Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's a Beatiful Day in the Neighborhood

Hasn't the weather just been wonderful? Well, here it my neck of the woods it's been perfect. The past couple of days have just been lovely. Yesterday I didn't leave my house except to go for a walk with Peyton and Annie. We actually walked farther than just around the block because it felt so nice. It's even started to smell like Fall! I just love it when the seasons change. I don't really have a favorite season, but I'm always ready for the next one and it seems like Fall is coming at just the right time. I can't wait to do lots of "fall things" with Annie--dressing up for Halloween, watching football, having fires, and carving pumpkins. Not that she'll be actively participating and not that she'll remember, but I know it will be fun and will make precious memories (and pictures) for me and Peyton. Speaking of.....I so take for granted how easy photographing/videoing her is. All that was so much more complex when I was growing up. My dad always recorded us for so long each time he did it, because it was such a pain to set the video camera up. Now we just leave ours laying around and grab it when she does something cute. How nice!

Also, tonight Peyton and I were able to go on a lovely date. We had a gift certificate to Ruth Chris so we left AP with Peyton's parents and treated ourselves to a really nice date. I have to say the food and service left a little something to be desired, but the company was excellent! The atmosphere at RC is really neat and makes you feel like royalty or something but it was SO slow and honestly, we thought the food was kind of overrated. But, it was so much fun to go on a really fancy date just the two of us. I know y'all are probably getting SO sick of me gushing about my husband, but lately I have just been enjoying him so much. We are at such a happy place right now and I love it.

I know some people would think what I am doing with my life right now is pretty boring. Truly, I never thought staying home with children would be boring or undesirable but I also never thought my life at this point would be as full and as rich as it is. And that is due in large part to my wonderful husband and his constant encouragement and friendship. He is always telling me about things he has read or heard about that he thinks might interest me. And he is forever helping me think of ways to use my talents and channel my interests in productive ways. I love that he encourages me to learn to sew, to take a photography class, to homeschool Annie one day, to start piano lessons, to write for myself and others, to cultivate new friendships and nurture old ones, to research parenting practices, to spend time outdoors, to savor time with our daughter, and to take time for myself. He is constantly helping me grow as a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend, and a person. I could never thank God for him enough.

We had such a wonderful time talking at dinner. I loved talking to him about ideas I have about raising Ann Peyton. We talked about how when she is thirteen he will take HER to a fancy restaurant, just the two of them and show her how she should be treated on a date. We talked about teaching her the Lord's Prayer (my mom taught it to me when I was two--I didn't really understand it, but I love that I knew it so early) and other things we want her to learn. But, we didn't just talk about her. We talked about other things, too. About an article about teaching that Peyton had read and the teaching profession as a whole and some other stuff I can't remember right now. It was so good. He is so good.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Of Sad Blogs, Sherri Sheppard and Comfort Food

So, I went out with my friends last night. A great time was had. However, my friend Amanda introduced me to yet another sad blog. Manda Panda is an AVID blog reader and I keep trying to convince her to start her own blog. But she keeps giving me excuses like she's "too busy with dental school" or "she has nothing to write about". Whatever. Back to my main point: another sad blog to be addicted to.

Anyway, I read a bunch last night and then read some more this morning and it really almost did me in. I know the obvious answer is just to avoid these blogs all together, but for some reason I just can't. I get hooked. So this morning was filled with a few tears and lots of snuggling with one Ann Peyton Herrington. Then I decided that I wanted to reclaim my day and make it into the relaxing, yet productive day I had planned for it to be. So, I did the only thing I knew to do to heal myself. I turned on The View (I always DVR it) to watch Sherri (whom I adore) say stupidly absurd and hilarious things and broke out the Spinach and Artichoke Cream Cheese. Do not take a shower, do not put on your real clothes, do not pass Go, and do not collect $200. So, yeah it's good to still be in our pjs at 12 noon watching The View and eating junk for lunch.

I have to say although there is tension in my relationship with the Panda, due to said blog induced anxiety, I think I'm gonna keep her. Primarily because she came up with the super cute idea of putting bows on the antennas of the Glow Worm costume so everyone would know it was a GIRL glow worm. Maybe she could start a blog to help mommy bloggers with huge issues such as this. I also have to give props to Jamie, who reminded me that the shoes (and tights) will make the outfit (and help convey her feminine identity). So, I think we'll go with it. Thanks for playing.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

For this week's family picture, Peyton thought it would be fun to all wear pajamas and pretend to be asleep. AP missed the memo (we actually did wake her up to take it--I know crazy--but she was just napping on the floor and went right back to sleep). We took a regular one, too.

I know, my title last week had to do with weather, too! It's just that all the rain was getting to me. I know I've said it before, but although I like a good rainy day it just kills my sinuses and gives me these awful headaches. So, I was so glad to see the sun today!

This week was another fun-packed week. On Monday, Peyton was off and we ran a ton of errands. We both had dentist appointments and then we ran by the bank and the post office. Then we stopped by Helen's Young Ages to exchange a dress. I realized AP was really overdue for a feeding (this is where I became hysterical because of her weight issues and told Peyton I was a horrible Momma. Yeah, I can be kind of a drama queen sometimes. He made me feel better with lots of sweet words; he's always so good at that). So we popped by my moms to feed Annie and visited a little and then headed by Goodwill to drop some things off and by Amy Head to get me some eye makeup (the stuff last forever and it was kind of grossing me out how long I'd had it). We came home and Peyton took Annie to his parents. He said I should take a nap because it had been such a busy weekend, but I just couldn't. So, I organized some stuff in AP's room. I'll have to post pictures soon. When they got home, I went to Dogwood and stopped by Gap, Old Navy and Gymboree to pick up some things for AP. Then, Peyton went to dinner with an old friend and Annie and I crashed.

Tuesday, we had Mother's Morning Out and I felt AWFUL when I got home. I was super worried it might be the Swine since my Daddy has it, but alas it was just a minor hormone-related inconvenience that I haven't been accustomed to for the last oh, 15 or so months (I tried to be as discrete as possible here). So, I pretty much laid around all day. That's okay, though, because when I do MMO and add in the hours I spend just feeding AP, I've worked a solid eight hour day and I feel good about myself (am I starting to look like I base my entire worth on what I accomplish in a day? because I DO struggle with that). I'm pretty sure that last bit about the eight hour day was probably insulting to working mothers; it's just how I rationalize it to myself.

On Wednesday, I felt a bit better and so I ran to Belk to get get some new gym shorts (I kinda stretched mine out with a little thing called an Annie Baby in my tummy; yeah, I avoided maternity clothes at all costs) and to the cleaners to get my Winter coats dry cleaned, even though Winter coats are kind of wishful thinking. Peyton kept AP, because I'm a baby about carrying her around and usually only run errands that involve shopping carts/drive-thrus when she is with me. Then, I picked her up and we went to lunch with Carrie and Aubrey. They happened to be going to Target and we needed to too, so we decided to add a little spice to our outing and really mix things up, so we went shopping together. Then we stopped by Kroger and got some Tilapia, which we ended up having for supper.

Thursday was MMO again as well as my super fun car adventure. Thursday evening we went to Symphony at Sunset with our friends Patrick and Haley and Jeff and Melissa. It's usually held on the grounds of The Cedars, a beautiful historic home in Jackson which has been turned into a wonderful place for events such as this and wedding receptions and the like. But the rain forced a change of venue, so it was held at Saint James Episcopal church. This church was right down the street from my house when I was younger and we used to ride our bikes (as a family) to it and I attended it some when I was in about the 5th and 6th grades so it was fun to go back and see it! We had a great time hanging out with friends and having a picnic (we picked up Hickory Pitt BBQ on the way).

On Friday I substituted at Saint Andrew's all day. The four year olds are so cute and one of them even remembered me from when I was there a few weeks ago. She hugged me and said "Welcome back, Mrs. Herrington". They are so smart and articulate for their age! We skipped Beans and Rice because of the aforementioned Swine Flu that Mickey had; it was the first time in ages that we didn't make it (maybe since AP was born!). A little aside: before my dad got sick he had to borrow my car because of the little incident he and my mom had on the way home from Oxford last weekend. When he returned it he had washed it, inside and out, and it looked brand new! Such a sweet Daddy!

Saturday was fun. The DVR got fixed and I really enjoyed seeing Granny and PopPop. We discussed Peyton's new schedule and Granny told me about when PopPop used to work on the farm all day and then go work at the Masonite factory from 3:00-11:00. She said that until Randy (Peyton's dad) started school they both waited up for him to come home and then PopPop would rock him to sleep. He worked so hard but still had time for his children. I can't imagine getting up, farming, going to work, and THEN rocking. Granny said usually he'd just have a glass of milk and a snack; she didn't fix him supper. Wow, I beat Granny in the housewife game, but I'm sure it'll be the only time! I really didn't, anyway, since she cooks HUGE lunches and since one of her meals is worth about ten of mine. Anyway, she told me that when the children got to be school aged they had to be in their rooms, lights off and sleeping, long before PopPop came home. But in the summertime, Phyllis would trick them. Phyllis was Peyton's aunt who was blind since childhood. She died of cancer before Peyton and I got married, but I am so glad I got to meet her. She was such an inspiration. PopPop told me about when she was home from the blind school in the summers and on weekends (she had to live here in Jackson to go to school--I can't imagine the courage it took for her and for Granny and PopPop to be apart from their child for weeks at a time). She would trick them because after the lights were out she'd still be reading. Haha, I love it! Anyway, I was so blessed by their visit and I'm so glad Annie has this time with her great grandparents.

Today I helped with children's church. Ann Peyton was asleep when I dropped her off in the nursery and they told me she was so happy the whole time once she woke up. I guess if she doesn't see me leave it isn't so hard for her. And it wasn't as hard for me either; that's a praise! Minnie stopped by after church with some great things she had found at TJ Maxx and I worked on soaking some of AP's clothes that she's outgrown (more on that later). Then tonight, Peyton kept AP so I could go out with a group of my college friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. I know I've already said it this week, but I am so thankful Peyton is so generous with his time off and always willing to take care of her while I do some fun things.

What a wonderful week!


Super Productive Day

Yesterday was a super productive day at my house! The guy from Dish Network came to fix our DVR at about 9:00 and he decided he needed to remove EVERYTHING from this bookcase in order to fix it (the problem ended up being in the attic).
But, he was so nice, I wasn't upset at all! Anyway, it wouldn't have been a big deal except that Granny and PopPop were in town and stopping by for a visit. Granny is an amazing homemaking, so I like my house to be really clean and picked up when she comes over. Anyway, I went ahead and fixed it and I guess I just got on a little kick, because I got alot accomplished.

Before Noon:
- straightened house
- came up with plan for baby food*
- bathed and dressed AP
- made suddenly salad
- put everything back on the bookshelf
- did a long overdue bit of organizing in my closet
- took some things to the attic
- washed three loads of laundry**
- changed baby bedding in AP's crib
- showered

Then Granny and PopPop visited and we had such a nice time chatting and playing with Ann Peyton. We are so blessed to have them in our lives! After they left, I really outdid myself (ha!) and accomplished more productive activities.


The Rest of the Day:
- made baby food (peaches) and attended to my finger that I sliced with the food processor
- baked peanut butter cookies (Slice and Bake, but still...)
- did more laundry
- folded all this laundry (where does it come from??)
- went to Target
- worked on family finances (filed receipts)

So, I don't feel so insecure when I read certain overly ambitious people's blogs (as much). You know who you are.

* I have been freezing AP's baby food in ice trays and then dethawing them by putting the cubes in the fridge in a plastic baby food container (we do buy her food from the store sometimes, just like we do use disposable diapers sometimes) that has been washed. The problem is she's really starting to need more than one cube and that's all that will fit in one container. I'm not really sure when she moves up to "second foods" and the bigger containers, but until then I may just freeze them in the baby food container and then transfer them to a freezer bag once they're all frozen (however, I'll have to buy more baby food to get the containers). Sheesh! The reason we use the containers in the first place is because most Tupperware is just so big for this purpose. I guess it wouldn't matter since we only dethaw a couple at a time, but it would just take up space in the fridge (pet peeve).

** So for some reason, I always try to do things the most efficient way possible, (i.e. making as few trips to the laundry room, loading and unloading the dishwasher systematically, ect.) I don't know why it's just yet another OCD quirk of mine, but I'm like the guy from Cheaper by the Dozen. Well, a few days ago I realized that I have been VERY inefficient in how I fold clothes. I have been folding them all in the den and then taking them to the bedrooms. Wow, it would be so much easier to fold them in our bedroom since that's where most of them go, rather than taking piles and piles back to the bedroom. I think it's because most of AP's "stuff" (her swing, Exersaucer, ect.) is in the den and that TV works better, but really......

Now that you're crying tears of boredom, I'll put up the ever-exciting "Weekly Happenings" post later tonight!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Show Us Your Life- Dessert Recipe

Photobucket

I'm a little slow this week, but here is my super easy, super yummy dessert recipe. We love it and I always make it for Peyton's birthday (I make it for Logan's birthday, too) or just whenever I feel like we need a really good dessert.


Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Ingredients
1 box of yellow cake mix with pudding
1 (3.9 oz) chocolate instant pudding mix
1/2 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of water
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
4 large eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup chocolate chips
Directions
1. Whisk together the first two ingredients (cake mix and chocolate pudding).
2. Add and mix together with remaining ingredients with a mixer.
3. Cook in greased and floured (I use baking spray) Bundt pan @ 350 degrees for one hour.
4. Occasionally, my cake doesn't come out "smooth". If the cake sticks, just sprinkle a little powdered sugar (or sift granulated sugar) onto the cake. It looks so pretty and covers up most mistakes ;)

I'm looking SO forward to the next couple of weeks--baby gear and football. Researching and buying baby gear has practically become a hobby and I love college football!



Daddy Days

Okay, I realize that this will be my THIRD post today (dessert post still to come), but I had to write a little something about this.

I subbed all day today at Saint Andrews. Peyton kept Ann Peyton until one when he had to go in to work and then my mom kept her for a little over an hour until I got home. It was so much fun, but I thought about Ann Peyton constantly. Peyton said he could tell I missed her because I called twice!

Seriously, though, I have to brag on Peyton. He is SO good with her! One of the teachers asked me if he did this very much and she looked a little concerned. No fear, Peyton is super daddy! He's just as good at changing diapers and feeding her cereal and bottles as I am. I just can't believe it when I hear about dads that won't change a diaper and are weird about holding their babies. Or dads who can't manage to feed their kids the right stuff or get "overwhelmed" when they have to keep the kids for a couple of hours. I seriously know of one dad who literally cannot handle taking care of both his kids at once and will only keep one at a time....poor Momma! Anyway, the point is not to bash other dads--you do what works for you. But, I just have to say that I take Peyton for granted so often and I should never do that. I am beyond blessed.

I also need to mention this. I know it's stupid, but I wondered what she'd be wearing when I got home. I knew Peyton had taken her to visit his parents, but part of me still kind of thought she'd still be in her pj's at three in the afternoon (which would have been fine). I get home and she is in......a little smocked sailboat dress. It's not what I consider a "Sunday dress", but it's nicer than what she usually wears day to day. I was so proud of him for getting her dressed up; I thought it was really sweet. He even asked my mom when she got there if he should have put a petticoat on under it (he has FINALLY learned that a petticoat is just an old fashioned word for a slip; for the longest time he confused it with a pea coat--"isn't it one of those nicer casual coats you and all your friends have?"; LOL)***. Although, he did put her in her "sleep socks". Because, I'm a bit anal we have three levels of socks for AP:
1. athletic type socks that she sleeps in
2. prettier, but still not overtly frilly socks that she wears with her "play clothes"
3. "dressy" socks for church and other nicer outfits
Now, I probably would have gone with level three, maybe two, but one?? Oh, well, whatevevs. I was so proud of him!

Daddy, you done good!

*** At one very hormonal point in my pregnancy, I made Peyton go over all kinds of "style" issues such as petticoats, smocking, ect. so that in case I died in childbirth (or otherwise) Annie would be able to always looks super cute and classy and it would be a lovely legacy. Just kidding about my legacy being her baby style. Kinda. Gah, I am so shallow sometimes!

The One Where I Ask You For Your Opinion on Some Things

Here's a few random things that I've been meaning to post about. I thought I'd just lump them all together and hit publish. How about that?

Footies
So I don't know how much I've gone into this before, but I have a footie OBSESSION, you know those things that are alternately called "footed sleepers" or "sleep n plays" or "footYs"? Yeah, instead of a foot fetish I have a "footie (footy ??) fetish". I love them and I will put AP in them as long as I can find them big enough/she will allow me to do it. They make them pretty large; in fact, I personally have one made out of a sort of fleecy material that I wear when it is extremely cold. One of my life goals for this year is to find matching footies for Peyton, AP and I for Christmas morning. If I can't find footies, it will just have to be matching pjs. I finally decided the matching was more important than the footies.....ahh, life's hard decisions. Anyway, I digress. This week I put her in a very special footie. She had one footie that I was particularly fond of from her faux-preemie days (she was full term but tiny)--it was the prettiest aqua and had a momma cow holding her baby. My mom found it at the TJ Maxx, and well you can be choosy about sizes at the TJ (I would've bought it in multiple sizes). Well, I knew (hoped) she wouldn't be in preemies for long, so I scouted the thing out on eBay and I found it in a.....wait for it....6 mo size!!! So, I bought it, washed it, and packed it away. The thing looked HUGE! Yes, she's wearing it and yes, there will be a comparison post. All that was still digression (is that a word?). I called my mom to tell her and I asked her if every age would continue to be my favorite age forever (I'm so blessed that has been the case thus far). She said yes, with us she loved every age and yes, it only gets better. She started telling me how much fun it is when they start talking to you and saying funny things. I got so excited! I certainty don't want to rush things, but I love being reminded of this when I feel like she's growing up to fast and I want to stop her!

New Game Dress
I was seriously looking into purchasing this cute red dress on eBay, but it sold! What does it say about me that I was "seriously looking into" purchasing something that is about $12 off eBay (it's really not a big buy, is it?)? I think it says that I am an amazing, frugal wife and mother! Ha! I do have to say, most months I end up using my "free spending" money on Ann Peyton. Not that I'm bragging, but Minnie told me it would be this way and I didn't believe her. It's a good thing, really, because I have way to much stuff. But, I thought this dress would be super cute for the Grove. I really don't have alot of dresses with red or blue in them and what I do have is kind of Summery and I always think it's fun to wear your school colors. The dress wasn't as dressy as I usually wear, but then again what I wore to the first game last weekend wasn't either--I'm not a cocktail dress wearer, but I do like a cute sun dress. I'm really at the point in my life where something that requires a strapless bra in the heat is just a no-go. Boy, things change with a baby! Anyway, I thought the dress would be a little more doable and it was practical because I know I"ll save it to wear to Oxford the first time, but then it will be a good day-to-day dress. I love dresses! And I'd love to hear your opinions on this one. So, if you've seen a cute red (or blue) dress around somewhere or online let me know. P.S. does anybody else love that Big Mama brought back "Fashion Friday". Several other mommy bloggers I read do their own FF posts and I think it would be super fun to do one sometime soon and discuss my own take on fall's new trends, as well as my personal style. Speaking of....

Upcoming Posts
Why do I have tons of ideas and partial posts in my drafts folder? I need to stop thinking of things! But seriously, here is what is coming up for sure in the coming week:
- Reviews (movies from oh, the past six months; books; shows)
- A post about one of my 101 goals (remember one of the goals is to blog about each goal?)
- I'm going to put up my dessert recipe for Show Us Your Life later tonight--better late than never
- and about a zillion others I want to do

The Perfect Costume for Babykins
Well, I think it's time to really buckle down in the Halloween costume hunt. I had been asking the people at Target when they'll be here for the last three weeks (I know, I'm crazy; I usually hate it when they do holidays WAY to early). The Target people looked at me like buying an itty bitty Halloween costume isn't the most exciting thing in their life right now; it's like we so can't relate. Whateves. Anyway, I want something cute, but this year especially, I don't want to pay much money for it since she a) isn't trick or treating b) isn't even walking c) isn't probably going to be wearing it very long at all. I thought of just making her be a kitty or something and putting her in a onsie and tights and making a tail and ears, BUT she has years for that kind of thing (I was a kitty at four) and you can only have a plush costume for so long . Also, Peyton said he isn't dressing up as a family until she is old enough to realize and enjoy it. I'd welcome any suggestions. And no, Peyton, the two Halloween onsies and sleeper that I bought/was given to us do not count--holiday footies/bodysuits do not a costume make. Tell me if you think this is cute, I brought it home but I'm thinking of taking it back because we've had SO many issues of people thinking she's a boy lately!

Army Wives and Other TV
The flashback episode was everything I had desired it would be. It made me want to break out the VHS copies of Homefront that I illegally have in my possession. I can't believe it's starting to wind down for the season; these next couple of episodes look pretty intense. Also, I treated myself a little a couple of weeks back and bought the Fall Preview edition TV Guide. SO many look so good! I guess I've missed most of the premieres, but I think I can catch any of them online. Our DVR has been broken and it's kind of cramping my style (I know, that's horrible I should be glad I have a DVR. And a TV. And a house.) Anyway, tell my what your faves-new or old-are (I've heard a lot of good things about Glee and Flash Foward). If I actually watch some of them, I might do a Fall TV post soon, too!

So, no that I have asked your opinion on so many varied things, I am expecting the usual two, maybe three, comments.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stuck

So, I have one of those clicker things to open my car (my grandmother's old Buick) and it wasn't working. I assumed the battery in it was dead. I had also assumed that they key that cranks the car would open the doors. Well, you know what assuming does. (I was so frustrated I almost told everyone at church what assuming does). Anyway, I call Peyton, who obviously can do nothing since he's at work. I call my mom who is also at work and she tells me to call my dad and get him to pick us up. Well, that sounds like a swell idea, Minniers, except that you and Peyton just diagnosed Daddy with the Swine Flu last night and as hearty as AP's immune system seems to be, I don't think it's the best idea to trap her in a confined space, such as a vehicle, with him. I call him anyway because I figure he can just go by my house and get the other set of keys that does have the actual "door key" instead of just the "ignition key" and hand it to me and hopefully not get anybody sick.

So we discuss calling Peyton's mom. No, my mom says she'll just come. I call her back to make sure she does go by my house to get the key, instead of just picking us up, because the carrier part of the carseat is still in my car (I just can't carry it as much anymore). When she finally gets there we try the new clicker and it doesn't work, either! At least the other key unlocked the door. But, of course, the car doesn't crank. It's my own fault. I was messing with my dashboard lights this morning and I'm sure I accidentally knocked the lights from "automatic shut off" to "your lights stay on and burn up your battery". UGH!

The most stressful part of all this? Not the part where I fail to accomplish a few things before lunch. Not the part where I don't get to eat lunch until two o'clock. Not the part where I miss my afternoon nap I was planning on getting since I got like four hours of sleep last nigh (WHY do I do that to myself???). Nope, since I still plan my life largely around AP's breastfeeding schedule, that was the most stressful part. If that kind of thing is TMI for you, just stop reading here (it's not gross, but I know it's awkward to some people).

Okay, so tomorrow I am subbing the whole day at Saint Andrews. So far that has required two cooperative caregivers (one Peyton Herrington and one Minnie Perry). It also requires two full bottles. (Here is the part where I whine and complain about pumping). I'm glad I have a breast pump. I'm glad I can get it to work. I'm glad my baby doesn't reject bottles. BUT I really hate pumping. It's a pain and I just feel like it's hardly worth the effort, sometimes. I'm not real good at it. I think it has something to do with that God made babies and men (humans) made breast pumps. So, I have one bottle for tomorrow and need one more. I have it all planned out since yesterday. Since I gave her a bottle at MMO I'll be ready to pump a good bottle when I get home. This and tomorrow morning would be the only chance to pump a full bottle. Well, I don't trust myself to get it done tomorrow morning and I'm not into pumping an ounce every few hours all day today. So I really needed to feed AP at one, but I didn't want to feed her until I could pump (I nurse on one side and pump on the other--it works best for me that way). Of course, I was stressing myself out because I really don't like for her to go over and be late for a feeding due to her issues. I was so stressed when my mom finally got there! It ended up all working out (she just ate twenty minutes late), but boy was it all stressful!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rainy Week


So, I'm a little late on my "Weekly Happenings" post, again. Yeah. Moving right along, one thing that was NO fun about last week was the rain. I love rain for a day or so (even though I get a headache every time it rains) and I love cozying up indoors during a good storm. But, seriously? Last week was a bit much and I'm ready for a change. Onto the week's events.....

On Monday, Ann Peyton and I ran by Target and then up to the church. It was my turn to do the "pew pads and pencils" at church--basically just make sure the pencils are sharpened and the little papers (collection envelopes, prayer cards, scratch paper) in the pews are neat. Peyton was working, so I just took AP. She started getting fussy about half way through, so I took her out of her carrier and put a blanket down in the middle of the sanctuary. I wish I had my camera, she looked so funny just playing on the floor in the middle of the empty church. After that we dropped by my friend Morgan's house for a long overdue visit with her and her baby, Mary Milton. Monday night I cooked a new dish--a ham and grits quiche. We love B4D (breakfast for dinner) at our house!

Tuesday was pretty busy! Annie and I had Mother's Morning Out and then we went by Helen's Young Ages and Bridget's (I think I need a bigger diaper bag!). After that the three of us hung out at the house and my mom AND Peyton's mom stopped by.
The rest of the week (until Saturday) was super laid back. Wednesday was really uneventful. AP and I stayed home all day. I made and froze some baby food and watched Kate Gosselin on The View (I had dvr'd it). Thursday we had MMO and Peyton worked a double shift. It was kind of like his old schedule being at home so long without him. I'd HATE to go back to that, but it was sort of fun to have Annie ALL to myself all day long. The only thing we did on Friday was go to my parents' house for Red Beans and Rice.

I won't really elaborate on Saturday any more than I already did, but it was such a fun day!

We took our weekly family picture before going to Oxford--I told Peyton he has to quit talking before the picture, because Ann Peyton ALWAYS looks at him (but isn't it sweet?)

Sunday
was great. Peyton was off and we went to morning and evening church. Morning church was a little hard, because we had to take AP to the nursery for the first time ever! We really like to keep her with us during the service, but she was just too loud (she wasn't even fussy; just "talking" loudly to herself). Anyway, it was sort of hard for me. I know she's in good hands, I just really like to have her near me. I'm pretty attached to her. My sister's friend, Conrad, said on Saturday in the Grove, "You don't like her to be out of your sight" (my mom had taken her walking around). I kind of denied it a little but he said "I hear it's pretty normal". Haha, that made me laugh for some reason! Anyway, Sunday after the evening service, we went over to our friends Patrick and Haley's house and got take out. I can't wait for their baby to get here!

Just a little aside: I haven't watched the Army Wives from Sunday yet and I'm so excited about it! It's a flashback episode and if you know me you know I love history and love vintage things so I can't wait to see it. I'm a BIG fan of period shows like Homefront, China Beach and The Wonder Years. But it's another one of those things; it can either be really good or really bad. Can't wait to find out!

In Dixie Land Where I Was Born


So, Annie did GREAT on her first trip to the Grove. I decided to postpone my "Weekly Happening" post until later today and just do a little recap of Saturday's festivities, because I knew I wanted to devote a whole post to the day. First, I have to say that I just adore the "culture" of Ole Miss, as Peyton so eloquently said yesterday. I love that it's been a part of my life for so long and although I have no regrets about not going to Ole Miss myself (okay, the occasional one) I'm thankful for so many good memories there. I can't wait for so many more days like yesterday and for making more precious memories with Ann Peyton.

Seriously, I know it sounds SO stupid, but this was a day that I had been dreaming about for a long time. I just couldn't wait to take AP to one of my favorite places and I knew there would be so many new and old friends that couldn't wait to see her!

The day got off to a great start. We got up around 9ish and Peyton made a big breakfast while I got things ready. It seems to take a lot of preparation to get ready for a day trip with an (almost) six month old. So, I got myself and AP ready, got all our stuff together, and neatened up the house a bit. Of course, I took everything but the kitchen sink. We dropped by Target on the way out of town to get a couple of things and Peyton told me to be quick. He made fun of me because I told him I got a cramp running (speed walking) around in Target (I really am that out of shape). I told him it was "stress induced" because he was stressing me out. Aside: guess what else was "stress induced"? AP had a HUGE pimple. I think she got nervous, because she knew this was such a big event......just like the night before prom, she had to have a breakout!

Of course, we had to have our weekly family picture before we left!


AP did great the whole ride up. She slept almost the entire time. She finally woke up just in time to have a video taken (the Blogger upload was taking FOREVER, but I'm sure the world will love seeing "Ann Peyton rides to the Tune of Dixie on YouTube, right?):



***Cookie said my southern drawl has gotten worse--she was teasing me and said "Oh my gosh, is it because you stay home all day and don't talk to anybody?". Thanks sis, maybe you should call more often ;)

So, we got there around 3:30 and I met my mom at the Tri Delt house so I could nurse her in Cookie's room--the house is BEAUTIFUL. Peyton was going to a wedding for a friend about an hour from Oxford so he took off. This was followed by the hardest part of the day. The Grove was super crowded and an absolute mud fest so it was not so easy pushing the stroller through the throngs of people/mud. I was REALLY missing Peyton.

Once we got to my family's tent it was really nice. AP definitely had some fussy time, but overall she did GREAT. It's funny because I thought she was a little cranky and I know Peyton would have thought she was alot cranky because we're so spoiled by her, but EVERYONE said how good she was-we are so spoiled by her. She did make it six hours (not including the car ride).
I hate to tell you, but this was not very far into the day.....yeah, I look rough already.

She loves for her Minnie to walk her when she's fretful!


So, we just hung out in the gunky weather and ate delicious food (white rotel, marinated vegetables, bacon and cheese dip, and lemon squares, plus a TON more) and had a blast.
Annie had a pretty good lunch, too and loved seeing her Cookiekins!


It was so much fun for Annie to finally meet some of Cookie's friends!
Ann Peyton, Minnie, and Olivia (she's super cute and is going to be a teacher!)

AP and Meg--isn't this beautiful? I don't know who is more in love, Meg with Annie or Annie with Meg!


We had a great time, but it was alot more fun once Peyton got back and joined us!
Annie, her Papa, and Conrad


We decided it was time for another video:
video
Teaching Annie Hotty Toddy the "nice" way


Ann Peyton got pretty tired as it got later (she's not used to missing her LONG naps), so she turned in early in her stroller.
Girlfriend is not lacking in the comfort items department, is she?


We ended up leaving about 10:00 and getting back to our house after midnight. My poor parents had planned to stay at my uncle's house (just outside Oxford) but decided to go ahead and drive back to Jackson (this was after midnight). Well, they hit a tent on the highway and messed up their car. They got back home but it was after 3:00 am! I was on the phone with my mom when it happened and I heard her scream and it scared me out of my mind!

Overall, it was a WONDERFUL day. I have to say it was so much more fun than last year. I was so hormonal last year the few times I went (being there pregnant wasn't the most fun ever) and I was just moody and acted like a baby myself. My mom and Cookie have both said how much AP has helped me to grow up and not be SO upset when things don't go like I've planned. I just have to be responsible and be a grown up and it feels good to know I can do it. I love the feeling of knowing that I can take care of her better than anyone else and that I made it through the day (with a lot of people's help). I try not to toot my own horn, but it does make me proud of myself, when I think about how last year my mom was fixing me a plate and running around babying me and now I'm taking care of myself AND another person. I really liked being able to juggle her and my food and all her junk and the feeling that it gave me.






Saturday, September 19, 2009

Annie Banani Says..........

"Hotty Toddy!!!!"

Our little Rebel is SO excited about her first trip to the Grove today!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Babykin Boutique: Consignment Sale Collection

I've recently been buying some consignment items for Ann Peyton and I thought I'd share. Shopping at consignment stores can be so hit or miss. But that's the fun of it. I've found some of Annie's cutest things at consignment stores around the area. For example, she had a precious smocked Feltman Bros. bubble this summer that I got for less than $20. Not that everything has to be something that would retail for more than I'd care to pay, some of the things I love most are just little footies that I happened to enjoy the pattern of.

Anyway, a few weeks back I went to a big consignment sale with Ashley and Carrie. It was pretty intense; I got there about ten minutes early and a line had formed.....these mommas were hardcore. I pretty much snatched up everything I thought was remotely cute (per Ashley's advice) and then put some of it back. My mom kept Ann Peyton for me and that was a HUGE blessing; things would have been way harder with her in tow. It was so much fun to pick out stuff and then discuss with each other if it was worth the money, would fit, looked decent, ect. Well, here is what I found.

Okay, so I kind of bought fourteen things. Peyton was a little aghast at the amount of clothes and the amount of money I spent (they were really good deals). But then I reminded him of how good I do dressing Annie of a budget and he agreed. I don't know if I've talked about it before, and I think I want to do a more elaborate post on "budgeting", but they way it works is that I get a certain amount each month to buy her stuff with (clothes, books, toys, ect.). If there's is something big she "needs" (what a relative term)--like her Exersaucer--I get extra for that. And her food, diapers, ect. come from another category as well. It's mostly just clothes, accessories, and a few small items that I buy with her "allowance". Really, I know it sounds kind of rigid and constraining, but it works so good because I'm not constantly asking Peyton if I can buy every outfit but I also have a set amount that I try to stay within. Anyway, in college I was not the best with money and so I think I really impressed Peyton with my ability to stay within a budget.


I got her this little romper to wear right now, while it's still hot but we're slowly putting up summer clothes; my mom says that unless it has a "summery motif" there is nothing to summery for a baby when it's this hot......thus, she continues to wear white eylet bubbles and I kind of have a complex about it.


I got these outfits for later on this fall/winter.


I really love these. I think that dressing so seasonally can either be really cute or really tacky. I thought these were adorable, but not too Christmas-y that she could only wear them, like, the day of. Also, I think it was Carrie that suggested I get the polka dot one monogrammed. I thought that was a great idea! For one thing, I hate it when clothes look too pajamaish (I told you I'm picky)--I've vetoed numerous footies because, as much as I love them as pajamas, now that she's not a newborn, she's not leaving home in them. I think I'm going to get it monogrammed in pink so that it won't look as Christmasy and she can wear it starting earlier.


These are for next summer and next winter. What can I say? We LOVE to buy ahead and for the most part, we haven't missed many of the things we've bought. Plus, it's easier to guess now that we know her basic size--I think she'll always be on the smaller end, like me ;)



Okay, I'm a little embarrassed because this is a 3T. But, I loved it because it reminded me of something I would have worn when I was a little girl and I adore sunflowers. It has matching leggings.


The grand finale
She'll defiantly be sporting (no pun intended) this dress this weekend for her inaugural appearance in the Grove!


Actually, I lied. I have two more. My mom and I went to Wear It's At (a consignment store near my house) a few weeks ago and found these outfits for the upcoming fall and next summer


And these shoes
Minnie and I LOVE Converse, in fact Minnie has a pair pretty much just like these (she loves to wear them with dresses and funky capris--she rocks this look), so I was so excited to find AP's first pair!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Show Us Your Life- My Go To Dinner Recipe

Photobucket


Okay, so my recipe is SUPER easy and SUPER quick. If you like fish, this is a great one. I hate "fishy fish"; we always use Tilapia, it's so mild.

Anyway, I got this recipe from a friend. You can do it a variety of ways:

1. season with Lawry's (or some kind of seasoning salt) and Lemon Pepper and sometimes Parsley, melt a few pats of butter and pour over it, bake at 400 for about 15 minutes; then, add Parmesan cheese (the real kind) and bake another 10-15 minutes. (it cooks really quickly)
or
2. season the same way - except use lemon juice mixed in with the butter. don't use the cheese. cook for 25 minutes or so at 400. Also after they're done, pour a little more lemon butter on top.
or
3. sometimes I also add pecans or almonds to the top. Usually I just use my little skillet, melt a few pats of butter in there, then put my pecans or almonds in the skillet with about a teaspoon of sugar and stir around for about 5 minutes on medium or medium-low heat. They're a little trickly at first b/c they look fine and then all of a sudden they burn, so just don't cook them on high and watch them. After the fish are done, just add the nuts to the top. another option is to just put the uncooked nuts on the fish in the oven 5-10 minutes before you take them out rather than cooking them on the stove.

They are all really quick and so much easier than cooking it on top of the stove. I'm really into "easy". I'm hoping to find some good easy recipes tonight, as I've totally JUST started learning to cook!

P.S. If you use option one, I say "the more cheese the better". I'm not sure you can overdo it. It kind of takes away the satisfaction of it being your one healthy meal night of the week, though!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tribute


Nobody puts Baby in a corner!

25 Random Things--#5 (Vaccum Hatred)

Okay, so it's time for another installment of "25 Random Things". I did this meme on Facebook a long time ago and now I'm kind of going through my list and talking about each one. I think it's a good way for y'all to get to know me better. I guess some people might think it's weird, but I've always loved when people post things just telling more about themselves, their life, and their personality. I was talking to my mom last night and telling her how I think it's funny when people I've just met ask me when we're planning to have another baby, even though my daughter is FIVE months old. She was saying she was never interested in asking people things like that. NOT THE CASE with me; I'm always so curious about things about people, I just don't always ask them! Anyway, I told her I think that my nosiness definitely fuels my blog addiction. Anyway, if you're new and at all interested you can take a look at the other posts in this quirky little series so far. But, onto the actual post.....

Without further ado, here is random thing #5:
5. I hate to vacuum. This could be because my husband bought a 65 ton vacuum cleaner. I really think it weighed more than me pre-pregnancy. So he vacuums.

Okay, really should have just included this with #4, which was about my favorite chores. But here it is and I'm not going to skip it just because it's boring and I've pretty much said most of what there is to say about it in those three sentences. So, that's it, really. I don't vacuum. I loathed it even before Peyton bought the monster vacuum, so it really worked out perfectly. I'll occasionally do a run around the den with the itty bitty rechargeable go-vac type appliance we own. But, that's pretty ineffective for the most part. I do count it as a chore I personally accomplished if I have to nag Peyton to do it for longer than the task actually takes him to complete....only kidding, dear!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Little Twinge of Sadness

I didn't even know that yesterday was grandparent's day until after I read a couple of my favorite blogs. But when I realized the first thing I did was think of "Bump", my grandmother that I was so close to, who became part of that great cloud of witnesses, just over a year ago. I've said it before, but I really need to do a whole post about Bump and all the precious memories I have of our time together. She was seriously like a second Momma to me and I could not have ever asked for a better grandmother. I adored her and her death was extremely hard for me. I absolutely did not know how I would survive it or how my momma, who had lost her best friend the entire world would. I know it is not at all the same, but I honestly think that God finally decided to take her home because my sister and I were adults and able to discuss things with my mom that she would have previously only talked to Bump about. Anyway, if you're interested, I wrote a very special post about her here.

But, I do need to count our MANY blessings today. I still have one living grandparent and Peyton has two. Ann Peyton is blessed to have three great grandparents that are still living and I know that Bump is looking down on her from heaven watching each little milestone. I made an intentional decision to put pictures of her great grandparents in the frames in her nursery. As she gets older she will see us every day and see her grandparents very often, but I want her to grow up knowing about these wonderful people that are so special to her daddy and me.

Annie is also beyond blessed to have four amazing grandparents. Peyton's precious parents are so in love with her and my parents couldn't love her more, either. My mom told me that she knew before she was born that she would love her, but she didn't realize how much. And, I didn't realize how much, either (she can't go more than two days without seeing her)!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back to Busy

Well, I'm glad we had a little break last week, because this week we were back to being busy again! I really like busy weeks, but it seems like they just fly by!

Monday was Labor Day and Peyton was off. We ended up taking it easy most of the day and then visiting both of our parents, which was fun, of course!

Tuesday was my first day of Mother's Morning Out. It was fun and exhausting (we have to be there at 7:45, so I wake up at about 5:45--and I'm not much of a morning person).

On Wednesday, we went to Newks with Carrie and Aubrey for lunch. I just love our lunches and I laugh so hard at some of the things Carrie says; it kills me how we're so similar in a lot of ways!

Thursday was MMO again. I wasn't quite as tired this time and when I got home I got several things done around the house. For one thing, I soaked a bunch of toys that were given to us in Chlorox. I'm kind of surprised I felt the need to do all that. I told someone the other day that I'm really not that worried about germs, being that Peyton lets Annie suck on his hands after he gets home from work without washing them......UGH, he works at a pharmacy; you know where sick people like to congregate?

Friday, I went to a children's clothing overstock sale with my mom. We got some great stuff......can't wait to post some pics! Well, that morning before I left a teacher from Saint Andrews called me to sub. I really wanted the day to be pretty relaxed and maybe do some errands. But she seemed like she was in a bind and it was only for the later half of the day and Peyton was working a double, so I called my mom to make sure she could keep Ann Peyton and then called her back to say yes. I left Annie with Minnie after the sale and rushed down to the Lower School. Subbing was pretty fun; the kids are so cute! I packed up a bunch of stuff that morning so I could just stay at my parents after I got done at SA. Well, I didn't read any of the books I brought, or do anything else productive, but I had a great time visiting with my mom for hours. She told me that she was proud of how hard I was working and what a good momma I was. Seriously, I basked in it. She tells me I'm a good momma all the time, but it means so much to hear her say it; beacuse she is the best momma, herself! Of course, the night ended with Beans and Rice.

Saturday was SUPER busy, too. I was getting Annie dressed for Aubrey's birthday party and I realized something was wrong with the bubble I had picked out for her to wear (Minnie had had to put extra elastic in the legs and they still weren't tight enough). Well, I really wanted her to get to wear it so I called my mom--at work--to find out what to do. Like I said she is the best Momma EVER, because she just came over to my house on her lunch break and fixed it! So, then we headed to Carrie's for Aubrey's b-day party. We had a great time seeing our little one year old friend! It was also super fun to see Carrie's house and meet her husband because I've heard SO much about him! I came home and did a few things around the house and then our friends Haley and Patrick wanted to go out to eat so we met them at Julep....yum! They are some of our closest "couple friends" and are SO much fun to hang out with AND they expecting a baby of their own! When we got home (around 9:00), Ellis came over; he is so sweet with Ann Peyton; it is precious to see him interact with her.
Weekly Family Picture before dinner with Patrick and Haley....I meant to take pictures with our friends, too!

Today, Annie and I went to church and then to Target (Peyton had to be at work early). She did GREAT in church; she made it the whole time and I didn't even have to get her out of her carrier until about half way through it. And we saw my old kindergarten teacher (who I ADORE) at Target. By the time we go home, I had the worst headache and Annie was really fretful. My mom came over (is it weird I see my mom three days in a row?) and taught me how to sew on a button....embarassing I didn't already know how to, right? My headache just got worse (I think it's the weather; I HOPE it's the weather) and Annie got more fussy so we really didn't get too much done today AT ALL. I tried to tell myself it was okay, because I worked three (half) days outside the home this week; so if I didn't get any big projects tackled today it was alright.

Okay, so one more confession from the week. I've been packing up some of AP's summer stuff and things that are too small for her. Well, I put up the last "newborn" footie (do you spell it "footie" or "footy"; I've seen both). I'm glad she's done with newborns, since she's getting ready for her half birthday next month! I didn't post it at the time, because I was extremely embarassed but, I just put up the last "preemie" items about three weeks ago. To my credit, they were a beautiful linen sunday dress that was from a line that obviously ran quite large and a pair of pink shoes.....not really "typical" clothing, right? right?? I told my SIL I don't know what I'm going to do when Simeon (Annie's first cousin who is almost six weeks old) by passes her in size....and he's quickly approaching. I wonder if he'll weigh more at six weeks than she does at six months ??? Well, he's a giant and she's a munckin (***).
Peyton called me to come see her. I was like "what? she's sleeping...okay". He said "No, Sweetie, it's her first time to fall asleep in front of the TV". Haha. (Notice his foot on the right; more haha).

I had to inclue a couple more of our sweet Annie girl.

The dress she's wearing is a Feltman Bros. that belonged to me and Cookie......vintage.



*** I am only 4ft 11 in tall and in some states that legally qualifies you as a midget--you get a tax cut and a handicap sticker for your car! I think in MS it's 4'9.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Selfless.Truly.

You guys know I struggle with anxiety. I've blogged about it, oh, about a gazillion times. Well, sometimes watching the news on TV or reading the newspaper can just be downright depressing. I like to stay informed, but there are times when I just have to step away from it and that is what I've been doing lately.

I knew the coverage yesterday was going to be especially heartbreaking. I figured I'd let myself watch a little bit and then be done with it. Ann Peyton and I spent most of the afternoon and evening at my parents' house (Peyton had to work ALL day) and they had the TV turned on CBS. They were airing this segment:



I encourage you to watch the video (don't forget to pause the playlist--right beside it). But in case you don't want to, I'll give you the gist of the story. The same cab driver kept being dispatched to this grumpy woman's home. He wondered why she was always so cranky and short with him and decided it might have something to do with the place he always took her, a place that had a sign reading "Kidney Dialysis" on the door. Well, the taxi driver went home researched what kidney dialysis meant and how hard and exhausting it can be and began talking to her about it. He found out that she was in need of a kidney transplant but none of her family members were a match. Of course, she was beyond surprised when the driver offered to get tested to see if he was a match and even more so when he went through with the test. But she was the most floored when, you guessed it, he was a match.

The story gets even neater. Apparently, the driver had a daughter he hadn't seen in thirty years. Ironically, part of the reason he offered the woman one of his kidneys was that he really didn't feel like he had much to live for. Well, after seeing the news footage his daughter contacted him. Both the driver and the sick woman feel like they have been given a new chance at life. The surgery is scheduled for before Christmas.

WOW! I love stories like this. They give me chills and fuzzies all at the same time and totally restore my faith in humanity.....wish there were more of them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gerber Babykins

So, I know I mentioned that AP had tried some fruits, but I thought it'd give it a little time before devoting a whole post to it, haha! Well, the time has come. Ann Peyton LOVES fruit, so far. She has tried applesauce and bananas and I think next we'll try peaches. We started with bananas because Peyton and I both love some naners......can't wait to make her Elvis' favorite sandwich (peanut butter and banana on white bread); it's a personal fave of mine as well! Then we tried apples. Both were a hit, but I think she preferred the bananas.

I decided (well, really Peyton suggested and I agreed) to make my own baby food, for the most part. It's just another thing that is important to him and that I feel like I should do since she's such an easy baby and I'm not wrapped up in a full time job outside the home. It's important to him and really probably is better for her. Peyton hates preservatives and processed food (yeah, it took him a while to make me let go of my individually wrapped Little Debbie snacks) and of course there is all the packaging waste that comes with buying baby food from the grocery store (gasp!). Plus, it's expensive. I'm the girl that if you tell me something is great for the environment I'm like "okay", if you tell me something is healthier for my family I'm like "okay", if you tell me it will save a couple of dollars I'm like "sold". Not that this is always the best trait ;) Anyway, I kind of bragged on myself about how much money we save making our own baby food, breastfeeding exclusively and of course cloth diapering, the other night. I was like, look Peyton, all we really buy at the grocery store is rice cereal, and it is so cheap! Well, before I got the big head Sweetums set me straight......"Oh honey, why don't you grow some rice in the back yard, harvest it and make your own rice cereal". Um no, as much as I can see myself channeling Ruth right now.....too bad Daddykins is no Boaz. Anyway, it's not hard at all. The apples were a bit more labor intensive than the bananas, but still no big deal.
I do have to tell y'all something. I got a good laugh at myself yesterday while talking to Carrie. I told her that I relate so much more to Kelly than to MckMama, because I find my identity more in SEC football and smocked baby dresses than in home-made baby food and cloth diapers. Haha, truly let's hope I find my identity in neither, but......good to know I'm well rounded, right?

Anyway, here's what you were really waiting for:


And these are a bit older, but because Ann Peyton does find her identity in her Rebel pride...

Wanna know what she was saying??
Okay, if you insist! Annie was just yelling, at the top of her lungs:
Hotty Toddy,
Gosh almighty

Who the heck are we?
Hey!
Flim Flam, Bim Bam
Ole Miss, Yes, Ma'me! ***
She's getting pretty good at it, but she gets distracted and gets her lunch all over her face.

*** Peyton and I had a pretty intense discussion about when we should teach her the legit cheer. Probably not before three, but defiantly no later than six, it just depends on her maturity. I was about two when I learned it--you know about the time I could form sentences. Anyway, it's a really effective strategy for raising your own little Rebel; tell them the Hotty Toddy is the ONLY appropriate time to use profanity EVER and they'll be hotty todding all over the place!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Momma's Morning Out

I realized that I never wrote about why I decided to do MMO in the first place. So, I wanted to post a little about it. I decided it would be good for me AND Annie for a number of reasons:

Why It's So Good For Me:

- Even though it's not really "school", I feel like this is a good use of the degree I worked hard for. I also feel like I'm gaining valuable experience for possibly teaching at a later date. I feel like I can use a lot of my knowledge of childhood development and how they learn in this position.

- I also feel like I'm gaining great experience for parenting Annie (the babies in my class are between one and two years old). The experiences I had as a nanny for an infant were so crucial in preparing me for her and I feel like this will be , too.

- I think this is a good way to meet other moms--I always love new mommy friends! One of the other teachers is around my age and has a young baby and she was also a teacher; I feel like we are already getting to be friends.

- I LOVE days spent at home, but we both need to get out. Sometimes, I'm bad about making myself get dressed and go do something and this will force us to.

- I also really struggle with being productive at home. I know the older AP gets and the more children we have the less of an issue this will be (smile). I really want to be a good steward of my time and ironically, lots of times, the days I'm away from home are the ones I get more done here. Also, I feel like if I'm doing this I'll put less pressure on myself to tackle a bunch of stuff here that doesn't have to be done right away and feel bad when I don't get to it.

- (I love this one).....I believe that I will be supporting an important ministry. Honestly, there are some ways I just can't serve right now, like I can't (or won't) take Annie to a soup kitchen or to build a habitat house; but this is something I CAN do. At least one of the families that has a child in the program does not currently have a church home and for those who do this is still a ministry. We are so blessed that both sets of grandparents live here, so getting a morning out is not really an issue for me, but it definitely is for some people. The handbook says "The purpose of Mother's Morning Out is twofold. We seek to provide a safe, caring, Christian atmosphere for children while loving them as Jesus loves little children. We also seek to provide a respite for parents from the full-time care of their children and allow the parents to accomplish some of the tasks of modern life that are easier undertaken without their children"......beautiful, huh?

- Truthfully, the little check I receive at the end of the month won't be so bad, either. Peyton agreed that it could be used exclusively for Ann Peyton/things I'd like for the house/ect. It isn't just my money to blow, but it's pretty much up to my discretion. I thought that was pretty generous of him.

- I think it will help me not be SO attached. I love that I have gotten so attached to Annie, but at some point she will have to be independent...kindergarten, cars, and college all come to mind. This is a good baby step for me. I'm right there, but I'm not in her room the whole time. I'm a worrier, so like I said this is a good transition to bigger things.

Why It's So Good for Her:
*** These are really probably going a bigger deal toward the end of the year......right now she's at the age where she really doesn't know when I leave the room and she's really not interacting with other children yet.

- I think it will be good for HER to deal with some attachment issues. My sister and I both had some separation anxiety when we started pre-school because my mom had NEVER left us like that. Not that that was a wrong decision, I'm not sure I'd want to this if I wasn't there, too. Like I said, I like to think I'm her favorite person and it does give me a good feeling that I can calm her down better than anyone, but she's not at the point of crying when I leave her, yet, so this is more of an issue for later.

- I think it will be good for her to have the social interaction with other children close to her age. Especially since she is our first, being around other children is something important to me.

- Both of these are magnified by the fact that she doesn't really go to the nursery during church. We'll use it if we have to, but we decided together that it was good for church to be a family experience. So, she's not getting these experiences on Sunday morning and they are ones I want her to have.

As you can see, I'm pretty excited about it. I LOVE being a stay at home momma and that is still what I consider my main vocation, but I think that this is truly offering us the best of the working world, as well!

Reading and Writing and....."No, Momma, I'm Not Ready for "Rithmetic"

sweet Annie and I this morning before our first day of "school"

Today was the first day of "school" (Mother's Morning Out) for Annie and me. If you remember, AP is going to and I am working at the Mother's Morning Out program at our church. I really think that it went well over all. There are three classes--a baby room that AP and two other babies are in, a one to two year old class (my class), and a two to three year old class. The two older classes have about eight children each and they both have two teachers.

My class went really well. We have a curriculum and everything, but really I don't think they are going to be old enough for that.....most of them don't even really talk. I think we will read a Bible story and sing each day once we get in the swing of things.

Annie did pretty good, too. She is SO good, it kind of throws me for a loop if she's fussy at all (she has about one hour of true fussiness a day); so I was a little concerned because she kind of tuned up at the very beginning and very end. I also pumped a bottle for her (I ended up being able to give it to her myself) and she was not really thrilled about it. I hope this isn't a bottle rejection trend that's starting! Anyway, I got it down her finally (she will usually gulp down a cold bottle, but I heated it up and I think she liked that better this time) and she would not burp, as hard as I tried to get her to. Well, when it was time to go she was mad as a hornet. She just spit up all over me and herself about three times and was so much better. Also, when we got home she had a massively dirty diaper, which was good since she hadn't had one in a couple of days. I know it's perfectly normal for breast feed infants (and I think starting fruit and adding iron to her vitamins were also involved), but I had to wonder if that wasn't adding to her um, unpleasant mood. I was glad because Peyton said he was going to give her a suppository tonight it she hadn't had a dirty diaper by then. When he told me that, I looked at him and I said "That's right, Sweetie, YOU are going to do that".

Anyway, overall a good day. And sorry to dominate the post mostly with intimate details of Annie's digestive system--Granny would be so offended by this "bathroom talk".

Also, I just realized I never did the post I meant to about why I wanted to do MMO in the first place......look for it soon!

Weekly family picture as promised....she's in love with her Papa