Thursday, December 31, 2009

From Meg and Billy with Love

This will be worth your time. I promise.

Such a great scene. One of the best scenes ever. From one of the best movies ever.

"I love that you get cold when it's seventy one degrees outside". "I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich".
Those words could've been written about me.

"I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night".
Those words could've been written by me.

Don't you just love Meg? I spent the better part of the '90s wanting to be Meg. I tried to get her haircut from You've Got Mail. See?

And Billy Crystal. Such a bird! When he does that corny voice it reminds me SO much of my goofball husband.

I am so thankful for my best friend/husband this year. But I'm super sad I forgot to Netflix When Harry Met Sally in time for New Years. Maybe it will be on tv??

* Guess I lied about the three posts in one day. Somebody is gonna give me a pay cut :)
** Sorry this post was kind of all over the place.

Ringing in the New Year

Peyton and I have not really "let" Ann Peyton change much about the way we live. And I am pretty proud of that. The case might be different if we had had the chance to get a few years under our belt and enjoy it just being us, but we didn't. And I'm not sad about it, really. I just feel like it's important (for both of us, but especially for Peyton) that we are able to do many of the things we would have been doing anyway. It's especially easy, since Ann Peyton is so laid back. If we want to go to dinner with friends and we end up staying out past her bedtime, I really don't fret over it. If we want to go on a trip, we just pack her up and take her. If Peyton wants to go get drinks with his buddies once a month or so, I encourage it. I know once we have multiple children, it won't be this easy, so we are making the most of this time now.

That said, I did not even realize tonight was New Year's Eve until just now (I mean I knew it earlier in the week). And even now, it was because I was thinking of going somewhere and then I realized it would be closed.


I feel like I should be writing Christy's blog, with it's titular reference to "Mommy Brain" (I didn't really get the name until I read one of her posts about having her brain sucked out, ha!).

Seriously, there has been not ONE New Year's since the eighth grade that I haven't had "plans". And, there has also not be ONE year since the eighth grade that I haven't made out with someone at midnight. Okay, that's a lie. Last year there were people at our house and as a grown woman and almost mom, I wasn't comfortable with that. And let's just pretend I had a steady boyfriend for all the other nine times. Because otherwise, I might be making myself look like I had a promiscuous streak as a teen. Cut me some slack- I said I made out with them, not had sex.

So, definitely no plans. Although, I think Peyton would love a much overdue make-out session. So, I might add it to my to-do list. If I'm not to tired.

That was all TMI. But what would my blog be without the occasional frequent divulge of personal information?

And this is a total different subject, but......I think I am going to take a little break in my "answers" posts. Because I want to go ahead and get all my Christmas posts up by the END of January (I still have two more "recap" type ones and I want to write one sharing our final Santa compromise). I know, I post WAY to much stuff on here. Which is why I'm going to wait a few days/week and then resume the answers. It's pretty ridiculous to be writing, like, three posts a day (if you're not MckMama).

I'm pretty sure no one really cares, but I know if I was reading a blog and someone just all of a sudden stopped mid questions, it would totally throw me overboard. But, I'm a bit on the anal side.

SD's Answers- Part 2 (Quetions about the Hubbykins)

Where and how did Peyton propose to you?
Well, it was very sweet. We had been dating for almost four years. I knew he was probably going to ask me soon, but I was till VERY surprised. I know that sounds weird, but we had been talking about it for awhile and we knew we wanted to get married the summer after I graduated from college. My mom even asked me before we got engaged if we should go ahead and book the church. But, truthfully, I was scared he would never ask me. I'll do a more detailed post on it sometime, but we went through several times of Peyton not being "sure" over the almost four years we dated. I knew that he was afraid of commitment and until the moment we said our vows there was a tiny fear in me that he'd back out. That fear is 100% gone now. The good thing about Peyton taking his sweet time is that the reason he did it is because he is SO committed to keeping those vows. Obviously, I am, too, but I say in all honesty that I have NEVER known anyone who truly believed the words "to death do us part" the way Peyton does. He takes them so seriously.

Anyway, onto the story. It was a Friday night in October of 2007 (I don't remember the exact date, how bad is that??) and I had just been to a wedding shower for a friend. He was meeting me at my parents' house for (what else?) Red Beans and Rice. I got there and he was already there. I was tired and went downstairs to change into comfortable clothes. He told me he wanted to go snuggle in the backyard first (we loved laying in the backyard at my parents' house and looking at the stars). I told him okay, but I wanted to change, basically into my pajamas.. His words--"But, Sweetie, I really want to snuggle and kiss". [Gotta hand it to him, boyfriend knew I wouldn't be happy with pics in my pajamas]. So, I agreed.

We walked outside and headed down the hill toward the edge of the lake my parents live on. He picked me up and I was turned around so I couldn't see anything. I still didn't think anything was unusual. When he put me down we were standing by a table with roses on it. [He and my sister had set it up before I got home]. He got down on his knee and said "Sarah Denley Perry, will you marry me?" He tole me he loved me and some other stuff, but all I remember is that I was shaking and kept saying "Oh my gosh, Sweetie, is this really it? Sweetie? Sweetie?" Haha! He finally told me I needed to give him an answer. Of course I told him yes!

We hugged and kissed and ran upstairs and got my parents (who already knew). And I cried a bunch. And we popped the champagne he got. And took pictures.

There were two things I made clear to Peyton that I wanted in a proposal long before we were ready to get engaged:
1. I wanted him to actually get down on his knee.
2. I wanted him to ask my dad first.
And he did both! He had asked my dad several months before (they were already really close friends and Peyton was like a son to him).

Peyton had planned on doing it when our family (plus him) went to New York City just before Christmas. But he decided against it. He knew it would be really cold and I hate being cold about more than anything. Plus, the timing worked out better; a six month engagement would have stressed me out!

I am so glad he did it the way he did. At MC, where I went to college, it was almost like a competition to see who could have the best proposal story. But I don't care, I didn't need anything fancy smancy. It was so special, because it was in a place where we had made so many memories. We had spent years in that backyard under those same stars. Even when we were just best friends, he would come over and we would lay under the stars and talk for hours. So it was perfect because it was us.

What is your favorite thing to do with Peyton?
Ha! My mind immediately went to the gutter, even though if I gave that answer it would not be entirely accurate. Really, my all time favorite thing to do with Peyton is to talk. Pretty much that is my all time favorite thing to do period. Talk to people. But Peyton is my favorite to talk to. As I said, we spent SO many hours talking before we even dated. We shared our greatest fears and biggest dreams when we were just best friends. He knew that the biggest desire of my heart was to have a family one day, long before either of us had any idea he would end up being the head of that family. I knew that one of his biggest dreams was to live in New York, but I had no idea that I would end up promising him we would make that dream a reality together one day (more on that later). Anyway, I just love talking to him. He is a great conversationalist and he "gets" me. He understands me like no one else does and we just love making each other laugh and sharing our deepest thoughts.

How do you balance time with your family and Peyton's family?
What an interesting question! Honestly, we do spend more time with my family. Not that we're partial, it just works out that way. I see that in many families where both the husband and the wife have parents in town. Especially since I am staying at home with AP, I just end up seeing my family more than he does (mainly my mom).

But, when Peyton is off work we really like to go visit his family, too. We have been trying, lately, to make it more of a priority to see them more frequently. Peyton also has four siblings and that live in town, so there are a lot more people to see on his side.

Many times, my mom tends to just drop by our house unannounced. Peyton's mom will do this occasionally, but I know she doesn't want to feel like she's bothering us (I don't think my mom has ever considered that her presence could possibly be an intrusion). Really, I wish Peyton's mom would do it more!

Also, because we spent so much time at my parents' house when we were dating (Peyton had an apartment and then the house we live in now) it's almost like a second home. Not in the sense that we feel more welcome there. Just in the sense that I'll fall asleep on the couch and Peyton will play games on the computer. At his house, we pretty much go to actually visit with people.

This is so much fun! I still have several more questions to answer. I think "baby questions" will be next. If you have any more, keep "asking away".....

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Won't You Read to Me? Wednesday

First off, sorry for the unannounced break last week. It was just getting so close to Christmas, I could hardly think.

I had planned to list all the books AP got for Christmas with a little description of each, but I think I am going to wait and do that next week. This week I want to share TWO important books. One of them actually was one of her presents this year:

The Jesus Storybook Bible
by Sally Lloyd-Jones
illustrated by Jago

This storybook Bible is actually for an older child, but I went ahead and got it because I fell so in love with it. I first heard of it on Angie Smith's blog, Bring the Rain. Not that I think she is some kind of spiritual giant or something, but I do feel like Angie is someone who is VERY committed to faith and family. And also, she is a great writer, so I was interested in checking it out.

I flipped through it at Barnes and Noble and read one story in depth. The story I read literally left tears in my eyes. It is beautifully written and the great thing about this Bible is that every story, from the Old Testament to the New, points to Jesus Christ. Peyton also loved the illustrations. I'm a visual learner, but I don't always take enough time to just enjoy illustrations. But they are really neat and different.

I will say I read the negative reviews on Amazon before buying it (as I always do), and some people seem to think that it is not entirely Biblicaliy accurate. Some people feel, among other things, that it minimizes sin and God's judgment. I am not afraid to tell Ann Peyton she is a sinner starting um, now, but I do feel that in some ways it is responsible to minimize these things with children at times. I think you have to know your child. I was a very anxiety prone child and I think if my parents had told me the whole story when I was four I would have been terrified. It is not my intention to scare my daughter into her salvation. I just felt like I should be honest, and share (what some felt was) the bad with the good.

I also wanted to show you the Bible we use now:

The Baby Bible Storybook for Girls
by Robin Currie

One of my best friends gave Ann Peyton this Bible as a gift when she was born. It has actually become one of my own go to baby presents (they make one for boys, too), because I have found it so engaging and fun.

I love this Bible for several reasons. First of all, it is a great FIRST Bible. For one thing, it is sturdy. The pages are cardboardish, similar to a "board book", so she's not just ripping it up if I let her hold it for two seconds. Second of all, the stories are SUPER short. The main reason I love this Bible is because, most days, even if I don't find time to read my Bible, I do find time for this. It takes less than two minutes to read one of the stories, so I know it will be perfect for her toddler attention span in a few months.

Also, the stories are interactive, so they are perfect for a toddler or young child. When God promises Abraham many descendants, it tells you to count as high as you can. When it talks about Joseph's father loving him, it asks you to give your Mommy or Daddy a hug. And when we read about the walls of Jericho, we pretend to blow our own trumpet! I can't wait to see how much AP enjoys these stories as she gets older!

So, you got two for the price of one! Now, tell me what you guys are reading this week!

SD's Answers- Part 1 (Work Questions)

So, I'm going to do the "work related" questions first......

What was your job before motherhood?
My degree is in elementary education. I also have the equivalent of a minor in history so I can teach high school history. But, I have never taught full time.

I had a job lined up after I graduated in 2008, but it was at a private (Catholic) school and they did not get the enrollment they needed. I was the last one hired, so I was the first to be let go. They called me at the last minute to tell me I didn't have a job. I mean the. last. minute. It was two days before the first day of school. I had my whole classroom set up. I was crushed. Heartbroken. BUT....I found out I was pregnant about two weeks later. God provides.

I know that I could not have handled being a first year teacher and being pregnant (especially since it was not a "planned by us" pregnancy) and learning to be a wife. HE knew better. He always does.

[I subbed some and did After School Care at my old elementary school and subbed at my old high school last year when I was pregnant].

Do you plan to go back to work?
Eventually, probably. I don't really know right now. I will say this, when my children are school aged (all of them), if I am not home-schooling them, I will be teaching. Peyton and I are thinking about homeschooling, though. It is a long way off, but it is very neat to think about using all my training to teach Annie and her brothers/sisters.

That said, if they end up going to public or private school, I will go back to teaching. I say this with NO shame (in fact, I said it with NO SHAME in one of my education classes): part of the reason I picked teaching as my career is because it "fits" so well with being a Momma. I want to be home in the afternoons and the summers. I will have work outside of school, but it is nice to know I will never be in an office until six or seven o'clock. I have felt judged and belittled for saying that, and I would never say it is the ONLY reason I choose the field of education, but it is an important reason.

Where do you work at Mother's Morning Out?
The Mother's Day Out Program (I always call it Mother's Morning Out, ha!) is at our church in Brandon. Our church has a full day kindergarten for three to five year olds and now they are meeting a need for a part-time child care program in the Brandon area. It is wonderful to be a part of such an important ministry!

How is you job at Mother's Morning Out Going?
Honestly, I LOVE it. I feel like I'm being so much more productive than I could force myself to be at home. On the days I stay home all day, sometimes, I honestly feel like I accomplish less. I really feel a sense of pride from doing it. It is only four hours a day, two days a week, so it is not a huge time commitment; but it is something. Certainly, I DON'T love getting up at 5:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but once I get there it is so worth it! I am blessed by the women I work with and by the mothers who minister to me. I do think it's a good experience for Ann Peyton, too. I'm glad she is getting to be around other children and learning that she can't always be the center of Mommy's universe.

BunBun's First Christmas [Part 1]

Despite a touch of illness, I'd say BunBun* had a great first Christmas!

Before, I go any further, I'd like to show you a little snapshot of her last year.
My, how she's changed!

We spent Christmas Eve with my parents and as I mentioned, we found Annie in bed with my mom Christmas morning! I think her little fever virus combined with not being in her own bed was a bit much for her, and Minnie is just not a CIO kinda gal (what grandmother is, right?).

The night before, Peyton and I had laid out the stuff we got for Ann Peyton. It was so fun being Santa for a little person!
Annie got a TON of books. We also got her some other fun things:
- a sock monkey Jack in the Box
- a Peter Rabbit block puzzle
- an Alphabet Pal (funny story below**)
- some new Bible songs/childrens' songs CDs
- a robot to "chase", once she's mobile
- some footie pajamas
- a castle picture for her nursery (so pretty and around six dollars at Hobby Lobby)
- some handmade stuff from Etsy (adorable soft "shabby chic" blocks, a crocheted hat/booties/paci clip set, and a Mickey and Minnie Mouse pillowcase dress)
- a set of stacking blocks
- a bunch of teething toys

My sweet mom also made us a "Santy Cake" and we snacked on it before going to bed!

On Christmas morning I got up took a shower, straightened my hair and did my make-up at about 6:30. I decided to do it this way for two reasons: 1) I knew we'd be going to Peyton's parents' house around ten and I would rather just get ready then, instead of having to leave the fun later and 2) I did not allow one picture of myself to be taken last year on Christmas morning at my parents' (save the Annie pic above) and I had to have them this year!

This was the first year that I remember that I woke up before my sister. Cookie had had an awful wreck the day before (she hydroplaned on I55 and hit a lamppost--can't believe I haven't mentioned that!!). So, she was sleeping hard.
I'm not sure who looks the rougher, Cookie or Ann Peyton. And she is going to kill me for putting this on here, but she looks like a model 99% of the time so......

Once we got downstairs the amount of stuff had basically quadrupled from what we put out for AP. My mom had made sure Peyton, Cookie and I got tons of stuff and she added quit a bit to Annie's pile. We are all SPOILED!

Mickey and Minnie got Annie some fabulous stuff! She got this big pink swing to swing in at their house.

My mom also got her a beautiful wicker rattle, some really pretty hair clips, and an adorable Radco duck Christmas ornament. And she got a bunch of stuff Minnie found at an IKEA when she was on a "girls trip" with her friends (I was thinking of going on one of those sometime soon, but then a certain friend of mine (cough, cough) had to go and get herself pregnant). She got her some stackable cups; a little frog bib, cup and bowl set; some finger puppets (Peyton went crazy over those); and an adorable frog thing to store stuff in in her closet.

And she got a highchair/shopping cart cover from Cookie. It is unisex, but much cuter than her car seat.

I got some great stuff from my Mom and Dad Santa, too. I love getting a bunch of little things, rather than a couple of big ones!
-TWO aprons
- an acrylic painting set (ha!)
- some really cute hand towels for the kitchen
- napkin rings
- a big brightly painted pitcher
- some Christmas plates
- a cute scrubbing brush for my kitchen sink
- a few other small decorative things for my house
- some pretty Christmas ornaments
- lip gloss and candy in my stocking

The most important thing, though, was a beautiful ring that belonged to my grandmother. She got it on her sixteenth birthday. It is so pretty and it makes me tear up because I just miss her so much.

Peyton racked up!

He got this chess set from my parents and me. I got him a chess set last year, but when I saw this one it was SO beautiful and so I went ahead and got it.

My mom also got him this bowl from Batte. I know it seems weird he'd want a decorative bowl, but when we were registering he loved it. It really wasn't my style (though I think it's beautiful) and so we agreed not to get it (it was also a bit pricey). I had been talking to her recently about how to use my bridal credit that I still have at Batte and I asked her about the bowl because I knew Peyton loved it. She said someone bought it along time ago. She had forgotten that she got it for him herself when it went on sale; ha!

And he got a big light from my Dad. Daddy is giving Peyton a tool every Christmas, with the hopes that one day Peyton will have as extensive a tool collection as he himself does.

I knew I was getting sewing lessons for Christmas from Peyton, but he had me some little things, too. He got me a t-shirt that says "Red Beans and Rice" and a cute little tape measure and this adorable sewing basket and he had something else waiting at his parents' house......

Ann Peyton seemed to like her little hat and her blocks!

I think I successfully conveyed how important books are to me. Between us and both her grandparents she got a TON. I was going to name them all, but this post is already out of control long, so I think I'll do that tomorrow in my "Read to Me" post.

loving on my Babykins....

I don't think she really knew what to make of all of it!

Sporting a new headband!

*As if AP didn't have enough nicknames, I've taken to calling her "BunBun". I realized that she has a plethora of rabbit toys, lovies, and stuffed animals. I guess I just love all things rabbit, who knew??

**Cookie, being the super mature young woman that she is, decided to test the Alphabet Pal while we were gone to Peyton's parents' house. "Test him for what?" you ask. Why, test him for profanity, of course! She tried to spell all the dirty words she could think of by pressing the letters really fast. Words that start with "sh" and words that end in "ck". Well, the Alphabet Pal was to smart for her! Whenever you do that, he says "Hehe, that tickles!". Wow!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Jammies Reveal

The moment you've all been waiting for....I know.

So, I decided this year we'd go with a woods/tree/bear theme. Seriously, next year I hoping for something MUCH cuter, so I am getting started much earlier!

The thing is we've always kind of had a bear theme in our family, anyway. I used to call Peyton "Honey Bear" or when he was very hungry I'd say "Huuuungry Bear Herrington" in my deepest voice. He called me "Little Bear". When we found out we were expecting, we referred to Annie as Baby Bear and bought anything that said "Baby Bear" on it.

Well, when I saw these pjs that she has on that said "Bear Hug", I had to get them. And, I thought they'd pretty much go with Peyton's "woodsy pjs" (which were a Christmas gift to him from my mom many years ago and which he is obsessed with). So, I just had to take care of me....

Originally, I had planned to order some from the same company that made AP's jammies (Hatley), but I waited too late and the shipping was going to be redic for it to get here by Christmas. So, I ebayed "bear pajamas" and this is what I got!

I'd say not bad for a first attempt, but next year I'd like something a little less corny and a little more classy. We'll see......

Ask Away!

So, several of my friends have been doing the "Ask Anything" type posts and I had to jump on the bandwagon. I already explained that I have a hard time with peer pressure, and so how could I not participate in the latest blog trend? Also, reading these types of posts just fascinates me, so I decided it was high time to give it a go.

So, you can ask me anything. I love how Christy said "It doesn't matter how personal, I will not get offended!". Surely, if you've been reading for any length of time, you know that that goes without saying here.....

I will be pretty much mortified if I don't have any questions to answer and will not be able to show my face in the blogiverse ever again. Soooo, ASK AWAY!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Weekly Happenings Post #41 (December 21-27)

So, yes, Christmas week was about as busy as I anticipated. Add in me dealing with an awful sinus infection and AP's little fever virus and it was even crazier than what I thought. But it was a wonderful week, nonetheless!

On Monday AP and I went out to eat with Ashley and Carrie and Evy and *BIG SISTER* Aubrey. Monday afternoon, Cookie came over and we went to Target. Since they didn't have what I was looking for (something for Christmas for AP) I went to the other Target in our area. They didn't have what I wanted, either, but I got a bunch of other stuff, ha! I am their dream costumer. We stopped by Wendy's on the way to the second Target and got a snack for Peyton and his techs because they were having such a busy day, he couldn't let anyone go get lunch (it pays to have a wife who stays at home!).

Tuesday was my Grandmother's 90th(!!) birthday, so we surprised her at the Waterford (her retirement home). She was so excited. We brought her a birthday cake and two of her old neighbors came for the celebration, too!
4 generations. Somebody's Momma needs to teach them that ladies keep their legs together.

Tuesday night I dragged Peyton back to "our" Target (redic, I know), Babies R Us, and Old Navy. That pretty much concluded our Christmas shopping and I was SO GLAD! I am really going to try to be more on top of it next year.

On Wednesday, I stayed home. I did laundry and wrote (long overdue) thank you notes for presents people gave AP at her baptism.

Thursday was Christmas Eve. I spent most of the day really getting the house in order. I knew we'd be gone that night, Christmas day, and be out of town the day after Christmas so I did several loads of laundry, cleaned out the fridge (well, Peyton did that), and washed two loads of dishes. It made me feel good to leave things in order! We went to the Christmas Eve service at our church and then went to my parents to spend the night.

Friday, of course, was Christmas day. AP slept in the pack n play in my mom's room (we just didn't feel like moving it) and we slept downstairs in my old room. This is where we found her Christmas morning.
(In bed with Minnie)

Christmas was wonderful...of course, a BIG Christmas post will follow shortly. Poor Ann Peyton was running a fever, but it was still a great day!

On Saturday, we had our Christmas celebration at Peyton's grandparents' house in Hebron, MS (it's near Laurel), after Peyton took her to the doctor to make sure she was okay (just a fever virus).

When we got home, Peyton and I were exhausted, but Annie wanted to play!
(we didn't really fall asleep with her in her Bumbo, just needed to rest and watch a little TV, ha!)

Peyton went to church on Sunday morning, but AP and I stayed home, since she had fever. It was a nice, laid back day and I began putting up all the stuff we got for Christmas (I still haven't finished!). Sunday afternoon, we went over to my parents' house for awhile and then we all had a relaxing night at home.

Peyton has been off for five days, just because Christmas happened to fall next to his weekend off. He's going back to work tomorrow, so I'm a little sad. We've had a great break. I think this week will be pretty fun, too, though!

An Annie Update and Some Good News for a Change

I called the pediatrician this morning and left a message telling them about my concerns about AP's weight. They were super quick to return my call and since Doctor Denney was sick himself, I talked to a really nice nurse.

She just told me that around Ann Peyton's age is when a lot of babies slow down in putting on weight. She said they lengthen out, but are not gaining as much. I knew this was a common once they started crawling due to them being more active, but she said that even before that her body is getting ready to crawl/walk and she needs to be leaner and less of a "ball". She also said her two boughts of sickness (the fever virus she's got now and a double ear infection/diarrhea bought she had back in October) could have caused her to loose a few ounces.

She said that she is probably wanting more and more solids and to nurse less and that is okay--she might be ready to go to a more traditional three-four nursings a day (she nurses five times now). She said she might be making it easy on me and starting to wean herself.

I mentioned that I hoped not to have to do formula. Her words--"Oh, you won't". She said at her next check-up, which is next week, they'll look at her iron levels. Sometimes, if babies have enough iron, they can go ahead and start some cow's milk around ten months.

It occured to me that I really need to get back to reading my "What to Expect the First Year" book, because a lot of times it addresses my concerns before I even have them. It's always saying things just like what the nurse said. I used to spend a lot more time "researching" things for AP, because Peyton and I consider that part of my job. And I really do need to get back on that.

Needless to say, I was very releived! And thank y'all so much for your kind comments on my post yesterday-they really helped me. It means the world to me to hear from other moms who've gone through similar situations.

NOW for the other good news......

AP will be getting a new friend this summer! Her BFF Aubrey is going to be a big sister!!! Aubrey is about six months ahead of Annie, so I have learned so much about everything from baby food to sleeping practices to car seats from her and her adorable momma, Carrie. Carrie is my first close friend that will have multiple children, so I am looking foward to learning a lot from the Howie girls, again! I'm also excited because now Carrie won't have to say "don't mention this on your blog" every time I see her (because I'm that girl who can't keep a secret)!

Holiday Happenings Recap

So, no more "Holiday Happenings Updates", but I thought a little recap was in order before I pull out all the plugs and do the really elaborate Christmas posts where I upload a eleventy million pictures and give minute by minute commentary of the day's events. Also, no worries, your regular "Weekly Happenings" post will be up later today. Here's the recap, for now.

- We spent Christmas Eve at my parents' house. We bounced back and forth between mine and Peyton's parents' houses on Christmas day. The day after Christmas we went to Peyton's grandparents. They always celebrate on the 26th. I think that works great because Christmas Eve is really important to my family and we kind of split the actual Christmas day.

- I don't know why I was worried about AP's Christmas. It was almost ridiculous. Not only did I have a lot more "little" things for her than I realized, but both sets of grandparents really went all out. She may not have gotten anything "big" from us, but she was pretty much spoilt by the end of it.

- I have only one regret this Christmas. Pretty much everyone whose blog I follow and about half the people I follow on Twitter got some sort of "mall Santa" picture. Since we never did that as children, I didn't really see the need for it. In fact, I've always viewed it kind of the way I do the mall in general, a little gross and way overrated (except for a short stint during my teenage years where I really embraced the mall after seeing Mallrats, per the recommendation of my friend Ellis). A little sidenote: I was a snob as a child and really thought that things like Barbies, Power Wheels, and later, the mall were "common" and beneath me....ha!

Anyway, let's just say that at almost twenty five years old, I am not above the peer pressure and spent a little time on Christmas Eve obsessing to Peyton over not having a picture with Santa. I guess now that I had the pajamas worked out and realized AP would in fact have a satisfactory Christmas, I had to find something to worry about. That's classic Sarah Denley for you. I finally talked myself down from the state of panic by telling myself that we could start the tradition next year and I had all year to evaluate if it was worthwhile. I reminded myself that we started our weekly family pictures a little late in the game (AP was already several months old) and I rarely feel any real sorrow about those few months of absent family pictures.

So, like I said.....more extensive Christmas posts to come.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

More "Weighty Issues" for the Herringtons

Okay, first of all, I've said SO many times that I want this blog to be authentic and vulnerable. I read (and love!) many blogs that are basically a chronicle of someone's life, but I want my blog to be different from that. I want it to be a place where I can be transparent and share my feelings. I'm definitely doing just that in this post. Honestly, my heart is really raw right now, so if you do leave a comment, please try to be sensitive to that.

The second thing I want to say is this (and you'll understand why if you read the rest of the post): I don't think formula feeding your baby is of the devil, or anything like that. I am definitely very supportive of breast feeding, but it's something that I feel like is a very personal decision.

And here's the third thing. I am kind of (alot) melodramatic. And it goes with the first thing. I know it's not my best quality. But I have spent the last twenty plus years figuring out my personality and working on it. Not to say I'm finished, but this is where it is right now. And I don't really feel like pretending it is something different for the sake of creating a different blog persona. This blog is about being true to myself and that includes a slightly obsessive, anxiety ridden, melodramatic personality. Okay...

So, Ann Peyton has been running fever and Peyton took her to the after hours clinic yesterday. Long story short, she has a fever virus and it pretty much just has to run it's course. Well, I said it awhile back, but I have major anxiety about taking her to the pediatrician; I know they'll weigh her and because of her weight issues, I'm just terribly nervous about what the scale will say. This time, though, I actually wasn't even thinking about it. We were trying to get out of town to Peyton's grandparents' house and I was getting things together and we decided kind of last minute he should go get her checked out first. When he got home, it occurred to me, though. "Did they weight her?!?". Honestly, she looks a lot bigger and has been eating so many solids, I figured she'd still be low for her age, but have gained a good bit. "Uhhh...." he said and then he told me the numbers. Thankfully, she has gained some, but nowhere near what I was expecting, or what I feel would be satisfactory. I was pretty crushed.

I am going to call Dr. Denney on Monday and see what he says. I really fought putting her on formula back in the summer. I did everything I could to make it work without doing it. We basically went back to a newborn or almost newborn type feeding schedule--she nursed every two hours during the day and every four at night. If you've never done it, it is not fun to have to wake up your child as opposed to them waking you up. It runs completely contradictory to your every instinct. In fact, at Granny and PopPop's yesterday it was almost time for a feeding and she was fast asleep. Granny told Peyton "you NEVER wake up a sleeping baby" and he explained that, even still, you do wake up a sleeping Ann Peyton. It was one of many times I've told family, friends, and near strangers this. I don't say this to brag on myself, just because I want to explain how important it was to me.

This time I am not so sure. I am so blessed by our sweet pediatrician. He is a family friend and is so dear to me. He told me at our first visit it was an "honor" to take care of her, but really the honor is mine. Dr. Denney, my OB, and my former childhood pediatrician (who is now retired) are three people who I know that I can trust. I just feel like their advice is almost unquestionably reliable (I say 'almost' because clearly I don't hold these people to some infallible deity type standard, and I want to make that clear). So, when I talk to Dr. Denney (not his nurse (whom I also adore), not another doctor in his clinic, and not a myriad of friends and relatives) I will probably just go with whatever he says.

That said, I don't think it will be easy for me if the answer is formula, even supplementing. Please tell me that I don't need to clarify and say that I know this isn't the biggest deal in the world, that I'm thankful for her health, that it could be much worse, that I do have some semblance of a perspective. I do. Please know that I do. Please reread the aforementioned part of the post about my tendency toward melodrama. Please just stop reading if you are feeling the need to judge me on this.

My mom told me yesterday to quit saying that I didn't want to do formula. If it is the answer I will do it, but I'm not going to pretend (at least not at first) that I am happy about it, especially not with the people I am closest to. And I told her as much. Which led to an exhaustive conversation about being truthful about your emotions and how we can't judge each others feelings.

Her saying that kind of reminded me of a conversation I had with some friends about someone who wanted a natural childbirth and was so afraid she wouldn't be "okay" if she ended up needing a c-section. In my opinion, I feel like it would be very hard to care so deeply about something and work so hard for it and then see that your own body was not going to be able to accomplish it. I guess I feel a similar way, though to a much lesser degree, I'm sure.

I set a personal goal for myself to exclusively BF for a year. Again, PERSONAL CHOICE. I had pretty much decided (mainly because of my own issues with keeping weight on myself) that we would stop at a year. I just saw myself just transitioning her straight to cow's milk. I thought we might do some bottles (she takes a couple of pumped bottles a week now), but pretty much just go straight to a sippy cup of whole milk--like my mom did with me.

I don't know why not supplementing was so important to me back in July and I don't know why it is now. It just is.

I think part of why it is hard for me is that I'm a planner and I get upset when plans don't go my way. I used to freak out when I was little and a friend was supposed to be coming over to my house, but I ended up going to her's or vice versa. I know this isn't the most healthy way to do life and I've grown up emotionally by leaps and bounds since then. Also, having a baby has done wonders for my "Type A, need to control my life and everyone else's all the time" temperament. Anyway, it doesn't really matter. Right now, I am just trying to sort through my emotions, not justify or validate them.

But, this is still hard for me. It's hard because I feel a little like a failure. I am pushing myself to eat more than I really want most days, but could I still be doing better? She has seemed so fussy and I've partly known that some of it was because she was hungry; was increasing her solids not enough? Why didn't I take her back and get her weighed monthly, even though they said I could let that go? Why didn't I notice that she isn't that much bigger and doesn't feel that much heavier? It's all just weighing on me today.

Aaaand, that's all. I'll have an upbeat "Holiday Happenings Recap" post up tonight (hopefully).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging...

Well, I know you all are TERRIBLY disappointed, but there will be no more "Holiday Happenings Updates" until next year. And, worse still, no new Christmas list in your reader/dashboard/ect. each day. I know, you are heartbroken.

So, blogging as usual will resume tomorrow.

Of course, that's not to say there won't be a Christmas baby fashionista post, numerous Christmas activities recap posts, Christmas picture posts, and at least one post in which I give insight into the final Santa compromise Peyton and I were able to come up with.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas- ONE Savior Sent to Earth to Take the Punishment for My Sins and Yours

"...for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." ~Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas, Friends!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas- TWO Presents Ann Peyton Will Get Every Christmas

Well, as I said in my traditions post, there are two gifts I want Annie to receive each year......

2. A Book- I've said this before, too, but one of my greatest loves in life is childrens' literature. Building Annie's (and our future childrens') library is really important to me. So, I want to try to give her at least one age appropriate book each Christmas. This year she is getting ALOT of books. This is partly due to the something I decided around July in the Barnes and Noble--sneak them in before she's old enough to start "asking" for stuff and making her own Christmas list. Parenting is all about strategic planning, right? You can be sure, I will tell you all about each after Christmas!

1. A Cross- I knew that I wanted to give Ann Peyton something each year that was part of a collection. I've known people who have done Christmas village houses and snow men and I thought it was such a neat idea. What should it be, though? I thought about snow globes, Santa Clauses, or some type of Christmas ornament. To me, though, everything I came up with seemed trite and overdone (not to knock any of these--I just wanted to be original as far as what I had seen done before). My mom (who works in the Bridal Registry at Batte Furniture) mentioned that she knew people who had started china patterns for their children/grandchildren as babies (!!!). I thought that was sweet, albeit a bit pricey, but being the worrier that I am, I think I would always worry that she wouldn't like it once she was old enough to care. It might be something we start when she is sixteen or eighteen. Well, then it hit me. I wanted to start her a collection of crosses. Besides the obvious spiritual significance, I think it's going to be a great collection because the only limit on options is your (or in this case, my) imagination. For example, the year she gets her ears pierced we can get her some cross earrings. But the most important thing is that she connect Christ's birth to his ultimate mission on Earth. And I think this little symbol will help us explain that to her.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas- THREE Christmas Wishes for Ann Peyton

These things just keep getting deeper by the day!

3. That she will be able to experience the magic of Christmas just as much as I did as a child. I had the BEST Christmases and my parents never broke the bank to make it happen. My mom is just very creative (one year when I loved playing "office" I got tons of markers, paper clips, and scotch tape that she had bought way back in September when they went on sale after back to school; another year Cookie and I got a cardboard playhouse--it was a large cardboard box shaped like a house and we had so much fun making curtains and drawing flowers on it). And she put things out in a way that would just take your breath away. She could have been a store front window display person! And she (and my dad) really let us enjoy our imaginations and believe that it was all the work of good old Saint Nick. Sidenote: I think that I have mentioned on here that Peyton and I had our first real parenting disagreement over Santa Claus. I am happy to say it is resolved and after Christmas I plan on doing a complete post about the whole thing (I have this bad feeling I am going to be posting stuff relating to Christmas all January long).

2. That she will realize how blessed she is to be surrounded by so many people that love her. This goes for every day of the year, but it took me awhile before I really understood how important it was to me to be with my family over the holidays. And not everyone is that fortunate. I hope spending time with family (us and her grandparents and other relatives) comes to mean half as much to her as it does to me. If it does, that will be a ton!

1. That she she will be able to "keep the main thing the main thing" at Christmas time (and throughout the year). This is something I struggle with a lot, so I hope that I won't fail miserably at trying to teach it to her. It is so easy for me to get so frustrated by multiple Target trips that I do not even think of Mary and Joseph's difficult journey. I so often get so worked up over decorating my home that I don't think of their poor accommodations one cold winter night so long ago. And, it is not hard to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that is Christmas that I forget to sit and reflect on the beauty of a child in a manger who would grow up to save a lost world.

Not too much to ask for, huh?

Final Holiday Happenings Update

So, this is my final holiday update of 2009 (I hope).

- Clearly, I finally got my Christmas card sent out. I thought they turned out great. The reason I ended up really liking the card from Tiny Prints was because I loved how the berries on the card went with the holly bush we were posing in (most people probably didn't even notice-but I thought it was a fun touch). Also, I know that I am not looking directly at the camera. But, as the friend who took the picture pointed out, once there's a baby involved, you have to make decisions about what's important to you--there are no more perfect pictures. So I look notsogreat, Peyton looks pretty good, and AP is a sparkling star. Priorities, right? Also, my card tree has filled up so nicely.

You can harld even tell it's a tree, save it's shape.

- Everyone's Christmas morning jammies are here. At least they are here. And mine fit pretty well. They will do. Peyton's are great (he's had them a while) and Annie's are so darling, and mine will do. Are y'all seeing a trend here?? I feel like the mom on A Christmas Story; "My mother had not had a hot meal for herself in fifteen years....". Okay, maybe not quite there yet, but you know what I'm saying; here I am with the ill fitting jamies and not cute picture. Sacrifices, ya know? Next year, I am going to get started MUCH earlier and try to do something that is really cute. This is more of just a "funny" year.

- Also, Annie's stocking is here. Hmmm......Last Minutes Etsy Shopping FAIL. The thing is about eight inches tall. In my haste and excitement, I guess I didn't read carefully enough. It will be a cute ornament for the tree, though.

- I finally decided what her "collection" is going to be (we decided to always do a book and one other thing for her Christmas). I decided too late, though, so her gift may be an early Valentine's day present. Like I've said before, this is the one year where I can give myself a break, because she really doesn't know what is going on.

- I've had some anxiety, in general, over her presents, despite what I just said about Babykins=no idea what Christmas even is. I just feel like it's not enough. My grandmother told us yesterday, though, about my mom saying "Oh, it looks so skimpy" one Christmas morning, when according to Grandee "You couldn't put your big two on the floor it was so covered in presents". So, that gives you a clue that being an insecure "Santa" runs in my blood and shows you that what I am comparing myself to is my own, INCREDIBLE, childhood Christmases. I'm really glad I married Peyton, who keeps reminding me what the truly important thing about Christmas is.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

You've Got Mail: 2009 Herrington Christmas Card and Letter

Happy Holidays from the Herringtons!

Dear Friends and Family,

This year has been the most wonderful, the most fulfilling, and certainly the most eventful year in our lives. It has flown by. We are beyond blessed and we are so thankful for the Lord’s provision in every area of our lives.

On April 2, 2009, almost exactly ten months from the day we got married, our lives were forever changed when we welcomed our first child, Ann Peyton. She is the best surprise that either of us has ever received. Although being a mother has always been my biggest dream and greatest ambition, I was still unprepared for the joy and the honor that it is to be able to call myself her mother. She is such a wonderful addition to our family and is the best baby. In fact we often call her our “play baby” and joke that the Lord must have known we needed a practice baby for our first child.

It is hard to believe that she will be nine months old at the beginning of January. We are enjoying watching her change from a cheerful infant to a bubbly baby and soon, I’m sure, an active toddler. She is rolling around and loves to sit by herself, so I know true mobility is not far off.

Ann Peyton has been able to enjoy so many adventures in her little life, so far (and we thank her for allowing us to enjoy them as well). She attended one of Peyton’s brothers wedding on the Gulf Coast when she was only two months old. When she was three months old, she (along with Peyton, me, both my parents and a lot of baby gear all piled in a sedan) made the twelve hour trip to Charleston, South Carolina to visit my sister. More recently, she had the privilege of visiting the Grove on five different occasions this football season. To say she is a good traveler is an understatement!

In August, Peyton changed jobs, moving from Rite Aid to Walgreens. His schedule is much better and I feel like he is able to spend more time with Ann Peyton and me and more time doing the things he loves. He is an amazing pharmacist and I am so proud of him for his attentiveness to his patients and his concern for always making ethical and moral choices in his field.

I am incredibly blessed by his support and encouragement in our choice for me to stay home and care for Ann Peyton. It is a true joy to be able to do so. In September, I began working two mornings a week at our church’s Mother’s Day Out program. I am able to bring Ann Peyton with me and it has proven to be the best of both worlds. It’s wonderful to be able to be home with her, but also to have an opportunity to practice some of what I learned as an education major and to give Ann Peyton the chance to socialize with other children.

I am so thankful for the relationships God has placed in our lives. Having both our parents in town is such a gift, for us and for Ann Peyton, as is living close to our siblings and grandparents. One unexpected blessing is that several of our couple friends have also begun to start their families. This is something that we never anticipated, but are immeasurably grateful for. I’ve also had the privilege of cultivating several new friendships with other mothers that have babies close to Ann Peyton’s age.

As we joyfully anticipate the new year, we are counting our many blessings and rejoicing in this beautiful season of Hope.

Peyton and Sarah Denley (and Ann Peyton) Herrington

The Twelve Days of Christmas- FOUR New Year's Resolutions

Okay, so I know these aren't really about "Christmas", but I wanted to go ahead and list them. Also, just for the record, I also realize that the true Twelve Days of Christmas occur after Christmas day. However, I didn't want to write a bunch of posts listing all things Christmas after Christmas was over with and I'm sure no one would want to read it (does anybody want to read it now? ha!). Anyway, I'm pretty sure the week following Christmas will consist of at least a post a day of Christmas pictures/stories/ect. Soooo...RESOLUTIONS:

** Oh yeah, I'm not doing the "weight loss" kinda resolutions. I mean that would be kind of scary if that was a goal for me, but hopefully you get what I am more "quit biting my fingernails", "eat two vegetables a day", "drink less coke" resolutions this year. [Not that anything is wrong with resolutions of that nature].

Okay, ready, go:

4. Spend more time serving/ministering to others. I'm going to include strangers and friends on this one. There are so many opportunities; I just need to open my eyes! I have really been convicted about that lately. Serving others is one of Peyton's biggest gifts, and I want to cultivate that within myself and later help Annie learn to have a servant's heart, as well. I think that I tend to (wrongly) justify my lack of service by saying "Well, right now, in this season, I just can't do much....with Ann Peyton and everything". The thing is, though, I don't have to be working at a soup kitchen or building a Habitat house to be serving my community. My friend Sarah had a great post on how she makes Christmas treats for her garbage men and it reminded me of this beautiful post Angie Smith wrote after her Compassion trip about serving back home in her own town. I want to serve like that.

3. Spend more time learning more about my best friend on this earth (also know as, "Huuuungry Bear", or "Sweetie RX", or JimBobInTraining (okay, I am TOTALLY just kidding about that last one--it just cracked me up that I got multiple comments on my Duggar reference in the last post)). Anyway, it's time to turn off the tv and unplug the computer(s) and have more conversations.

2. Spend more time enjoying my sweet girl. I just want to make the absolute most of this time-playing with her, reading to her, holding her, and cuddling with her. There is a thought has been on my mind and in my heart SO much lately. The fact is that she is the only baby I will ever have that I will have the option of devoting that much time and attention to. I want to take advantage of that.

1. Spend more time getting to know my Savior. I am so glad that he is faithful when I am not. I want a prayer life that is not an afterthought, a worship experience that is not a routine, and a quiet time that is not a chore. I want to know him better as a friend. As a person. As my person. My go-to person for EVERYTHING.

So, there they are.

All about time. All about priorities. All about relationships.

Basically, all that matters in life.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas- FIVE "Little" [Christmas] Things That Are Important to Me

5. The "Santy Cake" my mom bakes. It's a cookie cake that looks like Santa Claus. And it is SO cute. I left it off my traditions post, but I can't wait to start the tradition of making one (or more!) each year with Ann Peyton. If we make one this year (I hope there is time!), I'll put a picture up. I googled it and was surprised I couldn't find it; I figured other people made the same one (I'm sure she got it from a cake book--she makes beautiful cakes).

4. My candy jar full of red and green peanut butter M&Ms. I've said it before, and I compleatly don't get it, but for me changing the candy for the holiday/season is just something I love to do. I have no idea why I think this, but it reminds me of something someone would do in a book or movie. Like how when I saw Miracle on 34th Street for the first time, I immediatly began saving my gum in a box by my bedside each night like Susan did (ewww!). Or when I read the Anastasia Krupnick books I started a habit (can I call it a habit? addiction?) of listmaking. Or how I used to love hearing AOL say You've Got Mail after I saw the movie and had to practice peeling an apple in one peel after Sleepless in Seattle. Those little things stick out to me. I guess there supposed to. In my own little movie of my life changing the candy is one of those things. I kinda hope I can convince Annie it's that cool.

3. The Angel Chime at my parents' house. Cookie and I used to sit and watch it spin and chime for hours. And make "wax balls", of course. I just think it's so pretty and brings back so many great childhood Christmas memories.

2. Going to Granny and PopPop's house the day after Christmas. Granny and PopPop are Peyton's paternal grandparents and I love them as if they were my own. Peyton's WHOLE family (all four siblings plus some spouses, his Mom and Dad, aunt and uncle, cousins, and now the GREAT grandchildren) goes. I know it will be even more fun this year, sharing it with Ann Peyton. I used to kind of obsess about missing the "day after Christmas" sales and made Peyton get up really early and go shop. Last year, I kind of relaxed and only hit one or two places. This year, I'm really not worried about it at all.

1. Spending the night in Christmas Eve at my parents' house. I don't care if I have a Duggar size family (I don't plan to, but you know I do love a good surprise), we are ALWAYS going to spend the night there on Christmas Eve. I love that my mom still "puts out Santa"--she makes a beautiful display EVERY year and she doesn't wrap ANYTHING. This year it will be different, because I'll get to put out Annie's stuff. I am so much more excited about what I've gotten her than anything I am getting. I love that!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Daddy says "If she ever gets lost......

.......they'll know where to send her back to".

*Clearly, I scratched it out for security purposes.....