Sunday, May 30, 2010

Weekly Happenings Post #63 (May 24-30)-- Poolside with the Babykins

This week was such a fun, relaxing week. I'm really enjoying not having to get up early for Mother's Morning Out, and we didn't have any "big" events this week. I have, however, already managed to get into a crazy schedule of staying up WAY too late and then needing a nap mid afternoon, very reminiscent of my college days.

Monday was a big errands day. Peyton had the day off, so we loaded up Annie and went to the bank, the farmers' market, and to Walgreens to get some medicine for my mom. We made a short stop at my parents' house to drop it off and then went by Bridget's to look for a little blanket that Hank had on Sunday. I had more I could have done, but we needed so I could get ready for my night out with Carrie and Ashley. We had a great time- we went to Bonefish for dinner and then to Barnes and Noble for dessert and more conversation. We even stayed for quite some time, visiting, at Ashley's house. Our goodbyes weren't too terribly sad, because she'll be back soon for Kurt's graduation!

On Tuesday, I was kind of mopy for a variety of reasons- thinking about Ashley's move, a weird voicemail for Ellis, and just a general weirdness, I think. I did manage to get a lot done on Tuesday morning, though. I straightened the house and swept and mopped the kitchen, sunroom, laundry room, and bathrooms. I also worked really hard on cleaning our kitty door, which had gotten disgusting. I had to soak it in a bucket of diluted bleach and then scraped the "goo" off with a knife. It's not perfect, but it's a vast improvement. Ann Peyton and I met Haley and Hank for lunch at Mellow Mushroom. For some reason, both babies were a bit of a handful. Hank wanted to be held the whole time and AP kept trying to stand up in her highchair. At one point, I was trying to situate her, and I literally fell of the raised step the tables are on. We left in a bit of a hurry and, as I was backing out, our waitress ran out. We had BOTH forgotten to sign and left our cards. I met Haley to give her her card back, and told her how embarrassed I was....she decided that our waitress probably thought we had been drinking! When we got home, I did laundry, swept and dry mopped the den, and worked on changing over my closet.

That night when Peyton got home, he was still working on the water heater. It has a little leak, but we can't find it and it kept getting our floor in the laundry room wet. Well, Peyton ended up just peeling up the laminate tiles. I heard him say "gross" and I went in to look. Can you guess? In one area of the tiles, there were maggots. I think I threw up in my mouth a little. I don't watch shows like Fear Factor and Survivor, because I don't like to even think about those things; I was horrified. I'm surprised I even slept that night. The good news is that we will be getting the laundry room AND kitchen refloored sooner than I thought we would!

On Wednesday, I remembered that I was in charge of the pew pads and pencils for the week, so I went up to the church and did them before Peyton had to go into work. I made a small stop by the grocery store to get some formula and a few other things on the way home. When I got home, Cookie came over for a visit. I fed AP lunch and put her to bed. I straightened, folded laundry, and chopped up some steamed carrots to freeze for Ann Peyton. When she got up, we played a little bit and read books. We had frozen pizza for supper that I had gotten at the grocery store (I wanted to try it because they were $10 for ten of them). I worked on going through our receipts from the past month.

Thursday was a busy day! Peyton, Annie and I all went to the grocery store for our big trip Thursday morning. We had been trying to hold off for a couple of weeks and had been eating stuff from the freezer and just making little tiny trips, (because we needed to make up for going over budget the last couple of months) so I was nervous this one was going to break the bank, but we ended up doing really well. When we got home, AP took her nap and I put up groceries and did a little organizing in our "pantry".

When Annie got up from her nap, we went over to my parents' house. Their neighbors have a pool and we wanted to see how AP liked swimming. I thought she'd hate it because she's gotten to where she doesn't really like baths. But she LOVED it. We swam for about an hour.
Peyton had to go to work and AP was so tired, so I took her home for a nap. I took a nap, too! After she woke up, we went outside and weeded some flower beds for about thirty minutes- I know when she starts eating the dirt it's time to go inside! I read some blogs and started reading Mere Christianity for the new C.S. Lewis book club that I'm in. We had yummy fish for supper.

Friday was relaxing! We decided to go again. Annie loves it so much!

When we got home I was so tired, again. I think the sun just zaps my energy! I decided not to take another nap, though, and just watched TV and read blogs during AP's nap. When she woke up, we went back to my parents for Red Beans and Rice.

Saturday morning, we just took it easy. I did some laundry and cleaned up the kitchen and then I took Ann Peyton to my parents' house, because I had a wedding shower for one of Peyton's best friends (we both know him from working at the pool, and LOVE him) and his fiance. After I picked up Ann Peyton, we came home, but she wouldn't take a nap. We just played and then went back to my parents' house! We were going to try to meet Peyton to swim again, but it was storming, so we just got take out from Newks and had dinner with my parents.

Today, (Sunday), AP and I made it to early church with Peyton, since he has to work this week. I'm really glad we did, because I saw my name in the bulletin for children's church for the late service. Luckily, I was the "assistant", not the teacher, so I didn't have to have anything planned! I went on to Sunday School and I was worried AP would not be happy staying for late service, since she's used to having her morning nap. When I checked on her after SS, though, one of the workers had rocked her to sleep. When we got home, we had lunch and I did laundry and worked on my closet some more. For some reason, AP fought her afternoon nap SO hard, even though she had only slept maybe forty five minutes at church. I can't complain, though, because she talked to herself for almost two hours in her crib! We went to our friends, Jeff and Melissa's, house for dinner. Cooking out with friends is so much fun!

This week was so nice, but I feel like since I'm not working at all this summer, I should at least try to be more productive around here. I'm going to attempt to do some of FlyLady's missions on most days and I'm also going to try to schedule certain activities for each day.
For example:
Monday- finances day (receipts, checkbooks, coupons, (if Carrie and I start that); I'll also write notes on this day, if I have any that need written)
Tuesday- organizing day (I need to reorganize every drawer in this house!)
Wednesday- craft day (practicing sewing, working on the baby book that is not even HALF finished, ect.)
Thursday- yard wok day
Friday- catch up, rest day
I'll probably end up copping out, but I'd really like to see myself be more productive, so hopefully this will help!

Next week is really open, and I hope it's a lot like this week; I love fun, laid back weeks in the summer! One thing that is for sure- I am GOING to finish my closet changeover. It's taken me about a month, just like last time. The time before that, when I was pregnant, I did it in a few days, but it stressed me out so bad; I want to try to do something in the between those two extremes next time.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Flashback Friday- Who Says Costumes Are Just For Kids? {circa 2004}

So, I mentioned that last weekend we drove to Oxford for the wedding of one of my best friends from high school. I dug around looking for some pictures of me and Caroline and I came up with one pretty quickly, actually....

(Top, LtoR: Jillian, Jessica, Caroline; Bottom, LtoR: CC, Me; circa 2004)

I'm not really sure what the occasion for this dress up party was. I'd guess a play, since four out of the five of us were involved in drama at some point, but as brave and creative as she was, I'm pretty sure our drama teacher never choose a production feature a chef, a puppy dog, and Marilyn Monroe. Maybe it was some sort of costume party.

I'm also unsure as to why Jessica and Caroline appear to be wearing normal clothes. Did they miss the memo that whatever event this was, it was clearly a dress up event? Or was it costume optional? Or did we miss the memo that it was "snappy casual" and make fools of ourselves? Or are aprons, Marlyn wigs, and magic marker drawn whiskers the new black? Probably that last one.

Clearly, I have a lot of unanswered questions about this photo. Caroline is probably still on her honeymoon and I think she is the only one who reads this. So I may have to save this for the next time I visit with these girls.

What I do remember about our little friend group is surprisingly even more frightening. I do after being reminded by Jillian a few weeks ago, remember trying to fix her up with Peyton, with the promise that I would wax his back first. I also remember a certain visit to McAlister's in Brandon in which I asked Caroline "what the hell a cucumber is".....because I guess I didn't eat a lot of vegetables and at that stage, I really liked seasoning my *every* sentence with a bit of mild profanity. And I remember trying, in vain, to learn to shake my boobs in front a mirror at Caroline's house and her mom trying to teach me, because I was such a lost cause. I was such a delight back then!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Won't You Read to Me? Wednesday

I had big plans of sharing a different book this week, but something happened and my best friend gave his god daughter a sweet belated birthday present, and in fact this is what we have been working on(*) this week.....

by Janell Cannon

*by "working on", I mean that we have been reading it in sections. This is a WONDERFUL book, but the vocabulary is advanced and for a picture book, I would say it was slightly above moderate in length. I usually try to feature books that are geared toward Ann Peyton's developmental level, because that is typically what we are reading. But, this was a very special present and I remember loving it the first time I read it when I was in the Reading Block during college. It was just as beautiful as I remembered and frankly, I think that it is good for us to occasionally read books that are a little more mature than what we "should" be reading; hearing words that oft go unspoken in our daily interactions with her is of great benefit to her little mind, I believe.

This book tells the story of Stellaluna, a baby bat who is separated from her mother and finds refuge with a family of birds. The birds welcome Stellaluna, but with the stipulation she will follow the "house rules", such as eating bugs, sleeping at night, and not hanging upside down. It all gets to be too much for Stellaluna and she flies away. When she finally finds a place to rest, she remembers her promise not to hang upside down and dutifully falls asleep right side up. A group of bats find her and ask why she is upside down. She tells them that they, in fact, are the ones that are upside down and they explain that she is upside down for a bat.

Eventually, Stellaluna finds her momma who explains that it's ok for her to be wide awake at night, sleep upside down, and eat fruit, because that's what bats do! Stellaluna tries to share her experiences with her bird friends, but of course, they can't fly at night like she can. They wonder how they can possibly be so alike, yet so different. They agree that it is a great mystery, but that the important thing is that they are friends.

The value of this book lies largely in the way Janell Cannon intricately weaves together very interesting factual information about bats with a charming animal story that easily captivates young children. Much of the information in the book could be found in a nonfiction book on bats, but that wouldn't be near as interesting nor as entertaining in the eyes of a child. The illustrations are also beautiful and from what I have read, amazingly accurate depictions.

Another thing I love about this book is the vocabulary it introduces. Since a good chunk of the book is informational, children will learn several new words from that alone. But the author also uses other very descriptive words in her narrative (crooned, anxious, and perched, ect.).

A final thing that I took away from the book is that it is a lesson in diversity. It is a goal of mine and Peyton's that when Annie encounters differences in people and contemplates the mystery of it, she will be able to say, just like Stellaluna did, "But we're friends. And that's a fact". Actually, it is easily the most important "fact" in this wonderfully written children's book.

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Sniff. Sniff. Cue the Sappy Michael W. Smith Music.....

My best friend is moving six hours away tomorrow. Carrie, Ashley, and I had our last girls' night on Monday. It really wasn't super sad, like I had anticipated, and I kept my emotions in check, which, as I'm sure you know, is NOT my strong suit. Really, things felt pretty much normal.

But, today I'm having a bit of a hard time. I'm such a sap and I just have a really hard time with these things.

It's just hard for me, because I feel like I've had some really significant friendships in my life, but as life changes and people change, friendships change. I'll be really honest and say that, with one exception, I have been really disappointed to watch some relationships that I really valued fade into less than what I had hoped they would continue to be. I'm not saying that I'm not partially at fault or that circumstances aren't somewhat to blame, but it hurts nonetheless. And I just don't want to go through that again.

Whenever this happens (like when I graduated from college, or when Ellis moved away, or whatever) I always hear that ridiculous Michael W. Smith song, Friends. Does anybody else have background music for life's major (and minor?) events? I actually strongly dislike that songs, but you don't get to pick what's playing in the jukebox in your mind, you know?

The thing is, I knew when Ashley and I became friends that she'd be moving within the year. I also knew how easily I can get attached to people. So, as mean as it sounds (and truly, was) I told myself not to invest too much. Well, I'm going to call that a fail. Not only was it misguided and mean, but I'm not sure it was even possible on a practical level. I just don't do friendships that way. Life is too short for it. I want to give people my all or nothing. I think that's why it hurts me so bad to see those close friendships that I've had deteriorate into just a level above acquaintance status. I am at the point in my life where I'd rather have a few close friendships with people that truly understand me than an arc full of people that are "fun to be around".

And that's just it. Although Ashley (and Carrie, of course!) are fun to be around (almost to the point of ridiculousness at times), the friendship that the three of use have shared over the past year runs so much deeper than that. I really just need to back up.

I have said several times on this blog, that around the time Peyton and I started talking about marriage, I started praying for bridesmaids. Not because I cared about having people that would be there and stand beside me on that special day, but because when I did try to plan how it would be and realized I had no one, save my sister, to stand with me, the Lord used that to prick my heart to see the need for close friendships with other girls. He answered me above any expectation I could have had and I honestly contemplated putting of our wedding a year so that I could live with my friends in an apartment.

When I got pregnant with Ann Peyton I felt a similar emptiness in my life. Within my circle of friends, I did not know a single woman my age who had a child or a single woman of any age that was staying home with their child or children. I knew that Peyton and my family were hugely supportive of me, but I craved a friendship with someone my age who was doing exactly what I was planning to do.

Fast forward for a minute. Monday night, as Carrie, Ashley and I sat in Ashley's living room at almost midnight, we talked about (what else?) blogs. The subject came up of those blogs that you just love. The ones that you get so excited about when you see a new post. The ones where you are just fascinated with the people and just wish you could know them in real life. We all compared our favorites, and I admitted that Ashley's had been one of those for me [I met Carrie in real life REALLY soon after we started reading each other's blogs, so we never really had a true "blog friendship". I always considered her an "IRL" more than anything else.]

The way I first came across Ashley's blog is really a story unto itself, and it's CRAZY to remember that and think how the Lord really orchestrated the whole thing. What's important though, is that around the time she had Evy (I still had about two months until AP's due date), I just became fascinated with her blog. I thought, here is this new mom, who is my age(!), who is staying home with her child(!), who is documenting her life, and who is already mentally trying to prepare for how to raise her daughter to love Christ. Here is the neat part, the part I haven't even told Ashley herself. When we finally decided to meet, I remember praying for our friendship, much in the same way I prayed during my college years for bridesmaids. Even more than I needed a group of girls to stand by me on the most important day of my life, I needed friends to stand beside me on the most important journey of my life- the exhausting, emotionally taxing, amazingly beautiful journey of motherhood.

Still, in my mind I was thinking it would be a very superficial frienship, and I was okay with that. I just needed something. But, once again, the Lord BLEW ME OUT OF THE WATER. He provided me with not one, but TWO amazing friends. And these friendships were anything but shallow. They were two of the most important ones I have known in my life. Because we were doing the most important task of our lives together, and encouraging one another in it. I take comfort in the fact that that bond will be the glue that continues to hold mine and Carrie's friendship with Ashley together, no matter what the distance is between us, and that this frienship will be different from the aforementioned ones because it has such a strong foundation.

So, Ima let myself be moppy for a little bit longer, but then I'll be fine. Because God has been faithful again and again, and other friends who I had no idea were in "family planning" mode have since had babies. Because, I still have an amazing best friend that I know I can count on seeing on a weekly basis. And because I know that

..... a lifetime's not too long to live as friends.

Thanks, MWS, for saying it far more eloquently than I ever could. And thanks, Ash, for being such a blessing in my life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Here's Something I Should Do EVERY Morning

This little girl really has the right idea, doesn't she? In case you're curious, she still seems to have a genuinely great outlook on life, even on the verge of her teen years.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekly Happenings Post #62 (May 17- 23)-- In Which I Gain a Greater Appreciation for the Luxury That Is Easily Accessible Hot Water

For once, she's looking at me, instead of Peyton!

** Okay, first of all, if you follow this blog through a feed reader (like Google Reader), that last post was a draft that I was working on for later in the week. I have TONS of drafts saved (when I get post ideas, I just type phrases in a draft and save it for later) and one of my greatest fears is them getting published. I just think it's SO embarrassing! So, anyway, the real post will be up at a later date!**

This week was one of those weeks that really wasn't particularly busy, but still felt busy. We're done with Mother's Morning Out until the fall and we didn't really have anything "big" until our little day trip we took on Saturday, but most days felt so full. I'm not sure what the deal was!

Peyton was home Monday morning, so Annie and I went with him to our favorite Donut place which is all the way in's about an hour round trip, but we love riding in the car together and it was a fun breakfast! On Monday afternoon, I ran a few errands with Ann Peyton. We made a return to Old Navy and got a gift card from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Then we went by Target to pick up a few things. As I was checking out, the craziest thing happened! This red headed girl, with her three adorable red headed children came up to me and said "I know this is going to sound weird...but do you have a blog?" She told me how she had found my blog and we talked about blogging and how our husbands think some things about it are sorta weird and she commented on how, yes, Ann Peyton really is as little as I make her out to be. She also said she didn't have a blog. Shay (or Shea, I don't know, I'm probably butchering your name), if you're reading this, START A BLOG TODAY! I want to read about your super cute twins and precious little boy. Okay?

After we got home and Ann Peyton took a little nap.

Then, we headed over to Mickey and Minnie's house. Cookie was home from school (she's doing Maymester) to take an entrance test for nursing school, so we visited, ate supper, and helped Cookie practice math problems for the test.

On Tuesday, we really didn't do that much. I straightened the house, did some sweeping and mopping, and made some pasta salad for our Ultreya meeting that night, while Ann Peyton played

I went to the meeting and when we got home, I cooked a "veggie dinner" of corn, butter beans and brussel sprouts. It was yummy!

Wednesday was extremely crazy! After my crazy morning of my mom forgetting about babysitting and leaving my insurance card at home, I came home and relaxed, watched tv, and folded laundry. When Peyton got home, we went over to his parents' house. We ended up going with his parents on their walk; Annie enjoyed the stroll! Once we got home, we were just taking it easy and unwinding and then the water heater incident occurred.
This picture really doesn't do the situation justice. But that garbage can right outside the door had been filling up FAST!

I went to bed pretty worn out!

Thursday was fun, though. We went to lunch with Carrie and Ashley and their respective babykins, Aubrey and Evy. So much fun, but increasingly sad, due to Ash's impending move. When we got home, I had a productive day of straightening, working on my closet, and putting batteries in several toys that had dead batteries in them. The plumber that Sears sent also came and told me that it would be $161 to fix the water heater and the part wouldn't be in until June 1st. UGH. I cooked spaghetti for supper.

On Friday, since I didn't have anywhere to go, Peyton got up with AP and let me sleep in a little (or maybe a lot). When I got up, I hand washed dishes (I had assumed we could still use the dishwasher; it would just run on cold. Not the case; it didn't work at all) and folded laundry. We also took some of my winter stuff to the attic and got down some summer stuff. After that, my sweet friend, Sue came over for a visit. We headed to my parents' house for red beans and rice pretty early, so I could do my white wash over there. I also gave Annie a bath while we were there.

On Saturday morning, Peyton went to play ultimate frisbee with some friends and I had a relaxing morning of just lazing around. When AP took her nap, I tried to catch up on her photo albums on Facebook and ate lunch and watched The Good Wife. AP played with The General.

Peyton also figured out a way to fix the water heater, after talking to my dad (who I guess, was more knowledgeable than the plumber?) so he went by Lowe's to get a part. When he got home, we got things together so we could get ready for our day trip to Oxford for my friend Caroline's wedding. We left around 2:45 and got to Oxford in time to meet Cookie for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, AJax and get changed.

Caroline is one of my good friends from high school and I was so glad we were able to make the was truly beautiful! AP was kind of fussy and the wedding was pretty traditional, so she and her papa stayed in the car. Peyton just drove around at first, but he said it was clear she wasn't going to nap, so he just took her out and let her play with her toys in the front seat with him. I met them afterward and the three of us headed to the reception. It was also lovely and it was fun seeing some old friends and catching up!
We did a pretty good job of matching and we didn't even plan it. You can't tell, but there's some gold embroidery on the bottom of AP's dress. Also, I got to wear my new dress from the Anthro that I mentioned awhile back. I love it and I got lots of compliments on it!

We ended up leaving Oxford around 10:30. I stayed up most of the way home to help Peyton stay awake. He listed to William Lane Craig apologetics podcasts the rest of the time. We got home around 1ish.

Getting up for church Yesterday (Sunday) was SO HARD! It was a little easier, though, because Peyton had gotten up before me and fixed the water heater. It was SO nice to have a hot bath after three days of cold showers! We went to Sunday School and church and when we got home, Peyton grilled burgers and vegetables for lunch. Then, AP took a four hour nap and Peyton and I napped for about half that time. After she woke up, Ellis came over with late birthday presents for me and Annie. We had a nice visit. Our friends, Patrick and Haley, invited us to join them for supper and of course, we took them up on the offer! We had so much fun seeing them and our other friends, Pat and Holly, and enjoying some (more!) fabulous burgers and sweet potato fries.
She's such a bully!

When we got home, I got AP ready for bed and cleaned up the kitchen from lunch and Peyton picked up our mini fridge, which we finally got fixed and dropped of some stuff at his parents' and his brother's houses. Now, we're just relaxing for the night.

This week is basically empty, except tonight Ashley, Carrie and I are having a girls night. It will be the last one with Ashley and I could cry. It'll be so much fun, though, so I'm excited. Hopefully, since next week isn't too full, maybe I can get a lot done, if we can avoid any more appliance disasters!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bizarro Item of the Day

Y'all, for reals???

I saw this on another blog and please don't be offended if you happen to think these are cute when I say I was...


grossed out,

and felt my own bottom get a little uncomfortable just looking at these things:

I don't even like real denim on babies, so I'm not surprised I'm not running out to buy sweet Ann Peyton some of these. Although, I won't go as far as the Amazon reviewer, who basically chastised anyone who put anything other than cloth diapers on their baby's bums. Actually that's one of the perks of my hot water heater not being able to be fixed for ELEVEN FREAKING DAYS.....I get a little break from cloth diapers (which are not that bad, but it is one extra thing I'll enjoy being without for a week and a half).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sarah Denley and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I'm not doing a Won't You Read to Me? Wednesday post tonight, but if I was the book I would choose would be Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day. I might feature it next week, because it truly is one of my favorite books ever. I didn't want to do a WYRTMW post, though, because I wanted to share with you about my own day.

I went to bed last night pretty much a nervous wreck because I had my yearly OB appointment this morning. Really, after nine months of having them when I was pregnant, I should be okay with these visits. And also my doctor is A-MAZING. But, still, thinking about it kind of makes my whole body tense up and my stomach hurt.

When I woke up this morning, though, I felt better. Things always look better in the morning! I called my mom about thirty minutes before I was supposed to leave to make sure she was on her way to my house to keep AP. Oh, she was sick and still in bed and didn't even remember anything about keeping Annie. I called Peyton and asked him if he thought I should just reschedule the appointment or try to take Ann Peyton or what. He said he'd call his mom and see if she could come. Thankfully, she zipped over here on a moment's notice, but needless to say, I was super stressed as I walked out the door.

When I got there, I realized that Peyton had my insurance card with him and he was in a meeting so I couldn't get in touch with him. Also, my phone was acting funny and wouldn't work in the doctor's office. After a long debate with myself, I just decided to pay for it and we'd file it later. Of course, I was slightly even more stressed, though.

When I finally got to see Dr. McMinn, I forced myself to have this super awkward conversation with her that needed to be had. I'm just going to leave that at that, because tons of people, including my mom's friends read my blog. She was really nice, though and made me feel much better.

UGH, then I really got my feelings hurt. For. No. Reason. She told me she was concerned with my weight and pretty much asked me if I was eating at all. The implication was obvious. Yeah, it stung. But, it's not the first time. And, really, it's her job to look out for things like that; I know it wasn't personal. I've said if before, but I don't really like being as thin as I am and I would LOVE to gain ten pounds. To that end, I often eat more than I really want. I know I'd look better with some extra "meat" on my bones. I also know that the closer we get to preparing for baby #2 the more important this is. I know that being pregnant will be MUCH easier on my body if I am at a truly healthy weight. It will also be safer and easier to achieve. Anyway, I told her yes I ate and no I wasn't trying to loose weight and actually yes, I'd really be happier with my appearance if I got back up to my ideal weight, which was the weight I was when we got married two years ago. She prescribed an appetite stimulant for me and I really hope it works!

When I got home, my cellphone still wasn't send texts, so I did what Peyton recommended I always do when there's a problem- take the battery out. Only, I broke the freaking thing in the process.

We went to Peyton's parents' house for a visit and I got a meatball sub from Subway and the day went pretty smoothly for awhile.

When we got home, we got Annie to bed and I sat down to relax for a little bit. Peyton was fooling with the hot water heater again because it was dripping. All of a sudden, I heard a bit of mild profanity so I ran in there to check out the situation. The thing was spewing out water REALLY fast. My laundry room was basically flooding. Peyton kind of gave me orders what to do- "go get the big garbage can from outside", "get your phone and call your dad", while he tried to figure out something and eventually, he got the water shut off. Long story short, once Peyton got everything fixed, I cleaned the room for about an hour (it needed it pretty bad, anyway) and got directions from Peyton on what to tell the plumber when I call him in the morning to fix the water heater. After my cold shower.

So, I'm dreading the start of tomorrow about as much as I was dreading the Pap Smear last night. Okay, really not that much, let's be real. Luckily, around lunch, my day starts looking up.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just Floored

I was thinking about how I wanted to post some pictures of a few changes we've made in Ann Peyton's nursery and then I realized that I never posted pictures of our new floors (which are a couple of months old now).

We got rid of the carpet in the den and the hall and had the floors put in. I don't really like it when they are super dark or super light, and I think we hit it just right with this color that is kind of in the middle. I love them and I think it makes the room look SO much better. But, see for yourself....

Here is the den before:
and after:

If I had been brave enough to take and share a close-up picture of the carpet, you'd see that this is a VAST improvement. It looked like something off Animal House though, so I decided against it.

Next on the agenda is getting a new couch; our current one is ancient and is "wearing" a slip cover that was not designed to fit it. I'm glad we didn't blow the bank making these improvements when we first got married, but it's so nice to get them done now!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekly Happenings Post #61 (May 10-16)-- School's Out for Summer + Happy Birthday to Me!

Peyton looking redic with his cheeseburger in hand

This week was really fun! Nothing big happened, but I got a lot (for me) accomplished during the first part of the week and I spent the weekend just kind of relaxing. I also got to catch up with some old friends, which is always fun!

Monday was really uneventful. I stayed up WAY too late the night before and Ann Peyton wok up unusually early (like 6:30), so I laid her down for her nap early (at about 8:30) and went back to sleep myself. We both slept for most of the morning. She didn't wake up until after noon (and she still took an afternoon nap!). I'm glad I went back to bed for a bit, because once I got up I was super productive. I swept and mopped the kitchen, sunroom, laundry room, and bathrooms and straightened up the house. Then I cooked some green beans for Ann Peyton. [I usually just cook a big bag of vegetables every couple of weeks and put them in little containers to freeze. It's cheaper than individual bags and there's not as much packaging waste, so it keeps my EnviroSweetie happy. I do worry that it's not as healthy for her to be eating only one kind of vegetable for two weeks, so I think I am going to start doing two different kinds at a time.] I gave Annie the beans and they were really the first food she hasn't been crazy about. She usually likes green beans, but these were "stringy" and I think that bothered her, for some reason. I took some stuff to the attic and then my Mom and her friend, Lynn, came over to talk about ordering a new sofa from Lynn's daughter's furniture store.

After they left, I watered the plants outside and did some laundry. Annie and I went for a stroll and I put her to bed and waited for Peyton to get home.

On Tuesday, we had Mother's Morning Out. I was so tired this week for some reason. For one thing, during the first part of the week, I just got on a terrible schedule of staying up too late. Anyway, I took a nap Tuesday afternoon. When I woke up, Ann Peyton and I straightened up the house and then worked in the yard. I did some weeding in our front flowerbed for about forty five minutes! We went to Target and to the grocery store and I made a Ham and Grits Quiche and potato logs for supper. I also fixed English Peas to freeze for AP since she hated the beans.

Wednesday was fun. My mom came over Wednesday morning and helped me put the bedskirt on our bed. We ended up getting a king skirt, since our bed is on blocks the queen skirt was too short. But the king skirt was too big, so my mom helped me pin it and it looks perfect! After she left, Ann Peyton and I went to lunch; I was so happy to see our friends this week, since it had been two weeks since we'd seen them! It's starting to really get close to time for Ashley to move, so I think our lunches are getting progressively more bittersweet; they are for me, at least. We went to Beagle Bagel this week, instead of one of our houses, and it was kind of like old times!

When we got home, my Mom came back by to drop off a few things. I worked on my closet changeover, folded laundry, and put the fan for AP's room together. It took me like forty five minutes (it would have taken Peyton ten), but I was proud of myself and glad I didn't have to wait on him to do it! I swept and dry mopped the living room and hall while Annie played and waited for Peyton to get home.

Thursday was busy, but also really fun! It was the last day of Mother's Morning Out until the fall. It was sort of sad to be done, but I'm glad to have a break. It feels like of like it did when I was the one in school! After MMO, Ms. Darlene (the director of the program/one of my all time favorite people) had everyone that works there over to her house for lunch. She had fixed some great cornbread, pasta salad, and a "crunchy" green salad with nuts and Raman noodles (one of my personal faves). It was so good and she's such a wonderful hostess! Peyton kept AP all morning, because I knew she would be in full melt down mode by the time we got to lunch if she didn't have a nap.

When I got home, I made up our bed (I had left AP and her papa snuggling in it that morning) and folded up and put up some clothes. Then, I put my new Shark together and vacuumed our room (I LOVE it). Annie took a little nap and then we got ready and met some of my college friends at Keifers. We had a great time catching up and Ann Peyton loved eating the chicken and the honey mustard from my chicken gyro. She's a big fan of honey mustard!'

Friday was my twenty fifth birthday. It was very low key, but at this point in my life, lowkey is really a good thing. At any rate, it was better than my birthday last year when I had my six week postpartum checkup with the OB. Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like stirrups at the gyno's office, right? Anyway, Peyton went to the doctor Friday morning, because he had felt so bad all week and he woke up with a really sore throat. I think all three of us have sinus infections! I had lunch with my sweet friend Morgan and her little girl, Mary Milton. We ate at this great little Italian place near my house, Cerami's. We didn't know until we got there, but they give you your lunch free on your birthday! I didn't really do much but watch tv and try to take a nap when I got home. After AP's nap, we headed to my parents' house for Red Beans and Rice.

My mom had a cake for me and my present.

She had asked me what I wanted and I told her "debt forgiveness". See, when we were first starting out my Mom paid for a lot of stuff for our house, but Peyton and I insisted we pay them back. Well, the "decorating budget" is part of my spending money that I get each month, so I've been gradually paying her back for almost a year. I was down to a few hundred dollars and I thought they could cancel $50 or $100 for my birthday. This is what my Dad did instead.....

An interesting sidenote is that I also asked Peyton for the same thing because I owed the family money, since last month (and maybe a few other months) I had gotten an advance on my spending money. It's nice to erase debt to your loved ones, haha!

We had a great time hanging out and AP had fun playing with her new toy, a "Zebi" that some of our friends gave us, since their little girl had outgrown it.

On Saturday, I was the one that woke up feeling pretty under the weather. I fed Ann Peyton breakfast and cleaned the house a bit, but I just relaxed during her nap. I decided I'd treat myself to another day "off" from housework. We did go to Target to make a return (we ended up with a few purchases, too, isn't that always the case) and we were going to go to Old Navy, but it started raining so we just went home. Annie took a nap and I read blogs and watched The Good Wife and ran the washing machine.

Saturday night we went to a shower for one of my college friends, Ashley (teacher friend Ashley, not mommy friend Ashley) and her fiance, Adam. We had some great craw fish and got to visit with some old (and new) friends. It was actually a little chilly, which was complete craziness for May in Mississippi! Annie stayed with my parents and when we picked her up she was so ready for bed.

When we got home I stayed up way too late obsessing about baby names. Peyton and I had discussed them in the car and then I told my mom that Peyton really likes the name Sarah Graves for a girl or just Graves for a boy. She said it made her think of tombstones. Since it's Peyton's grandmother's maiden name, I just associate it with a last name, I had never thought of a graveYARD. Of course, Peyton said he didn't either and he is still very attached to it. I it's stupid to worry about, since I'm not even pregnant or anything, I'm just kind of nervous after reading that article on Baby Name Regret. I mean, I realize it's unusual and it's okay if people (even my mom) don't like the name, but I don't want everyone thinking of a cemetery every time they see my kid, you know?

Today (Sunday) was really relaxed. Peyton went to the Men's Club breakfast this morning and he had to work after that, so Ann Peyton and I went by ourselves to Sunday School and church. I woke up barely in time to make it to SS. It was a nice service and when we got home I changed Annie's clothes, fed her and put her down for a nap. I had great intentions of doing several things during her nap, but just didn't happen. I still felt pretty bad, and I decided we probably all should have gone to the doctor and gotton shots in our rears on Friday. So I took a nap, too. Really, I have taken more naps this week than any week since I was pregnant (I KNOW I'm not pregnant, don't worry!). Even when Annie was a newborn, I don't think I napped this much!

After AP woke up, I straigtened the house and folded and put up some laundry. Peyton grilled hamburgers when he got home and we had a nice relaxing evening.

I don't think next week is going to be too busy, either. I'm going to go help Ms. Darlene clean everything up in the MMO rooms one day and on Wednesday I have my yearly visit to the OB (yuck!). Nothing too exciting!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Five Squared

In honor of my 25th birthday today, I thought I'd make a list. I was inspired by a "five by five" post I'd seen on Bea's blog before and I thought it was so much more fun and creative than just making one big list of twenty five things.

Five Reasons I'm Happy to be Finished with a Quarter of a Century
1. Drama seems to progressively decline. Junior High Drama>High School Drama>College Drama>Mommy Drama. Or so it appears, thus far.
2. Instead of criticizing parenting decisions my Mom and Dad make with Cookie, I just take notes, because I've got my own chance now!
3. I'm done with flaky boyfriends. Barring Peyton's premature death (which, it goes without saying, would be unfortunate for many substantially more important reasons) , I'm happy to say I'll never have to deal with dating stress again.
4. I think I have better perspective than I've ever had. Trivial things seem to matter less and less. I'm glad that is the case.
5. I'm no longer at the point where I feel like loudly dropping the F Bomb in a crowded room is appropriate. Because that was kind of crass.

Five Items on My Bucket List
1. Live in New York City for a year with Peyton, Annie, and possibly another family member that has yet to be conceived.
2. Successfully be solely responsible for AP's (and possible sibling's) education during said year in NYC (well, with assistance from Peyton).
3. See Bruce Springsteen live in concert.
4. Give away a year's worth of paychecks once I start um, acquiring them.
5. Have a piece of my writing published in a forum other than blogspot (a magazine, newspaper, ect.)

Five Things That Make Me Nervous About Growing Older
1. People I love dying. {Shiver, Shiver}
2. When the day finally comes that I have to stop shopping in the junior's department.
3. When the day finally comes that I have to stop shopping in the kid's department.
4. The fact that Ann Peyton will grow older. She's perfect. Can someone please find me a pause button? I'm kidding. Kind of.
5. Menopause. It's so final. Glad it's a ways off.

Top Five Coolest Birthday Parties I've Ever Had
1. Pajama Party Breakfast at the Jackson Country Club (I was around seven)
2. Cookout at my grandparents' (now parents') house (I was twelve, I think)
3. Autograph Party- we signed autograph books, wrapped May poles, and had lime sherbert and Sprite floats; my mom was SO creative (I was around nine)
4. Tea Party- everyone brought their baby dolls (I was five)
5. "Outer Space" Party- we had a space jump and bright green alien cakes, and my Dad showed everyone how to use his telescope (I think I was eight)

Five Things I'm Looking Forward to Experiencing in My Life
1. Teaching Ann Peyton things like the alphabet, numbers, and The Lord's Prayer. I got so excited about this today, for some reason. Also, memorizing poetry and reading and discussing books together and teaching her my favorite songs.
2. Having my own classroom and teaching school one day.
3. Our special year together in New York- I'm sure it will be life changing for all of us. But mostly, seeing how happy it (hopefully) makes Peyton.
4. Experiencing birth and the initial meeting of a child again.
5. The first time Ann Peyton says "I love you" to me.

Pretty fun analyzing my life and such, always fun to be a little reflective. If anyone feels compelled to make a similar set of lists, I'd love to read!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Won't You Read to Me? Wednesday

Annie is a weird baby when it comes to her sleep habits. She's weird in a totally good way, though. Sometimes, she'll be fussy and I can tell that she is tired, but not really "sleepy". I used to think those two words were synonymous, but now I think your body can be tired when you're really not sleepy- in fact, I experience it quite often. Anyway, she'll start fussing and I know she needs to rest. However, if I lay her flat in her crib, she gets mad and cries and protests. But, if I put her in her crib sitting up with her lovey and her paci and a toy, she plays happily for a few minutes until she falls asleep. Sometimes, it takes her half an hour to relax. And sometimes, she doesn't even fall asleep, but I can tell she's rested after she gets up. It's like she craves that time alone in her bed. Weird.

So, I know you are thinking, what in the world does this have to do with "Won't You Read to Me? Wednesday"? Don't worry, I'm getting there! Recently, we have been putting a book or two in the crib with her instead of other toys. She looks flipping the pages and looking at the pictures in her board books and I think it's more relaxing for her than some of her other toys. And, of course, it's a good way to send the subliminal message of "YOU WILL LOVE TO READ!". Ha!

This is the book AP has been perusing during her quiet time lately.....

Fairy Colors
by Caroline Repchuk

I just think this book is adorable. My mom got it for Ann Peyton for Christmas and she LOVES it. It's a really short little story about a bunch of fairies getting ready for a "fairy ball". It's got a cute rhyme and it would be a really fun book for teaching colors.

The illustrations are so fun! On each page, part of the fairies costume is made out bright, shimmery, reflective material. Annie loves all the sparkles! Another neat thing is that the fairies all have different hair and skin colors- we want AP to experience multiculturalism with her books, dolls, and toys, as well as with her friends.

I've been having some trouble with the MckLinky lately. I'm going to try to figure it out by next week. If it doesn't work and you'd like to participate, just leave me a comment!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The High and Low of It

Harry Burns:
There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.

Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You're the worst kind. You're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally Albright: I don't see that.
Harry Burns: You don't see that? Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you.
Sally Albright: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry Burns: I know; high maintenance.
(from When Harry met Sally)

I, like Sally Albright, was "the worst kind of woman"; I was a high maintenance gal who believed she was low maintenance.

In some superficial ways, I am low maintenance. For example, I joked about getting a vacuum cleaner for Mother's Day. In the first place, let me just say that in my opinion, the fact that this scenario involving the vacuum cleaner actually happened, clearly indicates that I have arrived. I mean is that not just the quintessential Mom story or what? It makes me a little proud because it seems like something that would be given to to June Cleaver or Laura Petrie as a gift and they'd be super excited. Also, as I've said before, we are just not huge into giving each other gifts at the typical times. I have a couple of "big" things I want (a sewing machine and a good camera) but I want to hold out awhile on those. I couldn't really think of anything else I wanted- usually if there is something I want, I just use my "spending" money and that's that.

Also,while my sister drives a super nice SVU, I was very content with my used 4 Runner. In fact, I was more than content; I loved that car. Content is a word I would use to describe my current vehicle status, as the proud owner of a Buick. I am the only one from my original family unit that has never had a luxury vehicle. And I don't really care.

I never really felt like I needed a Kate Spade handbag or a coach wallet. I was happy to find my purses and billfolds at Target. Not that I ever turned down any high end hand me downs from the Cookiekins.

[Notice I stopped short of saying I did not share her lust for designer jeans. Because my Seven A-Pockets are life changing.]

Although I enjoy a juicy steak from Shapley's, there are many, many days that find me just as satisfied with a meatball sub from Subway.

While several of my friends got "push presents", Peyton told me in no uncertain terms that the baby was the present. I'm kind of exaggerating; he did buy me some really nice perfume at Belk, but some wedding credit we had left covered most of the purchase.

Someone was telling me recently how much fun it would be to take Ann Peyton to get a "mani" and a "pedi" one day. I've had a professional manicure maybe three times in my life and in my opinion, it's just not all it's cracked up to me. I do long for the day when I will paint her fingernails and toenails myself for the first time, though, just like my mom did.

Nothing is wrong with any of those things; they just don't mean anything to me. Yes, there are certain things I care about enough to spend money on. Like jeans. Like baby clothes. Like a nice piece of furniture. And I will freely admit that the quantity of stuff I have accumulated over the years is a bit embarrassing. But, in many ways, I did think of myself as "low-maintence".

Well, after we got married, Peyton let me know real quick that I was anything but. When he worked at Rite Aid I would call the pharmacy multiple times a day with some "issue" I needed help with (a clogged potty, a dead bird the cat brought it, a heartbreaking blog I allowed myself to read). I never wanted to drive myself anywhere and I truly disliked cooking. Emotionally, I don't know that it gets anymore high maintenance than me this side of clinical diagnosis. I hate to label myself as "needy", but for a long time I was.

Also, like Sally said, "I just like things the way I like them". If you've never watched the movie, Sally is your classic type-A, got to have a plan, often inflexible woman. That resonates, friends. The way she dictates a novel when ordering her sandwich is SO me ("I'd like the chef salad with the oil and vinegar on the side ....I'd like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream, just whipped cream"). There was a time that if there wasn't a grilled cheese on the menu I wasn't going. As I got older I kind of grew more flexible. And by "got older" I mean went to college and by "grew more flexible" I mean I'd tolerate a cheeseburger. Even though I was the oldest, my sister told me shortly after AP was born that she was glad I had finally gotten over myself and stopped being such a baby.

And she was right. I would "fret" so much if things didn't go the way I planned. Food has always been an issue. But there are many other things, too. For example, when I was pregnant over a year ago I went with my parents to Oxford. Something didn't go the way I wanted it to and I huffed and puffed the whole day in the Grove. I ruined the trip for everyone. I used to seriously not be able to take a trip with other people unless I said to myself "I am not planning anything", so that I wouldn't be disappointed.

My sister got me a pillow a few years ago that said "Grow up and put your big girl panties on". Two things have helped me to do that this year. One of them is obvious; it's actually not a "thing" but a "her". There is nothing like motherhood to help you realize it's not all about you, anymore.

The other thing is Peyton's job change. He's just not in a position where he can talk me through eleventy five crises a day from work anymore. And that has been so good for me. And for our marriage. I knew these two things had really helped me to grow.

Still, imagine my surprise awhile back when something unexpected arose and he said "Sweetie, you have gotten SO low maintenance".

Monday, May 10, 2010

Swing, Oh, Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,

River and trees and cattle and all

Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown--

Up in the air I go flying again,

Up in the air and down!

AP is a swinger. Some children are and some children aren't. She is. I've decided. I myself was more of a monkey bars girl, and she may prove to be that, too, with age. Right now, she is loving some swinging. Peyton said she is a little dare devil and it is so true. She loves to go just as high as we will push her! She's SO independent and now, seeing what a risk-taker she is scares me a little bit. I'm sure these attributes will all be to her benefit, though.

One memory swinging brought back (besides the beautiful poem* cited above, which I have always loved) was of my grandmother, "Bump". Bump would often sing to us, but she was terrible with song lyrics. I remember her singing The Marines Hymn (an odd lullaby, anyway) once and going...."From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli...da da da da da" and continuing with da da's for the rest of the song. Another one of her favorites was "By, Oh, By". Those were the lyrics. Over and over, she'd just sing "by, oh, by, oh, by, oh, by, oh, by", but it had variations and one of our favorites was "Swing, Oh, Swing". The memory made me so happy, but I felt such an acute sadness that Bump never got to meet Annie. I miss her SO much sometimes. It's hard to believe that she's been gone almost exactly two years. I can't wait to tell Ann Peyton all about her.

She was so much like our little swinger- brave and fiercely independent.

*The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson