...and the little one said, "Roll over, roll over"

Monday, July 26, 2010

Welcome to the big show:  A rolling over competition:   Greyson vs. Bullet...Baby vs. Dog...two best friends, rival it out.  ooooooooooh, the drama.

In the left corner, we have "BooBoo" Greyson Studer...weighing in at about 14 lbs.

In the right corner, we have "Bully Boy" Bullet Studer...weighing in at around 75 lbs.

So the winner?  Bullet has the speed and agility down for the roll-over.  However, he is a little wild with his limbs.  Greyson is all about determination and heart.  It takes him a little while, but he does look adorable doing it though.  

And the winner is.......drumroll please........Greyson!  Sorry, Bully - you only roll over for a treat.  Grey does it just because he can.  Truly though, the real winner is the momma.  What amazing, talented "sons" I have! hehheeh. 

Mallory's first birthday!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, Mals!

We joyfully celebrated our goddaughter's 1st birthday on July 24th in Pittsburgh.  We were so happy to be there to celebrate and can't believe that a whole year has passed for little Mallory.  Since she entered this world so frail (she was 6 weeks early!) it is an amazing thing to see her so strong and full of life.  We love her.  She and Greyson are already becoming quite the little tag team.  Can't wait to see all the shenanigans those two get in to as they grow up.  They already need lickens - hahha.

At the party, we also got to spend some time with Uncle Jonny & Aunt Ninny.  It was really nice to catch up with them and Grey loves them so much already.  Less than a year until their wedding, and we (aka ME) are counting down the days:)

It was a great (and very hot) Saturday.  It was nice to spend it with family and friends.  And it was Greyson's first ever birthday party that he has attended!  We gave him a couple tastes of cupcake icing to celebrate!

Shopping, Shellacking, & Shades

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hahhha, okay, it's not exactly shellacking, but I wanted some [sh] alliteration.  After spending a lot of time (and water!) powerwashing the deck a few weeks ago, Brandon spent most of last Friday staining our back deck and it looks great.  In the process of making it look great - the stain was also waterproofing!  It made a really big difference and I'm so lucky to have a hubs who slaves away in the bright sun:)

While the daddy was working at home on the deck, Mum and Baby went shopping!  The Plummer girls (Jess and Sammie) picked us up on Friday morning and we drove to meet the Oakes girls and the Stiffler family at the Grove City outlets.  It was a really sunny day and perfect for strolling around and dropping by every baby outlet possible.  It was so good to meet up with all my high school girlfriends & their kiddos...and in the process buy some really adorable (and clearance-racked) outfits for Grey.  Even though it was great day and the perfect opportunity for some cute baby photo ops - we all forgot our cameras in the car!  Plus, we had enough to juggle with all the babies, strollers, and shopping bags!

During the day, I was able to find some really cute baby sunglasses, but I really didn't know how G-man would respond to having something over his eyes.  Well, to my happy suprise - he loves them!  He wore them for the rest of the shopping trip and the whole drive home. 

Grey wearing his shades while hanging outside.

Now he wears them anytime we go outside in the sun.  He thinks he's too cool in his shades.  I don't know why my little baby thinks he is a grown up.  hah!

Grey wearing his shades on a walk.

What is it that they say about one man's junk..

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Brandon and I held our first joint garage sale this past weekend.  As we were organizing the garage the night before, I started getting that exciting jumping-bean-in-your-stomach feeling and suddenly realized that it was because this was a first for us as a married couple.  We were cooperatively deciding together that there were things that we no longer needed.  Why we already have this much stuff in only 1.5 years of marriage is not in question at the moment, but it felt pretty thrilling to be getting rid of things that were ours alone. 

We had a few customers throughout the day and made a few bucks with A LOT of stuff still left over.  It is always interesting to see what "treasure" people find from your junk.  Somehow almost our entire "never been used" section remained untouched (who doesn't want to buy a brand new coffeepot -literally never taken out of the box- for only $15?!) BUT I almost had to step between a near-brawl between two women over a box of junky, dirty, plastic flowerbed bricks for $2?!?!...okay, I'm exaggerating a little but there were two women interested in them and we almost just put them in the trash the night before.

In preparation for the garage sale, I went back through one of my absolute favorite books for getting me out of a rut; Throw Out 50 Things:  Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life by Gail Blanke.  If you are feeling stuck in the mud and need an uplifting, inspiring, motivating read...this is the book to go to.  I've read it twice in the past two years (ohGod, what does that say about my stuck-in-the-mud cycles! hah) and both times it has pulled me up and out.  She is a life coach who has a philosophy about getting rid of clutter (50 things to be exact); both the physical and emotional clutter in your life, to recharge your batteries.  Here were some of the things we de-cluttered from our life:

Physical items:
stained glass hanging lamp (1)
old music CDs (8)
knickknacks (a lot)
books (9)
jeans that I keep saying I'll fit into again some day..yea right (4)
appliances we never use but take up space in our cupboards (3)
shoes that make me feel tall and trendy but seriously hurt my feet (1)

Emotional clutter:
tab:  the notion that I am NOT the good-at-math type
  (I added and subtracted all during the yard sale without a calculator, and then calculated % off on a recent shopping trip sans calculator!  yay for me!!)
b:  the notion that he is NOT the romantic type
  (He picked a flower for me and suggested I wear it in my hair the other day:) and also orchestrated a whole surprise evening of romantic gestures)

My favorite mantra from the entire book (chap.10...seriously, read it!) is:  KNOW THIS:  YOUR GREATEST WORK IS AHEAD OF YOU.  So stop looking to the past and re-living the good 'ole days; what you do tomorrow and who you are today is greater than anything you've done so far.  Believe it.

cell phones are taking over the earth

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So you know how when you hear something new all of a sudden you start hearing it and seeing it everywhere.  Well that has happened to me in the past few months in a serious way and its making me a little nutty and quite frankly a little disturbed. 

Some background:  Neither Brandon nor I are big cell phone (or technology people)...if you could see how scratched and beat up our laptops, camera, and itouch are...I imagine some people would be apalled. But we're just not into having the latest gadgets, nor do we have a use for them...I would venture to say that out of our family we have the most boring cell phones and I know I text the absolute least than anyone I know (sorry to all my friends who never get text responses!)

So, back in April, around Earth day, I made a visit to the No Impact Man Blog to check out to see what he would be doing for Earth day.  If you dont' know about No Impact Man, you should google him and his documentary.  Aaanyway, he had posted a blog about "Progress."  He was asked to speak to a group about true progress and made this super insightful speech on the fact that we have the greatest minds in our country working together to build the best...........cell phones each year.  Is it true progress when each year we have the next best cell phone available?  The cell phones available now were better than last year's and we know next year the cell phones will be even "better"...so does that constitute progress if each year we have the same product just a little "better"?

Here's the full post; it might be worth reading to fully understand my bitterness:

So now that I have that statement in my mind, I can't stop being a little ticked about all the insane cell phone commercials on tv.  The one that makes me the most crazy is the one that starts out with a wheel that dominoes into a phonograph, into an electric lightbulb, a car, a space shuttle, etc, etc, into finally a PHONE!?  Are you kidding me?  Really a space shuttle is less of an advancement to mankind than a cell phone?!?!  It's outrageous...but also kind of true.  How is it that we have cell phones now that you can ask to find you an ice cream parlor in the middle of the desert, but we don't have a cure (or even a definite cause determined) for Autism...?  Wouldn't it benefit our country & the Earth to have our brightest minds working on renewable energy sources..?  We have cell phones that can extract all of the reasons we have the word "human" in our cell phone but there are people all over the world that don't have access to clean drinking water..?!!  Why search for the word "human" in your phone when we ignore the needs of humans around us?  Seems a little unbalanced and quite frankly INSANE to me.

So its not my way to leave a blog so bitter and hateful.  So what can we do about it?  Well, since I am kind of apathetic about the newest gizmos in technology (that's how out I am...I call them gizmos), I don't know that I have much leverage in halting the latest trends in cell creation...but I know that most of my family & friends purchase new phones every year or two; so here's some ideas of what you can do with your old cell phone(s) to balance karma:)

Donate your cell phone to help purchase free calling card minutes for soldiers abroad:  http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/index.html

Donate your cell to help provide emergency phones for the elderly, disabled, & battered women shelters:  http://www.cellphonesforlife.org/

For every phone donated, they send a contribution to the charity of your choice:  http://www.charitablerecycling.com/CR/home.asp

Donate your cell, itouch, laptops, & cameras!  (they'll also contribute to the charity of your choice):  http://www.recyclingforcharities.com/index.php

Send in your cell and YOU get cash back (doesn't do much for your karma, heh):  http://www.cellforcash.com/

Please remind me...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I've said to numerous people that the moment I held Grey in my arms, it was as though a part of my brain opened up and worry slid in.  I think it comes with the territory of being a mother.  All of a sudden I was nervous about strangers, and stumbles, obscure diseases, and food poisoning...hundreds of different scenarios that Greyson could someday come in contact with that I wouldn't be able to protect him from.

When he went for his 2 month immunizations shots, the nurses kept apologizing about having to do it, and all I could say was, "He will have worst pain in his life than this."  Which only started another spiraling vision of "worst pains" to come; breaking a bone, losing a friend, losing a loved one, having his heartbroken.  There are hundreds and millions of things I already wish I could spare him from the pain, but I am his mother and part of being someone's mother is experiencing the pain right along with them to lighten their load....not shielding them from it.

I read a beautiful quotation today that I want to remind myself of it whenever I feel worried as Greyson (and any of my other future babies) grows up.

"And he said:  Your children are not your children.  They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.  They come through you but not from you,  And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. It is that our job as parents is to send our children forth like arrows into the world where we will not be permitted to follow. We are the stable bows that remain behind in the Archer's arms. Our aim is to send them swift and far"
----from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Greyson 3.0

Our little g-money is growing fast these days.  Just look at how much he's grown in a month!
Greyson at 2 months:
Greyson at 3 months:

We'll be taking a photo with his stuffed elephant, Squishy each month to see how much change there has been (this is a tried-and-true scrapbooking secret). 

Now that Grey is 3 months old, there are lots of new things he can and likes to do....

Like spending lots of minutes in the jumperoo:

And playing with toys: 
(and by playing, I mean chewing)

And lifting his head up high and strong while on his belly:

And laughing...A LOT:

And splashing in the bathtub:

July Kindness: 2nd Annual Studer's Invitational Beer Olympics

We held our 2nd Annual Studer's Invitational Beer Olympics this past weekend in Johnstown at my parent's house/yard (thanks mum & dad!!) It was a huge success this year and we had so many participants were had double the number of teams that we had last year!  With all the participant fees, observer donations, and outside donations; we have raised $398 for the Make-A-Wish foundation (http://www.wish.org/) !  I am so thankful that we have friends and family that are willing to participate and attend our crazy events to help others.

The day started out with the traditional Sloshball party to get everyone introduced and comfortable with each other.  Players are then randomly picked for teams and then everyone happily (and eagerly) complies with their face paint...hah!  Team events are played the rest of the day. 

The beer olympics lasted from 2pm until almost 9pm this year!  We went through three full kegs (kicked them all!), almost all of the potluck food, lots of laughter, only a few disagreements with the refs, and hardly anyone got sick...(I said "hardly," heh)  We finish off the day with a very spirited awards ceremony, which includes sashes for awards like "Most Team Spirit," and "Keepin' it Classy," and "Puke 'N Rally."

The most coveted awards of the day; "Rookie of the Year" went to Sara

and "Most Valuable Drinker" went to Jon.

..both players for the championship team:  Team Potter

Thank you for everyone who was willing to risk a very beer-filled belly to help raise money for the cause.  We can plan all the events that we want, but it won't do anything if we don't have others willing to take the time to attend- so thank you for joining us!  We had a great time and hope you did too.  Training for next year's beer olympics can begin immediately:)

Independence Day

We were very lucky to have Abba and Aunt Uch make a visit on the Friday before the Fourth to babysit Grey while I drove to Pittsburgh for a work meeting. 
 Bullet also felt very lucky to have two extra people to lay all over and perform tricks for treats for....he's a guest-hog.

On Saturday, we took a trip to the Plummer's house for their annual fourth of July picnic and had a great time.  Greyson actually stayed awake for his second "date" with Samantha.  It is always so fun to see babies a little older than Grey to see what's in store for us in a couple months.  Sam can sit by herself and pull herself up to stand!  I can't wait for Grey to be able to reach out to be picked up though<3 Sam did that a few times and it made me pretty excited for the future:)  We had good food to eat and plenty of good friends to talk with.

On Sunday,  after church, we picked up a little pool for Bullet and Grey and Brandon set up a little outdoor haven for us to celebrate Independence Day.  Bullet was absolutely in love with the pool and got right in, right away.

Grey and I even got in a few times (it was really hot).

I tried out Grey's new swimming trucks, but they were a little big...so he went commando most of the day.  I think he was pretty happy and comfortable about it!

for fun:)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I am: grateful for this life

I think: therefore I am  :)

I know:  there is good in all humans and animals

I want: to be better.  A better wife, a better mother, a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend, a better human, better to the earth, better spiritually, a better writer, I just want to be a little better each day.

I dislike: apathy

I miss: Brooklyn

I fear:  losing anyone I love

I hear: Bullet barking at the neighbors...again

I smell:  dinner in the crockpot

I crave:  chocolate, all day every day

I cry: when I'm happy and sad

I search:  with google

I wonder.

I regret: anytime I haven't been there for my sisters

I love: Brandon

I care: about you and I hope you are trying your best everyday.

I always:  make the plans.  Brandon always packs the car

I worry:  about almost everything now that I'm a mother... I think it comes with the territory

I am not: good at bowing out gracefully

I remember: what it felt like to be a teenager; when your emotions are so big you think you can fly...or drown

I believe: in angels...and ghosts...and fairies...and santa...and unicorns...and big foot...and miracles.  I have a hard time believing in "imagination".  I think imagination is rooted in reality...if you believe it, its real.

I dance: anytime I hear music, regardless if its appropriate or not

I sing: the itsy bitsy spider in different accents& genres to Greyson

I don't always: throw away my teabags, so they sit in the cup all day...most of our mugs are stained

I argue: with Brandon about leaving paperclips all over the house

I write: not nearly as often as I'd like

I win: in the "who has the best family" contest.

I lose: at almost any game I challenge Brandon at...including (I admit with embarassment) Scrabble

I wish: to inspire others to do something that fills them with passion and excitement

I listen: for what people don't say

I don't understand: how people are still against gay marriage.  i mean seriously?

I can usually be found: on the computer

I am scared:  that Bullet will get loose and chase our neighbors into their houses....again:(

I need: a hug every day

I forget: to enjoy the present.

I am happy: most of the time.

Sunny with a chance of Thunder

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We had the opportunity to travel to "home" for the biggest event of the year; Thunder in the Valley; the annual motorcycle rally that hits Johnstown every summer.  I know that Thunder in the Valley is a nuisance to some Johnstown folks, but it has taken living somewhere else and coming back that makes you truly appreciate it (and other events like it; Folkfest & Polkafest!) It was so refreshing driving back into downtown on Friday and for once seeing  people walk around and the city alive.  We've driven into town too many Fridays before where it looks like a ghost town.  We should be thanking our lucky stars for all of the bikers that rumble into our town each year.  Plus, we love the sound of a harley.  :)

Grey got into the spirit of Thunder by wearing a bandana and looking pretty BA.

While we were in town, we also got to celebrate my cousin Kara's high school graduation!  She'll be attending Juniata in the fall and we are so proud of her.  She is beautiful on the inside and the outside.  She is a fantastic role model for her sisters and cousins (including Grey!)  We are so excited for her life, she is going to do amazing things.  We love you Gug!

On Sunday, we met up with Mimi and Grey got to meet more of his cousins for the first time.  Grammar got to have all of her GREAT grandchildren together at one time.  Tausha's girls; Ariel and Gracie, were so cute and sweet with Greyson.  Mimi was loving having all the greats together<3

We also had the pleasure of getting together for brunch with two of my high school friends; Ang and Steph.  It was so fun and nice to catch up with them; especially since we've all had babies over the past year!  And we're not the only ones- there are at least 6 of us from our graduating class that has had babies in 2009-2010 and 2 more that are due later this year!  I think HS alums all having babies the same year is a Johnstown thing; like sundowners and high school sweethearts.
Tab and Greyson, Angela and Tommy & Maggie, Steph and Lilly
(Mommas are all Conemaugh Valley Alums '01)

Greyzie Sosa

Greyson has reached another milestone:  Batting!  This milestone seems a little boring, but as I reminded Brandon today (who is hardly waiting for him to play catch!); we used to put him in his baby gym and he'd just lay there and stare...now he hits things!  It's getting pretty exciting around here!  Maybe the batting milestone can only really be appreciated by Mommas and grandmommas:)

June Kindness: One Car Family

Thursday, July 1, 2010

When I made this month's kindness a "one-car family" month, I was thinking it was going to be a breeze.  I work from home and with a new baby- where do I have to go anyway?  Well, this month's kindness has proven to be a challenge!  You don't realize how convenient it is to jump in the car and go until you don't have that option.  There was a lot of struggle to uphold the kindness for the whole month- but we did!  The only exception we made was for church (B had to work one Sunday) and I think the Lord might forgive that one:)

The struggles came up when we needed to do something while Brandon was at work...and since he worked  very long hours this month; there was a lot of struggle.  We needed stuff for Greyson's Baptism, but I waited until my parents got here to go with my mom.  And Jinx needed fixed, so Brandon dropped her off in the morning before work and then picked her up on his way home.   Luckily, Brandon was off on the day (by chance!) of Greyson's 2 month appointment, so we all went together.

Unfortunately with a new baby and a crazy pup, we didn't get the chance to test out any public transportation.  I still want to buy a bike though with a baby seat (Grey can almost hold his own  head up) and then teach Bullet how to run next to the bike.  Ambitious much?  most definitely.

I know it sounds dumb to struggle to keep up with something like this when we have a truck and jeep sitting in the driveway (B drives his work car), but the point of the 12 months of kindness is to do something out of the ordinary and to be actually be aware of the goal for the greater good (in this case, Mother Earth).  So, if we're not a least a little inconvenienced, what's the point of doing it at all?  I feel proud that we were able to stick with it even when it was harder than we expected.