Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekly Happenings Post #50 (February 22-28)-- Dinner Parties and Such

This week was great, pretty busy, but definitely a good week overall.

Monday was pretty blah. I got one of those terrible headaches I get. I really like to attribute them to sinuses, but I decided Monday a lot of it was my caffeine addiction. Trying to make it on one coke was proving to be not easy. And, I know it's tradition not to talk about you Lenten sacrifices, but I fill like it's fine to fill y'all in occasionally as long as it's not a "whoa is me" kind of thing. I told Peyton and he said "Wow, that must have been hard to admit"; it was because I know he's going to keep on me about it now. Anyway, I didn't get a whole lot done. I made chicken spaghetti for supper and I really cleaned the fridge (like spent about an hour taking out shelves and washing them and stuff).

On Tuesday, I went to Mother's Morning Out, but Ann Peyton stayed home because she had a little cold and it was Peyton's day off (plus two of the regular workers were out, so we had two subs). When we got home I did laundry and worked on the finances. I also put our "winter china" in storage-- it has snowmen on it, so we use it after Christmas, but I'm ready for Spring, so I decided it was time to put it up.

Wednesday was a really busy day! Peyton's mom kept Annie so I could go to a consignment sale (post to come soon). I met Ashley and Carrie there and we were true to our usual strategy of grabbing anything remotely cute and then helping each other decide on what to actually get. It was so much fun and I spent a reasonable amount. I also told my friends Morgan and Haley about the sale, so they were there, too. Morgan asked me if I wanted to go to lunch and I called Peyton's mom to see if she could stay a little longer with Annie. When we got to lunch Morgan told me that it was her birthday, so we had a good time celebrating at Julep. I went by the hardware store to get a plate hanger and then headed home. AP was just waking up from her nap and we played a little and then my mom came over to help us hang some stuff. I baked cookies for the Bible study that I'm in- they were supposed to be "2's" and "8's" for Morgan's twenty eighth birthday, but they were completely unidentifiable, haha, so embarrassing! Wednesday night, I attended said Bible study (for the first time in weeks).

We had MMO again on Thursday and Ann Peyton got to go this time! My mom came over again to help with some stuff around the house (we were trying to get ready for our Suppers of Eight group on Saturday). Peyton ordered our sushi for us and I went to bed early.

On Friday, Ashley sent me a text asking if I could keep Evy so she could go to the doctor. Ashley hardly ever asks for help with anything, so I knew it must be serious (it was Strep). Sidenote: I could never appreciate enough that I have a fabulous mom and mother in law who both live in town and practically beg me to let them keep my baby. Anyway, Evy was a doll and Annie slept most of the time so we just played and had a good time watching The View. I am going to miss little Evs so much when the Lancasters move in a few months!

We had been planning on having a girls' night, but since Ash was sick Carrie and I just decided to wait. It worked out best anyway since Cookie and her BF, Conrad, were home. So, we went to my parents' house for Red Beans and Rice. My parents' friends, Lynn and Charles, stopped by and as we were leaving Ann Peyton very clearly said "bye" and waved simultaneously. I could not beleive it- her first word! Wow!

Peyton stayed home and worked so hard getting stuff ready for Saturday. He painted our front door, planted flowers by the mail box and was spreading pine straw at 10:00 Friday night. He went to bed so late; what a great help hubbykins is!

Saturday, I ended up taking Ann Peyton to the after hours pediatric clinic, because she had a hard night on Friday and woke up a bunch and I could tell something was wrong. She had an ear infection, of course! I went by Peyton's store to get her medicine filled and dropped by my parents' house and saw Cookie for about ten minutes while they filled it and Annie drank her bottle.

After that, I straightened and cleaned and cooked all day to get ready for our Suppers of Eight group (it's a like a supper club group from church- they assign you to a group with people you probably don't know so you can get to know people of different ages and backgrounds at church). Fortunately, I had gotten a lot done earlier in the week so I just had to straighten up a bit, dust, mop the kitchen and clean bathrooms. I even got a little nap while AP took hers!

For supper, I made brisket, rolls, and brownies and two of the other couples brought sides (asparagus and corn casserole). One couple couldn't make it, so we ended up being able to all sit at one table (we were going to put four at the dinning room table and four in the kitchen). I have never folded out the dinning room table leaves at our house (my parents kept it unfolded at our old house), but it worked really well!
Our dining room table folded up

With the leaves unfolded

[The back of our living room, behind the couch, serves as our "dining room" since we don't have one in this house. It has our china cabinet, two of our four red leather chairs, and our table, in it's folded up state, in it. I thought it was a great idea of my mom's, because when we have company, we can just unfold it like we did!]

The whole thing turned out fun and I think Annie enjoyed hanging out with Mickey, Minnie, Cookie and Conrad!

Today (Sunday) was just what I needed- a relaxing day. Peyton went to the early service and I went to the late one so we didn't have to take our little sickie to the nursery (even though Peyton says ear infections aren't contagious and she didn't have fever, I wanted to play it safe). I took a nap after lunch and then we went and visited both our parents. We ordered pizza at my parents' house and had a nice relaxing night!

**** I'm sure this post has a plethora of spelling/grammatical mistakes, but I just have to go to bed now. Over it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

(Because I Love a Little Comparison Study) Flashback Friday: Limber {April 15, 2006}

Last week, in my Weekly Happenings post I shared a picture of Annie's new favorite sleeping position and explained that the reason it is so adorable and sweet to me is because it's the same way I fall asleep when I'm in the middle of something and am just exhausted.

Well, I was going through Peyton's pictures on the computer today, not looking for anything in particular, just something for a "Flashback" post and guess what I found?

My hair looks weird. I was asleep and didn't know my picture was being taken. Don't judge.

There really isn't much of a story to "flash back" to. I just wanted to share this old picture. I love that Annie is getting to the age where we see more and more of ourselves in her. So special but a little scary, too!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

25 Random Things- #6 (Southern Love)

I think that it is time for another elaboration of one of my "25 Random Things About Me". I made this list forever ago, but if your remember, I am going through the list and explaining each thing in detail a bit more.

6. I love the Old South. Not so much the slavery part of it, but just the romance and elegance of it. Of course it wasn’t so elegant when Scarlett was digging in the dirt trying to feed her family. I like to think I could be that woman--so graceful and sophisticated, appearing so dainty, yet so strong. Of course, I’m not, not even close.

I've written about my love for the South before. That post was tied to my Rebel love, though. The thing is, they are kind of tied together in my heart. But I'm going to do my best to keep the Rebel references to a minimum and focus on the South outside of the confines of the University of Mississippi. That said, the first thing I say, I've said before about Ole Miss: there is just a certain inexplicable culture here that is sometimes hard for people who aren't natives to the south to grasp.

Like I said originally, I am mainly attracted to the elegance of the Old South. The elegance and the way men and women behaved in such a genteel fashion. I read something in a book of my mom's (I'm going to try to find it) about how you should always "dress" for dinner and while I have never done it, I do think there is something to be said for a time when that was the expectation. And if I hazarded to guess, the South was the last to let go of these traditions. There is a fine southern family in my church and the matriarch of the family always had her grandsons set the table for the fabulous Sunday lunch she prepared. These boys are well breed and can set a table better than I can. I think that is wonderful.

I know some people (mostly yankess- haha, just kidding) will say it's just a facade, but I really think there is a "friendliness" here that there just isn't in a lot of other places. If we're talking about Dallas (which isn't the "deep south" in my opinion, anyway) or Atlanta, I'd be proven wrong, but there is also just a pace of life that is different in the South. It's like someone gave us permission to smell the roses. I. Love. That.

There is also something really funny about southerners, to me. I was the only one of my friends in high school, who when we watched Lifetime after school, really preferred "Designing Women" to "The Golden Girls". Y'all....I have no idea why we loved those shows. What were we Benjamin Button? Going backwards....slowly becoming forty somethings from the '80s? That's what our viewing choices seemed to indicate.

One last thing, before I finish this post, I really want to address the elephant in the room. Okay, yes, there is an ugly part of our (southerner's) history. Honestly, if you say you have "southern pride" a lot of people hear you say "white pride" and that is truly a travesty. I'm not going to deny that my southern heritage is full of ugliness and hatred. At the same time, as an educated person and a person with the equivalent of a history minor, I will tell you that I firmly believe that Robert E. Lee had as much compassion on his fellow man as Abraham Lincoln did, if not more. The stereotype of those whole love the Old South as racists infuriates because many southerners for generations have loved black people like family while, sometimes, people in other areas have had inflated egos over an abstract ideology. When I tell you that my grandmother told her housekeeper about her first kiss, and not her mom, I do not lie. And when I tell you that as I sat in a room full of children around this time last year, watching a man whose views I could never support, take the oath of office of the presidency, I still had tears in my eyes at the beauty of it, I also do not lie. Even much as I disagree with him and abhor much of his ideology; it was a very powerful moment for me. All that to say, it *really* upsets me when people think I'm a bigot because I am proud of my heritage.

There is so much more I am sure, but I am so glad that this place, the South, is a part of me and that I am a part of it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I commented recently on a friend's post that I love making pros and cons lists for major life decisions. Well, when I left the comment (like, a couple of weeks ago, there were no life decisions really on the horizon). Um, now there is.

I posted awhile back about how we were planning to start trying for another baby pretty soon (like probably this summer). But, the closer it gets, and the more we talk about it, the more the decision doesn't seem so clear cut. We have started thinking about maybe waiting until after our year in New York City (in about 4-5 years) to have another baby. I've mentioned it before, but living in New York for a year has been a dream of Peyton's since before we got married and it is something that we are going to try our hardest to make a reality. I am very committed to giving this to him. I am currently living my biggest dream (being a wife and mommy) and I want him to be able to enjoy the things he has spent years dreaming about, as well.

So, I decided to make a list. Of course. What else is there to do, really?

First of all, before I start the list, I want to say something. Clearly, of all people, I know that this is not ultimately our decision anyway. God will give us another child when He sees fit. And, this time, we will be much more trusting in his timing than we were with Ann Peyton. We know that his plans are so much better than ours. I also know that seeking His will is going to do a lot more for helping us make this decision than any list can. But a list can never hurt! So, here are the pros and cons of waiting:

- NYC will be much easier (physically, emotionally, financially) with only one child.

- We will be able to experience a lot more things in New York with only one child. There are
things you can do with a five to six year old that you just can't do with a three to four year old.

- Thus, I think AP would end up benefiting more from the experience if it was just her.

- This sounds really selfish, but as much as AP has changed our lives she really hasn't changed our lifestyle that much. I'm not saying that I'm counting on her continuing to always be low maintenance, there is no guarantee. But, I do think that adding another child pretty much kills any chances of that. It would be nice to have the next few years with just her, because it much more closely resembles what we had planned for the next five years. I say this more for Peyton's benefit than mine, because I think there are lots of things he wanted to do before having a baby, whereas I had very few.

- I always thought we'd space Ann Peyton and the next baby close together because that is how my sister and I are, but we are planning on having three (maybe four). If we end up with three, someone is going to be left without a sibling close to their age. Either AP or the "baby" won't have someone really close to their age. Maybe it makes more sense to put the last two close together.

- We had AP so young, I don't feel like there is any ticking of the biological clock. Even if I was 30 when I had the next baby, I don't think that is "old" at all. And we knew we would be waiting until then for the next one(s). So really, it would only add on two to four more years. I'd like to be done by 35 (I think), but that would still very much be attainable.

- Not even considering NYC, it makes more sense from a financial standpoint to wait.

- We are going to be in this house until we move to New York. Period. It sounds awful, but it's already a little cramped. We just have AWFUL storage. It's a hassle trying to make our stuff fit; it's hard to think of bringing another person into the mix. I don't know what we'd do without the study, but I'm not sure I could expect toddler Annie to share a room with brother bear or sister bear.

- Pretty much every "pro" sounds a little selfish to me. I don't know why that is because our original plan to wait five years to have ANY kids didn't seem selfish to me at all. I guess it's because now it involves the *three* of us.

- Which brings me to this. Ann Peyton would truly be an only child for four or five years. I have always said I never wanted an only child. I know only children who are balanced and well-rounded, but it's something I've never wanted to do. AP is already very spoiled, not so much by material things, but by the constant attention she gets from us and from her grandparents. I think if she had a sibling, there would be less doting.

- I feel like most of our friends who have babies will probably go ahead and have the rest of theirs sooner rather than later. It's a fun thing to do together!

- I had this "plan" in my mind and it is really hard to let go of it. I'm glad we weren't any closer to getting ready to try. I am such a planner and when I see that things aren't going to follow my plan, it gets to me. But as I said, this really isn't all about our plans, anyway.

- I was already getting excited about doing this again, the RIGHT way. I couldn't wait to tell my family and it be a joyous thing, not a sad, scary one. I don't know, though, waiting might make it even more fun!

- I am scared to death that as easy as AP was to get here, we'll be that couple that struggles to get pregnant the second time. I'm scared to risk it.

So, that is my list. I'd be interested as to any other factors anyone thinks are worth considering. Honestly, the whole idea of "planning" a baby, is mind-boggling to me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Won't You Read to Me? Wednesday

So, I decided that last week would be the last week in my series of "classic" children's books for awhile; I have several more but they are all "bunny books" so I wanted to wait until around Easter to feature them!

Anyway, this week we have been reading....

Touch and Feel Bible Stories
by Beverly Larson
illustrated by Sarah Dillard

A couple of months ago I wrote this Read to Me Wednesday post about the Baby Bible Storybook we read nightly to Ann Peyton from. Well, lately we have been branching out a bit in the bedtime routine. Honestly, we have just gone through the little Baby Bible so many times that we needed a change. We have a couple of books that were mine as a child, but they are really for older children.

But this Touch and Feel book is PERFECT for right now! The stories are short but meaningful and it's another durable board book (two of the qualities I love about her Baby Bible). And, it's a Touch and Feel, which is something she has just recently started to become really interested in. So, it's doing another thing that her Baby Bible did that I loved- providing her opportunities to interact with the story and engaging her senses!

I have decided that I just love the age she is right now. Although I have loved every age, it's just so neat to watch her "learn" so much each day. Even though I know she has been soaking up things all along like a little sponge, it's now starting to become really obvious to us and it's really neat to play and interact with her and see how she responds!

I'm trying a different link-up this week. We'll see how it works!

Where the Heart Is

I talk to my mom at least once a day. When my phone rings and she (or much more infrequently my dad) is calling from their home phone it says "Home calling".

The other day it occurred to me that I needed to change that in my phone. What should I change it to? Parents? Momma and Daddy Home? Mickey and Minnie? "Mickey and Minnie" was the closest I got and then I decided not to.

Because as much as this house where Peyton and I have created our own life with our own little Annie is truly my home (something that happened relatively quickly, compared to the YEARS I thought it would take), there is a very big part of me that will always call my parents' house home, too.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekly Happenings Post #49 (February 15-21)-- LENT BEGINS!

Before I get into the actual Weekly Happenings, I wanted to share a few randoms:

-I have decided that I have "caught" Peyton's ADD and I told him so. I was totally kidding about it; really I hate how everyone and their brother thinks they have ADD, now. Not that I'm going to go all John Rosemond and tell you that it doesn't exist, because I think it does, but I also think it's really over-diagnosed and way over-treated with medication (like just about everything today). Anyway I told Peyton I had "caught" it and he looks at me in all seriousness and says "Um, yeah, you didn't know that it hops from person to person during intercourse? It's a sexually transmitted disease. That's why it's so rampant on college campuses." Um, wow, I love my super crass husband.

- Lent has started. As Methodists, we do celebrate Lent and Peyton and I usually try to give up something or cultivate a positive habit. Here's what our family is giving up this year:
Me: ONE of my cokes. I drink two a day usually and I am going to cut back to one. I am going to make a exception for days I go out to eat and Fridays for Red Beans and Rice. That may sound like cheating, but I want to do something attainable.
Peyton: TV. He said he'll watch something with me if I ask him, but otherwise, it's cold turkey until Easter.
Ann Peyton: Breastmilk. Gradually, of course-this isn't about my boobs making a Lenten sacrifice. Anyway, since her birthday is right before Easter, and since I am planning on having her completely weaned by around a year, it just makes sense that that is what she should give it up for Lent. Of course, she's not getting it back after Easter. Haha, jokes on Annie! I know it'll be really bittersweet and I'll probably have to write a couple of emotional posts about it, but there is a part of me that is really excited about letting old Bessie take care of her nutritional needs.

- Just another little random: I hate the word "wean". I think it's partly because I'm in first grade and every time I hear it I think of "wiener". Also, I'm just weird about certain words. Coincidentally, several of them are big breast feeding bywords (e.g. nipple and engorgement).

- Also, in celebration of Lent, I changed out my regular "Current Faves" Playlist and put up my Worship Playlist.

- A couple of random pictures from the week that I found really funny/sweet.....

I left the room for literally 30 seconds and a little mouse crawled over and was nibbling my sandwich.
When I walked back in she just looked up at me with this "I know I've been caught" look and I fell out laughing. Then she started laughing!

Annie fell asleep playing in her crib Tuesday night. I love these pictures because I used to fall asleep studying doubled over JUST like that!

Okay, now for the actual happenings of this week:

Monday was really laid back. I did some laundry and "deep cleaned" the microwave. My mom came over for a little visit because she "missed Ann Peyton so bad" (she had seen her on Friday). I cooked Tilapia for supper and moved AP's Pack N Play from our bedroom into her nursery because she was starting to pull up on her crib.

Tuesday was pretty busy. We went to Mother's Morning Out and Peyton fixed Annie's crib.

We had a little spat when I got home and it ended with me crying and sitting on my kitchen counter eating Nutter Butter cookies. It occurred to me as I was doing this that the day is coming very soon where I will have a little girl, not a baby, and emotional breakdowns complete with eating cookies for lunch while sitting on your counter will not be appropriate. We made up within an hour or so and I took Annie and did some errands. We went to Target and the Post Office and then we went to Best Buy to get a new battery for my camera. They were out of the "generic" and the Cannon one cost like $65, so we left empty handed. Then we delivered a (very overdue) wedding present and came home. I worked on organizing my closet and we had a relaxing eventing.

On Wednesday, we stayed home almost all day and it was very low-key. I'm not even sure what I got done besides catching up a bit on Ann Peyton's baby calendar that marks her milestones. I was WAY behind. We went over to my parents and ended up eating supper with them.

Thursday, we had MMO, but Annie got sent home because they thought she might have pink eye. It turned out to be nothing, but I'm sure she enjoyed spending the morning with her "Papa". I had stayed up way too late on Wednesday, so when Ann Peyton took her afternoon nap, I took one, too!

On Friday, we had lunch with Ashley and Evy and Carrie and Aubrey (pretty soon I'll get to say "Carrie, Aubrey, and [whatever gender appropriate baby name Carrie and David decide on once they find out if the new babykins is a boy or a girl]). We stopped by my parents' house on the way home because they were having dinner guests that night so Red Beans and Rice was canceled. Not that I cooked. Peyton ate at work and I had a sandwich for dinner, ha!

I actually accomplished quite a bit on Saturday. Annie and I went to Babies R Us to get a present for a friend and then we came home and I did some work around the house. I put up a bunch of laundry, went through some receipts, signed up for some formula samples (I'm kind of hoping to get through the next six weeks without having to actually buy formula a single time), swept and mopped the kitchen, and baked some cookies. Then my mom came and got Annie and I went to a baby shower. Afterwards, Peyton picked up AP from my parents house and met me at home and we went over to our friends, Patrick and Haley's, house to celebrate Patrick's birthday.
It was a very fun night! When we got home we stayed up too late having a good theological discussion.

This morning (Sunday) I woke up too late for early church, so Peyton went by himself and Annie and I went to the late service. The sermon was about Jesus' temptation and how we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, as Jesus was, in order to resist Satan's temptations. It was a great way to start the Lenten season and we all took home a little sheet with this prayer that each church member is going to try to pray every day:
Lord, I come to you recognizing my vulnerability to the forces that stand in opposition to the intention You have for my life. I desire to know the scriptures, and I want so much to yield myself fully to God. Fill me with your Spirit that I might live in harmony with You and resist that which keeps me from living as a child of God. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

I got some more done around the house today- mostly just dishes and laundry and more getting financial stuff up to date (I was way behind on that, too). I also vacuumed! Vacuuming is my least favorite chore because the vacuum Peyton insisted on buying weighs six tons and I hate it. He always forgets though, so our house only gets vacuumed every few weeks. When the kitties come in (they still come in for "visits" some) they just pick at the carpet and it's so old and yuck I think us just walking on it tears it up, too. I will be so excited when we get our wood floors! Anyway, it wouldn't be such a big deal but Annie puts the pieces of carpet in her mouth and it makes me nervous she is going to choke. So, I've been just trying to keep her on a big blanket or in her Saucer or just watch her really close. Well, today I decided not only is that unfair to her but it was stressing me out to try to "contain" her like that. So, I just vacuumed myself! And, while I was at it, I got on a big kick and really vacuumed under the cushions on the couch and used the suction tools on the baseboards. I only did the den, but it made me feel SO good!

Once Peyton got home, we went over to my parents' for Red Beans and Rice, since we missed it Friday!

I think next week is going to be pretty relaxed, too and it's Peyton's week to work the early shift, which I like. I'm also super excited about a big semi-annual consignment sale on Wednesday and a girls' night one evening with Ashley and Carrie. Also, Saturday night, we are having the Suppers of 8 group from our church for dinner. It will be the first thing even remotely close to a dinner party that I've ever done and I'm a little nervous! Anyway, I think it will be such a fun week coming up!

We sang this hymn in church today and I was not familiar with it, but I love the words- perfect for the this Sunday and this season as we begin the road to the cross.

"Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days"

Lord, Who throughout these forty days
For us didst fast and pray,
Teach us with Thee to mourn our sins
And close by Thee to stay.

As Thou with Satan didst contend,
And didst the victory win,
O give us strength in Thee to fight,
In Thee to conquer sin.

As Thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
So teach us, gracious Lord,
To die to self, and chiefly live
By Thy most holy Word.

Abide with us, that so, this life
Of suffering over past,
An Easter of unending joy
We may attain at last.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Flashback Friday: Pregnant in the Big Easy {Fall 2008}

In honor of our dear friend, Patrick, whose birthday is this week, I thought I'd share some of the pictures from a trip to New Orleans that Peyton and I took with him and his wife, Haley.

We've gone on several trips with the Harkins and they are super fun traveling companions. I always like to take it easy on trips and not do anything too labor intensive (like walking, say, more than three or four city blocks without a break). And this trip, being slightly preggars, I insisted that everyone accommodate my wishes. Haley and Patrick are really laid back, so that was no problem.

We basically just shopped and ate and got the hotel to move us to a different room and give us free stuff because our first room smelled like "skunky weed" according to the musician and former-friend-of-potheads in the group (Patrick and Peyton, respectivly). It was a great trip, but the last one we took because since then either Haley or I have been uncomfortably pregnant or had a tiny baby at home.

But, as soon as Hank gets vaccinated and the busy bread winners find time in their hectic schedules we are taking another trip. This time with a couple of little babykins (or actually, by that time, probably a toddler and her young suitor).

Okay, picture time.....
The four of us at some random restaurant that had THE best macaroni and cheese

Haley and I look as if we are trying to take legit pictures; Patrick and Peyton seemed to have missed the memo and are playing "who can give their wife the ugliest look?"

Peyton doesn't have just a whole lot of BFF's. This is one.

Me and my BFF. And an Annie Baby that is not too terribly visible yet. Interesting sidenote: I am wearing the same sweater today (it's not maternity, just nice and loose) with a turtleneck under it. Can anyone guess what high traffic blogger I thought of when I decided to go for the layered look this morning? [P.S.-I was in good company; I noticed one of my fellow "lunchers" was going for the same look!]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Checking In

So, no long post tonight. I was going to do "Show Us Your Life" but then I realized that the things I don't really collect anything and the things I have that might count as a "collection" are pretty weird (coats? bathrobes? trouser socks? ). Yeah, it's probably a good thing I'm not participating. Anyway, I thought I'd just share a few random things.

- I hear that Girl Scout cookies are in. I have yet to see mine. I'm getting anxiety and I probably need to contact my Girl Scout.

- I ordered two books about couponing. I know there are endless online resources, but I'm the kind of person that usually learns better from a hard copy of something. When I wrote this post I was so frustrated with how much I wasted my time. Well, I believe that I am doing doing is the best thing for our family and I'm not planning on going back to work so the obvious answer more productive (in addition to finding new ways to interact with AP, of course). I asked Peyton what were some additional responsibilities around the house that he'd like to see me take on and (big suprise) he said figuring out ways to cut our costs at the grocery store.

- I am finally taking steps toward learning to sew. I have come to realize that Peyton and I both have a procrastination problem-our door was installed and Peyton primed it months ago, but we still haven't painted it. Peyton's mom's machine that she got fixed for me broke again and I was going to sign up for the March session, but I decided that I wanted to get past AP's birthday, hopefully getting the new flooring in, and some other stuff first. So, I'm going to make sure there is a slot in April and then mail my check.

- Speaking of, at the end of March, Peyton and I are doing a retreat thing. It's called Cursillo and everyone from our church that has gone just raves about it. I'm excited because we've been asked several times, but this is the first time it's really worked out (I was student teaching, pregnant/exhausted, had a really young baby, ect.). Anyway, we'll be leaving Ann Peyton for three nights (gasp!), but I think it will be fine. Of course, I'm still very nervous.

- Annie got sent home from "school" today because I was talking about how her eye was stuck shut when she woke up. One of the other children had pink eye last week, but I didn't even think of it because her eye wasn't red or anything. Anyway, we wanted to play it safe and fortunately Peyton is working evenings this week so he just came and got her. I think it's fine, but we are going to watch it tomorrow. Hopefully, it won't be stuck shut tomorrow because we have a lunch date with Ashley and Carrie (together this week!) and their girls. If it's bad, I'll probably just leave her in "Daddy Daycare" again or drop her at my mom's. As evidenced from the snowcapade lunch with Carrie last week, these things are non-negotiable.

- Ann Peyton missed her nap this morning so she took a THREE hour afternoon nap. I took a two hour afternoon nap. This brings up a couple of things. First, I think the reason AP naps so much is because she wakes up and plays at night. Peyton went in and peaked at her the other night and she sat straight up and stared at him. You could tell she had not been asleep, but she hadn't been making any noise! Second, the weeks when Peyton works late and we don't even eat supper until 10:30 are super tiring!

- Last thing: Christy was sweet enough to feature my blog today on her blog, Mommy Brain. She features a different one of her friends' blogs each week and this week I was in the spotlight. This is the link if you are interested. Thanks, Christy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Inspiration

I wrote this post for my other blog, I Reminisce, to answer the question "What Does Your Mother Do For a Living?", but it ended up being such an important post that I wanted to share it here, too.

My mom was an education major in college. She went to Ole Miss, but moved to Huntsville with my dad before her graduation so he could work for the Space Program. She turned down being the president of her sorority to marry my dad and move with him to Alabama. I'm sure it was a tough one, but I think she made the right decision. After they moved to Jackson she finished up her education and got her degree from Bellhaven. She really never felt confident in a classroom, so she tutored and then worked retail for a bit.

She left the work force for a couple of decades to be a stay at home mom. She now works part time in the Bridal Registry at Batte Furniture. I'm pretty sure that making sure that the ignorant young brides of today know what a Demitasse cup is unequivocally her calling.

I read a lot of "mommy blogs". Full of surprises, aren't I? Some of these blogs are really positive and it feels like the person writing them never has a bad day. I hate that. Just Kidding. Kind of. Anyway, some of them are very, very real. Sometimes, I feel like in an effort to "keep it real"(something I strive for on my blog), these women fill every post with complaints. And a lot of it is complaints about child rearing. I hear it in real life, too.

These moms lament the boring nature of staying home with a child full time. They complain about the tedious "work" of playing with a toddler. They bemoan the fact that they have limited adult interaction. And they jokingly say they despise Sesame Street characters. They are "too cool for school". Or rather, they are too cool for their children.

I won't say I've never had those feelings. I won't even say that I've never blogged about them. But it is not where I find myself most days.

And I think that is due, in large part, to my own mother and her attitude toward raising my sister and me. My mom did not work a day outside the home from the day I came home from the hospital until the day my sister graduated high school. But I think that if someone ever made a BonBon reference* about her to me, I'd have to work hard to resist punching them in the face.

[*You know.....the typical stereotype of the stay at home mom sitting on the couch eating BonBons and watching Oprah as her children play quietly in another room.]

In fact, my mom did not watch a single talk show, soap opera, or morning show during our entire childhood. I do think she watched some television in the evenings with my dad, but ask her much of anything related to pop culture during the late eighties and early nineties and unless it's child related, she pretty much has no idea.

Because she was simply too busy. She and my dad waited *ten* years to even began to try to have children, because once she had us she wanted to devote herself fully to our care. And that she did. She spent hours playing "Mother, May I?" in the backyard with us. She made every single activity, like going to the grocery store or getting ready for bed, a fun adventure. She hardly ever lost patience with my endless questions and my ridiculous anxieties. She read an unbelievable amount of literature to us. She threw the most fantastic birthday parties. She totally immersed herself in mothering.

But that is not the impressive part. The impressive part is that she took such joy in every moment of it. Of course, I am sure that those aforementioned mommies do not often tell their children how boring and uninteresting they are. But, there's a thing called a vibe and there's no telling how much of it they are picking up on. I asked my mom about it when Ann Peyton was born. She said honestly she really did enjoy us that much. I think part of it has to do with how much she and my dad struggled to have us once they decided to start trying and part of it is just her nature.

I know that some women are more suited to the tasks of spending their day with a small child than others and there is nothing wrong with that; different parents "click" with their children at different ages. I am also fully aware that this type of "child centered" parenting is not without it's faults.

But that is not the point of this post. The point is to say that my mom did her "job" wonderfully. Beautifully. Seemingly effortlessly.

She is my inspiration in so many ways.

Won't You Read to Me? Wednesday

So, I'm back to "classic" picture books from my childhood this week. And this week's selection is actually an all time favorite of one Peyton Herrington:

Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak

I love this story of a little boy who is sent to bed without supper and creates a wild rumpus in own mind. The story is really basic, but the way the story is worded and the amazing illustrations really make it special. Pretty much, I already sumed up the plot of the entire book in the first sentence of this paragraph. Like I said, basic. But it is SO good.

I think one reason this book is a classic is that it appeals to both children and adults (unlike the movie, which in my opinion, is significantly more enjoyable to adults). Like I said, the story is very brief, but for really young children I think that that is a good thing. Plus, it allows you to use your own imagination about what else is going on in the story.

And that is really the book's whole appeal- the way it uses a child's imagination to create a fantastic "wild rumpus". I think imagination is so important and I love this book because it really captures that!

The drawings are really impressive and so different from most childrens' books. I think that Sendak's talent lies more in his artistic ability than his writing ability, though he is able to craft a great story.

I got a few comments about the Mr. Linky last week. If you click on the actual Mr. Linky icon and it opens the page to type in your link, look at the very top of that page--the other links should be there. I'll add my own as an example.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Because I Love a Little Comparison Study: Bonnet Babies

A [long] while back we had my mom's friend, Sally take our Christmas card pictures and she also took some adorable ones of Annie in a bonnet that was worn by my grandmother, my mom, myself, and my sister. Well, I finally got around to getting the pictures of the rest of us scanned in. Not suprisingly, there are no pictures of "Bump" (my grandmother) in the bonnet, but I was elated that I was able to find pictures of me, Momma, and Cookie in it. Enjoy the comparisons!

The first ones are me and Ann Peyton. We didn't intentionally copy any poses; they just turned out remarkably similar.

Here is a little collage I made of all four of us. You can click on it to enlarge.

Finally, here are a few more of Ann Peyton that I just think are really funny.

PigPig about to do some "motor boating"

I love this one because she looks like she is fixing to start talking to us. I feel like she looks like she could be a two or three year old about to throw a fit! Sassy britches!

Annie Banani=Snobby Society Lady

I had so much fun going through these and I can't wait to pick out an old picture to share on Friday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day Traditions

Around Christmas, I made a list of Christmas traditions I'd like to start for our family. Well, after I saw that Sarah and Todd have a special "love day" for their girls around Valentine's day I decided I wanted to list some Valentine's traditions I'd like to start. [I know Valentine's is over; I meant to post yesterday and I just didn't get to it!]

Sidenote: I wrote all this assuming more children. Because I want more. So, I'm including them in my future plans.

- Go out to breakfast as a family. I love going out to eat for breakfast and I think this would be a great occasion for it!

- Read the "love chapter" from the Bible (I Corinthians 13).

- Go around the table and let each person say something they specifically like about each family member (for example: we go around the table and each say something sweet about Ann Peyton). I think when the children get older I will have them write notes to everyone and put it in bags on the hearth.

- Sometime during February, pick a place where people may not feel loved (like a soup kitchen) and go serve.

- Bake Valentine's cookies together.

- Get the children a little happy- my mom always got us something; it was never anything big, just a little "I love you" present.

That's all I have so far. I'd love to hear any additional ideas!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekly Happenings Post #48 (February 8-14)

This week was nowhere near as busy as last week. It was so nice and I think my sinus infection (that I feel like has lasted about a month) is finally getting better!

Monday morning I woke up feeling absolutely awful. I didn't even think that I could drive myself to the doctor. I made myself get up and I ate something and took a shower and I felt well enough to drive, so Peyton kept AP at home and I went to my doctor's appointment. He told me I had a sinus infection (big surprise) and gave me a Decadron shot and prescribed a Z-Pack. Peyton had the day off so he and AP ran some errands while I rested and we all just took it easy the rest of the day.

Thankfully, I felt some better on Tuesday. Peyton had worked a double last Friday so he had Tuesday off, too. The other baby that is usually in the baby room with AP was sick and her mom works at Mother's Morning Out, too, so they both stayed home. I left AP with Peyton since I knew we'd be short-staffed and I'd be having to keep AP in the two year old room with me the whole time. He was so sweet and really didn't mind. I had woken up feeling a lot better but by lunch time I was feeling rough again. I had a dentist appointment Tuesday afternoon to check out my jaw because it's been popping alot. Peyton and AP went, too, since it was such a short appointment and then we ran errands. We went by Jimmie Lyles and Lumbar Liquidators to look at some more flooring for our house. I pretty much crashed after that.

I took it easy on Wednesday. I did laundry and straightened around the house most of the morning and then my mom came over around lunch. I thought I'd go to Bible Study Wednesday night since Peyton was there to keep AP, but I just didn't feel up to it. Plus, my book is lost so I'm not up to date on the reading. It's kind of hard to just go every other week and I hate having to find someone to keep Ann Peyton (even though I know neither of our moms would mind- I just feel like I ask them to take care of her too much). Anyway, it's all about parenting so I was so excited; I just feel really behind and out of the loop and like the thing is half over now.

Thursday we had Mother's Morning Out. Peyton ussually wakes up early with me and helps me get AP ready on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but he went to bed really late Wednesday and had been doing so much to help me while I was feeling bad that I set my alarm for earlier and just got her ready by myself. We had a good time at MMO. Ella Kate, the other "little" baby (she's actually bigger than AP, even though she's about six months old) was still sick, so we stayed in the one year old room. One little boy fell asleep beside me in the chair with AP on my lap. She played in my lap for almost twenty minutes- I could not believe it! She did miss her nap, though, and she got a little grumpy. She fell asleep in the car on the way home and I brought her inside and let her sleep for about thirty minutes. Then we met Ashley and Evy for lunch. We couldn't find a day that worked for Ash and Carrie, so I just went with both of them on separate days! Carrie couldn't go on Thursday because of napping and cooking issues and we missed her. It is funny because I consider Ashley one of my best friends, but this was our first "solo" lunch date- we've just always gotten together with Carrie. Anyway, it was fun! Peyton was working late so we ended up going over to my parents' house for dinner.

Friday was the day it snowed so much. Like I said in the previous post, Carrie and I are super hardcore and did not let the snow deter us! The people at Mellow Mushroom looked at us kind of funny, lugging our babies in out of the snow into this totally deserted restaurant. It was really funny!
I dressed Ann Peyton up in a sweater and hat my mom knitted for me when I was a baby!

After we got home and AP had a nap; I took her outside and let her touch the snow, but she wasn't very interested. I got a lot done around the house (just laundry, straightening, ordering some way overdue wedding presents, and a few other things) and then when Peyton got home we went to Hobby Lobby to look for bunny stuff for Ann Peyton's birthday (in over a month, but I heard they had gotten their Easter stuff in). We went to my parents' house for Beans and Rice and then made a Walmart run.

We took some goofy birthday pictures for Peyton's momma.

On Saturday we drove down to Hebron for another birthday. It was Granny's 80th birthday celebration!! It was so much fun and we had a wonderful time.
I think Simeon wants to "help" Granny with that cake!

Granny got some super cute new tools for her yard!

I got SO carsick on the way home. I've gotten a little carsick before, but nothing like this. It was terrible! I went to bed right when we got home and slept for almost fourteen hours!

This morning (Sunday) I felt like a different person! We went to church and then we ate lunch at a new place in Brandon called Remember When. I ran some errands (Target, Babies R Us, and Party City) and then we went to evening church. Then we ran by the grocery store. It was a fun Valentine's Day!

I think next week is going to be another laid back week and I am so glad!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow Day

Today, Jackson got the most snow that I've ever seen in real life (a couple of inches?). It was beautiful! I have to say, though, it's kind of funny because things really shut down. Schools were closed and a lot of people at Peyton's store called in sick. One person said that she didn't want to "risk her life" driving to work. I, however, was not too afraid of the inclimate weather and braved the blizzard so that I could make my mommy lunch date- Carrie and I are hardcore.

Peyton woke up late for work so we didn't have any time to play outside as a family before work and AP was asleep when he got home, which is unfortunant because he is SO into that kind of thing. I did take her out for a few minutes by myself and she didn't really seem that interested.

I took a few pictures of our yard, but none were really that impressive.

However, my dad has excellent photography skills (and a much prettier yard), and I fully expected he'd have captured some great images. He did not disappoint. Isn't it beautiful?

Really, though, I much prefer visiting Mickey and Minnie when it looks like this.

Someone mentioned to me recently that my parents have such an interesting house and it's true; it is very unique. So, I think sometime in the next week or so I am going to put up so pictures of the interior, just for fun!