prayers.

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Happy Birthday to Betsy!!

Today Ruth Ann & I helped celebrate our friend Betsy's 2nd birthday. Her mom came up with a very creative idea for a party theme...a Dollhouse House Warming Party. I loved it! Besty's mom, Sally, included where you could find the dollhouse accessories to go with the house Sally had refurbished from her own childhood. The accessories requested were the Plan Ahead brand and are super cute! Sally is one of the most creative people I know. She's a very talented painter and is always coming up with cute & creative ideas for her home. Somehow she ended up an appraiser for a local bank...but I think her true calling is in the arts...but much like myself, the creative things we love to do don't always provide us with the income our real jobs sad, but true. Maybe one day we'll be able to make our hobbies our full time jobs, but right now there are mouths to feed and children to cloth, so it will just have to stay a dream!

Here's the birthday girl...


And here's the birthday girl with her momma...


Her shirt was a present from me and Ruth Ann...


Here was her yummy cake, thanks to our friend Brantley...she also made Ruth Ann's cake. She's another talented friend...thankfully I don't have her baking talent, otherwise all the McCarty's waist sizes would be twice as large as the currently are!


And these were the party favors. Sally ordered them from shopping there myself...and had them personalized for each child invited. Ruth Ann's has blond hair, blue eyes and a signature bow! See, I told you Sally was creative!


I managed to pry it out of Ruth Ann's hand long enough to take this picture...the rest of the time Ruth Ann carried it around in a death grip!


Ruth Ann loved the dollhouse and I may see a Dollhouse House Warming Party in her future. Or at least she may have a dollhouse on her Christmas list for next's never too early to start getting her list together...that's how her momma roles!


And much like the parties we've attended before, Ruth Ann got right in the middle of present time...


I think she was making a mental note here to add this to her Christmas or Birthday list...Grammy, Ruth Ann wanted me to ask you if you're taking notes here??

Right now Ruth Ann's favorite word (second of course to Daddy, which if I've heard once I've heard it 100 times today...and usually in triplet "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy") is "Baby", but every child is "Baby"...whether they're twice her size or a newborn. She of course loved meeting Baby Jackson...


And even though the party is for the's kinda for the parents to get together and chat are some of my favorite girls to chat with...


But by far the cutest picture of the entire party was the greeting Ruth Ann got from Jay...


I had the wrong settings on my camera and didn't notice until later that the picture was way too bright. I tried editing it with Flickr, so that's way the colors are a little crazy...I got a little artsy with this one!

You may be asking why Ruth Ann was so dressed up for the initial response...why not?? But really I've just been looking for a reason for Ruth Ann to wear this very cute dress we got as a gift from our friends Mrs. Harriette & her daughter Katenell. I love a smocked dress...but I think I love a dress with a crisp white collar even more! They enjoy the blog so I wanted them to see how cute she is in the this is her color...and she looks like she knows it!


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Feeding an addiction

Hi, I'm Tara and I'm addicted to embroidery...not a bad addiction in the grand scheme of things. I still get all my household chores done, I keep my child feed and her diaper changed and I manage to keep myself showered with hair combed, so I wouldn't say my addiction is taking over my life. However, I have discovered some new embroidery patterns that I love, Love, LOVE...which may end up cutting into the time I use of chores...

It's called "reverse appliques". It literally took me 15 minutes from start to finish to complete this project...typically it can take around 30 minutes for me to complete an applique depending on how many fabrics I'm using and how many times I have to change the thread this is a BIG plus. Here's the results...


The difference between this type of applique than traditional applique is where the fabric is when you sew it to the t-shirt. In traditional applique the fabric is on top of the t-shirt & you cut the fabric from around the outside edge of the design away...but on reverse applique, the fabric (in this case the pink fabric) is under the t-shirt when they're sewn together and then when you're finished you cut the t-shirt in side the design away.

Here, have a closer look...


So cute! I love how simpled the patterns are too. I purchased these from Applique Planet...look to the right for a link to this vendor.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

A new found respect

Ruth Ann's first hair cut was several months ago. I had planned on waiting until her first birthday, but she had the beginnings of a serious mullet so something had to be done before she turned one. At the time I asked the person who was cutting my hair to just trim Ruth Ann's up too. The look of terror that flashed in her eyes should have been my first warning. I think it was because of her young age...most kiddos her age don't have the amount of hair she that I'll add it's both a blessing a curse to have a baby girl with bow worthy hair. A blessing because it's so stinken' cute to see her with a huge bow coordinating with her outfit...a curse because at every meal she ends up with food in her hair and requires daily washing & drying. I now believe babies are usually hair free for a good reason...maintenance is terrible. Anyway, this hair dresser thought it would be a better idea for me to invest in some shears and just do it myself while she's sleeping...I wasn't really sure how I would have her sit up unsupported while sleeping so I asked a friend for some suggestions. She cuts her son hair and suggested I get some Dum-dums to distract was messy, but got the job done.

Ruth Ann's hair had grown out to be a little past her shoulders and was starting to look a little scraggly, so last night after bath time I attempted to cut her hair again. What started as a little trim turned into a very cute bob cut if I do say so myself. Most of the cutting was done last night but I've had to make another quick trim here or there to get the random stray piece of hair.

Through this I have a new found respect for the men and women who cut our children's hair. After Ruth Ann and I emerged from the bathroom Arch wanted to know what all the screaming (both from Ruth Ann and myself) was all about. The closest thing I can compare the experience to is that of cutting a wild animals hair. I know one day she'll understand "Sit still" or "Look down", but right now it means if you choose to cut your child's hair I recommend you contact your physician for a prescription to control high blood'll thank me later!

Here are some pictures of my handy work...




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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First sign of spring and a little honesty

The saying this year should be "October, November, December, January & February showers bring May flowers". This has been the wettest winter of all time...I don't have anything official to back that up, it's just my own un-offical opinion. We are anxiously waiting on the arrival of Spring and it can't come soon enough. Let me share with you the first flower of the Spring...


I wish all the flowers in my yard were this cute!

Now for the honesty...I get compliments on the pictures I post of Ruth Ann and I appreciate them all...but for every cute picture there or TONS that are deleted. Let me share with you how the rest of the photos went. Two pieces of background info...1)Today was an early release from school day, so my niece & nephew, who also stay with my in-laws after school, where home during Ruth Ann's nap time. This means Ruth Ann wasn't going to miss out on the fun to waste her time napping...therefore, Ruth Ann was in a foul mood and shortly after taking this picture she headed to bed. 2) The first photo was the best of all...and it hurts me a little that the top of the flower petal got cut off...but you take what you can get with a naked baby sitting in a towel on an expensive piece of furniture.

Here are the other photos to show you a little of what 99% of Ruth Ann's picture look like...


This pic is edited for content since she is in fact flashing the camera. Cute now...trouble in 15 years!


Perhaps deep in thought?


She's actually using the sign for "book" because there was a book in her line of sight and I wasn't allowing her access to said book since we were in the middle of capturing a sweet memory...there's a time and place for reading! If you look around those chubby hands you'll also notice she's crying...this marked the end of our flower towel photo session. My point...they're not all keepers, but I still think she looks cute & one day I'll laugh at all these crazy pictures I've taken!

Thanks Aunt Jill for the cute towel!

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Keep your hands off Daddy...

If you look around our living room and in Ruth Ann's bedroom you will find books and toys everywhere...I'm sure this is no different in your own home. You would think that Ruth Ann could want for nothing...not true. Do you want to know what she wants?? The phone, the computer, the remote controls and cell phone. What do all these things have in common?? They're all off limits to tiny hands which ultimately leads to melt downs from our future Drama Momma. Last weekend while visiting my Aunt Jill Ruth Ann made a bee line for the's crazy how she has an internal radar guiding her to all things electronic. The one she loved the most was by far the biggest remote I've ever seen. My aunt bought it for my uncle and cousin because they kept misplacing their remotes. They didn't end up using it but Ruth Ann enjoyed it so much that my aunt said she could take it with her. The bonus for has zero control over our television so she can play to her heart's content!

But she's been keeping an eye on her daddy to make sure he doesn't try to swipe it for himself!


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Monday, February 22, 2010

Behold the power of a fry...

To understand the story I'm about to share fully, you'll need a little background info...

Once Ruth Ann moved from baby food in jars to real table food I became a bit picky about what she would have for her meals. Most of her meals include a meat & fruit or meat & veggie. If she hasn't eaten enough during the day she gets all three. When we first started introducing meats the ONLY meat I could get her to eat was a Chick-fil-a chicken nugget...can't say I blame her, they are delicious little nuggets. Anyway, we went through countless kids meals but I never let her eat the waffle fries. I realize she was having a little breaded & fried piece of chicken, but I've decided to draw the line at french fries. I also don't buy Goldfish crackers, or cookies of any variety...mostly for fear that I'll adopt the policy "One for Ruth Ann, One for Momma" and that can get me into a world of trouble. Ruth Ann is also a very healthy 60th-ish percentile weight ranking child, so her snacks consist of cheese sticks, Yo-Baby, and graham crackers (I realize it's a carb, but at least it's still one step away from a cookie...and I don't crave graham crackers, so it's safe to have it in my pantry). Now this is most definitely not because I'm a nutrition expert...if you know me personally you also know my waist size proves that I don't tend to watch what I eat. But that is exactly the reason I haven't let Ruth Ann be exposed to the power a carbohydrate can have on your life...I've seen her future if she doesn't learn good eating habits and folks, it's not pretty! Never am I more aware of this power than when I'm on the South Beach Diet. Arch & I have been on The Beach since January 4th and though I love the results (I'm currently 15 lbs. down)...I hate the way I feel when I go through carb withdrawal and I never want Ruth Ann to know what this discomfort feels like. Geez, that was a lot of talk just to make the point that Ruth Ann hasn't eaten french fries...however, this is the first thing you need to know.

Second, most of you know either from seeing Ruth Ann live & in person or from reading the blog that we've been using the videos Baby Signing Time to help build a signing vocabulary for Ruth Ann. There are 4 videos in this series and we got in a rut and mostly just watched Video 1. Then a few weeks ago I decided to see what the other videos have to offer. Video 2 covers "please", "thank you", & "sorry"...I think sorry is over her head right now at her very self involved age of 14 months, but it's never too early to work on good manners, so we've been spending a lot of time working on please and thank you. She's good at doing them when asked, but this weekend we had a break through and I owe it to the power of a carbohydrate...

Now, at long last, here's the story I wanted to share...On our road trip we ate dinner with my Aunt Jill on Saturday night at a delicious BBQ restaurant. I had BBQ & a veggie, Ruth Ann had BBQ and a veggie, but my aunt got BBQ & french fries. Ruth Ann didn't show much interest in her meal, but she had an eye on those fries. My aunt finally crumbled to Ruth Ann's begging...not me, I'm immune to her begging and actually turn a little deaf when it starts...and asked if Ruth Ann could have a fry. I said sure since we were on vacation, but she had to sign "please" to get the fry and then "thank you" once she got it...and after the first or tenth fry she did...all on her own! I was shocked! But to make it even more amazing she also signed her first 2 word utterance when she signed "More Please"!! Maybe I'm amazed because I spent 2 years of college in Speech Pathology classes...which I didn't enjoy and these same classes are what pushed me into Audiology...and one of the few things I remember is that 2 word utterances aren't expected until age 2! I don't think these same researchers who set the norms for language acquisition were using french fries or any other delicious carb for that matter when developing their normative data! Apparently this was all Ruth Ann would do this for because since then she's back to being asked to say "please" & "thank you"...maybe I'll get the fries at Chick-fil-a the next time we stop into eat...which will most likely be this week since we go at least once a week...and test my theory that the power of carbohydrate can make a child do anything!

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

On the road again...

When I decide to take a road trip I'm very lucky to have a baby girl who pretty much just lets me pack her up and go. I've been saying for months that I needed to go visit my Aunt Jill who lives in the upstate of SC and my Granny who lives in Western NC. So I finally did something about it this weekend and loaded Ruth Ann up for a quick trip. We left home on Friday morning, stopped in Gaffney, SC for some quick outlet shopping, then headed to my Aunt Jill's for the night. We enjoyed some time with my aunt, uncle and cousin Seth and then my Aunt Jill and I head to NC to see my Granny Saturday afternoon. We turned back around and headed back to my aunt's house for the night. Finally, we were up bright and early this morning to head back home to see Daddy...whom Ruth Ann talked about all weekend long. Ruth Ann once more was an All Star traveler...but not as great as she use to be...I fear my days of solo long distance travel may be numbered until she has better access to her basket of toys in the car. Currently I'm the supplier of all toys and she's becoming more and more demanding making it more and more difficult to drive safely.

Here is Ruth Ann ready to load up and head North. I'm including this picture mostly because I want to show off the dress I made for Ruth Ann. I started making A-Line dresses when I first learned how to sew. I made them for all the little girls I knew, but recently in my sewing classes I learned how to add a ruffle. That ruffle makes an already cute dress even more precious!


Here is Ruth Ann visiting my Granny.


These were all taken my aunt's yard saturday afternoon. The sun sets in front of her house and made for some great pictures. I'll be going back in the spring when her yard is in bloom...she has tons of plants and I can't imagen how pretty it will be then!







Ruth Ann is finally pushing herself up to take a few steps. Notice the uneven sidewalk she's standing on...inside she wobbles all over the place and usually only takes a few steps before falling over. However, on these stones she pushed herself up and was able to walk all the way over to where my aunt was standing...this walking business baffles me!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Funny Valentine



I really took these pictures on Thursday. I was going through Ruth Ann's closet and ran across this outfit I had bought for her when she was only a few months old. I bought it at an "After Christmas" sale at a local children's boutique...I knew then it would be too big for her to wear this past Christmas, but I thought we could us it for Valentine's Day...then it got mixed in with the rest of clothes and completely slipped my mind. I had plans of monograming it, but I think I'm going to leave it blank so I can sell it in a consignment sale one day. Ruth Ann wore a really cute shirt I made for her today, but I never got the camera out. Instead of taking pictures of Ruth Ann in her cute shirt I decided for some crazy reason I to venture out to Harbison to just pick up some DMC thread for some dresses I'm smocking for the fall. This should have been a quick trip, but since I was already out I decided to run into Target, Old Navy and then I got a wild hair and decided to go into the mall. I did get some really cute knit pants for the next two winters for Ruth Ann for just over $3 a piece but now I'm exhausted! I managed to stay home all weekend and then in the last minutes of my weekend I wear myself out at the mall...not a great way to start my week off! Oh well...I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day...ours was pretty quite. I think we're going to go have a nice dinner out once Spencer goes back to his mom's house next week. If you have school or work off tomorrow...enjoy President's Day and remember those of us who only get 6 paid holiday's a year...and President's Day is not one of them! I'll be thinking jealous thoughts of those of you at home!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

What's that in the sky??


Snow my friends, and lots of it...


Last January Ruth Ann was about 6 weeks old when we got a very light dusting of snow. So light in fact that by the time she woke up from her morning nap it had already melted, so I have no pictures to prove she saw snow that day. However, Friday officially counts as her first real snow day. The snow started around 3pm and fell continuously until after dark. The weather forecasters were cautious in their predictions and estimated we would have around 2 inches...we blew past that by 5pm. This morning we woke up to this in our front yard...


Here's the view from our front porch...


And down the street...


Of course we had to go out to take some pictures. I have spent a lot of time preparing Ruth Ann's closet to suit any and all her weather related needs...but I forogt to include snow clothes...who would have thought a child born and raised in South Carolina would need snow gear. I guess an arguement could be made that she really doesn't "need" snow gear since the snow only stuck around for 24 hours but maybe her reaction to the snow would have been different had her mother clothed her properly...


Things started off on a good note...I think she was still warm from being inside by the gas logs. Notice how high the snow is on the rocking chair. This was first thing in the morning before the sun hit the front of the house...I still can't believe how much snow we got!

After some shots close to the porch I wanted to put Ruth Ann right in the middle of the action...


She stood there fine, but then sat down to have a closer look at the snow...this also marks the beginning of the end of our day in the snow...




But I wanted to get one last picture sitting in our favorite rocking chair...but Ruth Ann really didn't want to have any of this nonsense. She was ready to go inside to wait for Summer to arrive so she can go swimming at Grammy's house...her Southern blood is too thin for this weather! I can't say I blame her a bit!


But Ruth Ann wasn't the only blond at our house who didn't appreciate the snow...


He watched all the action from the porch and hasn't ventured into the yard since last night.


This was a far as we could get him to go down the steps...


So now all the McCarty's are warm and snuggly inside watching the snow melt away. The point of the post...the McCarty's (the 2 legged and 4 legged members of our family) are summer people. We like the beach, afternoons at the pool and weekends at the lake. Although the snow was pretty to look at...I'm glad it doesn't hang around for more than a day.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Abe's & Adam's Birthday

Is anyone else aware that today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday? I've been able to remember this obscure fact for the last 29 years of my life...well, I'll say 25+ years since I probably wasn't aware of it when I was 2 1/2 years old. I'm known to be a source of obscure and random facts but this praticular fact has been very easy for me to remember because Abe shared his birthday with my brother Adam...or vice versa since Abe was a few years older than my little brother. Today is the first birthday we'll celebrate with out Adam here with us. I wanted to share a video of photos that was made for our family by one of Toni's co-workers, Mark. We poured through photos after Adam's death last March to have a video to play during the visitation. Mark & his fiance worked very hard to have it ready for us on time. Later Mark went back and polished it up for our family to keep. I'll be honest and say I've had this video for some time now, but last night was the first time I gathered enough nerve to watch it. I was able to make it through without tears and found myself smiling at pictures from our childhood, laughing at how my dad has had the same hair cut for the last 25 years and that my mom has had countless hair styles (& colors) during those same 25 years and being reminded of Adam's grin that we all miss seeing. Many of you may not have known my brother, so I wanted to share with you the little boy he was and the man he became...

I have it on good authority that Mark occasionally checks out the blog...thanks Mark for the time and effort you put into making this video for my family. It's greatly appreciated.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

I need to stay calm

In the last week Ruth Ann has made leaps and bounds in the walking department. This past weekend she started taking a step or two and now she's trying out two legged mobility more and more. It's a good thing because the sight of this makes my blood pressure soar...


These are brand new, only worn twice, Puddle Jumpers. Do the nicks on the toe of these shoes drive anyone else nuts??? If not, you've never bought shoes for a child. My mom tells me that walking will not mean the end of scuffs on the toes of her shoes, but at least she won't be dragging the toes across cement the way she treated these precious shoes today.

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