Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Skillz Set: First Scribbles

Okay, I know this is of no interest to anyone, but I'm sharing anyway because I already scanned it for sentimental reasons (as I do with lots important papers- birth announcement, birthday invitations, ect) and then I figured since this blog is my baby book in a lot of ways, I wanted to put it up.

Without further ado, one of Annie's first pieces of artwork:

[Our scanner makes those weird lines when there is a lot of white open space on a page.]

She has only just now started to be interested in coloring. Until recently she mainly wanted to eat the crayons (we still struggle with that from time to time). Maybe it's that I always put her in her high chair to color (it's so much less mess and it's just a great area for her to do "art" without getting crayon on the walls, furniture, ect; we also do play dough in the high chair) and she's often provided with crayons at restaurants. Either way, until late, she's thought they were edible.

Needless to say, I was very proud when she actually started making scribbles instead of just ingesting brightly colored wax.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Weekly Happenings Post #115 (May 23-29)-- On the Mend

(103) Family Picture (May 29, 2011)_20110529_001
Notice how two family members in this photo are sleeping (okay, one is "possuming").  Also, notice the baby church shoes and rice sock on the left.  Also, notice the gross stringy hair on my forehead.  Yuck.  Also, notice that Peyton and AP have basically the same hair cut (although hers has never been cut).  Also, notice BG's (Baby Graves's) hand trying to peak out of his swaddle. 

I feel like I've slowly gotten my strength back after being sick and it's been a good, fun, AND productive week. I was a little more tired that usual, and I think a lot of that had to do with me still recovering from the infection.  One thing that I forgot to mention last week is that in a quest for a little simplicity in my life, I have decided to try to eliminate some things and streamline some others.  Just simple things, like browsing a magazine to see if there's actually anything I want to read rather than putting it a pile somewhere for months and then other things like not obsessing over one lost receipt or whatever.  I also decided that I'm not going to track my 101 goals every week.  I did it for so long, but the count was getting less and less accurate because I'd forget to track them each day/week and I think I'm going to do what my friend Ashley did (who gave me the idea actually) and just keep a general track mentally and then give an overall summary.  The only difference is that I am going to (sort of) stick to what I said and blog about each goal individually (although I may combine several in a post at this point; either way, it's going to be more detailed than just one big post).

This week was a big week for me as well because I did a couple of things that were out of my comfort zone.  I'm not super indpendent AT ALL, so these were a big deal.  For one thing, I stayed by myself (with the kiddos) for the first time ever last week. NOW, if you are some kind of predator reading this, know that this is not the norm and it will be a long time before it ever happens again.  Also, (and I know this seems like even less of a big deal), but I drove to Peyton's store.  It's about half an hour from our house, all interstate, and has some kind of intricate directions.  I'm not a great driver (although I have improved since high school when I had like, eight wrecks) and I really don't do good on highways especially if I don't have some one to help me navigate.  I can totally drive on the interstate around our house and the area where I grew up, but anything south of "The Stack" (for Jackson area residents) really unnerves me.  

I had my six week check up with the OB on Monday morning.  I got up and got ready and fed Graves and was there by 8:30.  Peyton had the day off so he was able to watch Graves and Annie.  Everything went smoothly and I was cleared for all forms of physical activity.  Ahem.  After my appointment, I decided to do a little shopping.  I went by Old Navy, Gap, Gymboree, The Children's Place, and TJ Maxx.  I also stopped in Target and Material Girls (a little boutique sort of store).  I got a couple of things for me and several Summer things for Graves.  I went home and made myself and Annie turkey melts for lunch.  Peyton's brother was at our house hanging out, but he left pretty soon after I got there. I put Annie down for her nap and Peyton left to deliver some food to someone in our Sunday School class and go to a meeting.  I cleaned up the kitchen and straightened all around the house and then finished two blog posts.  When Peyton got home, I took a little nap myself.  He had another meeting that night.  I got Annie up and she played while I folded laundry and then ate supper. Graves was really fussy and his swing had dead batteries and our microwave was broken so the rice sock was out of commission, too.  I ended up holding him a lot.  I didn't mind too much ;)  Peyton got home from his meeting which was actually at Char and he had brought his supper home because he didin't have time to eat it.  He was super sweet and shared with me!  We gave Ann Peyton a bath and I put up a bunch of clothes in the nursery.

Then...this is a BIG deal.  Peyton left to go work an overnight shift.  He hardly ever does that and when he has before, I've stayed with my parents.  I decided this time, though, it was just not worth it with both kids and all that would entail.  Plus, it was time to conquer my fear.  Graves was still really fussy for a couple of hours, so I snuggled with him and then got on the computer once he fell asleep. I was pretty tired myself and actually went to bed kind of early for me (around eleven).

Annie woke up at 7:30 on Tuesday and Peyton got home shortly after that.  He played with her and we talked a little and then he went to bed.  We had a pretty typical morning at home- folding laundry, loading dishes, and eating breakfast.  Surprisingly, I think AP forgot Peyton was even here.  I managed to get a shower while Graves was napping and then I fed AP an early lunch and put her down for a nap.  You guys? SHE STAYED IN HER BED FROM JUST PAST NOON UNTIL ALMOST FIVE O'CLOCK.  That's a bit excessive, even for her, but my mom had mentioned on the phone to me that morning that maybe one reason she had been particularly tired the last couple of days was because she wasn't getting enough sleep.  I'd had to wake her up from her nap several times over those few days, so when I realized how long she had been in there, I just let her stay.  The nap was bookended by periods of quietly reading in bed.  In fact, when I finally did go in, she still wasn't asking to get out; I just figured almost five hours in bed was enough!

Graves wanted to be held or feed for a good bit of her nap time, but I still had a huge chunk of time to myself.  I folded several loads of laundry, watered plants, and changed batteries in the baby swing and the vibration mechanism/music player in the Pack N Play- two things I'm very dependent on these days.  I also squeezed in an episode of Amy Wives, part of The Good Wife, and a little nap for myself.  Peyton woke up and he cut up fruit for a birthday party we were going to and sent an email and I got the kids ready.

Peyton's sister's husband's birthday was this week and they had a party at his parents' neighborhood pool house.  It was fun and AP had a BLAST swimming.  Graves had fun getting out and seeing everyone.
Uncle Daniel's Birthday Party_20110524_001

Uncle Daniel's Birthday Party_20110524_025
We stopped by my parents' house on the way home to drop a rocking chair that didn't work in the nursery off. Peyton was working the night shift again, so he helped me get Ann Peyton to bed and then left.  I stayed up pretty late on Tuesday, but I got a lot done.  I spent about two hours cleaning house- I straightened and consolidated a few piles, did some more laundry, swept and mopped the tile and laminate floors, organized the fridge and made Kool Aid, gave the counters a superficial scrub, and cleaned the kitty door.  I fed Graves, read my Bible and some in Twelve Extraordinary Women, which I never finished before Graves was born and then got on the computer.

Peyton had the day off on Wednesday.  He slept some in the morning, and I got up and did my usual routine.  I had a TERRIBLE headache, though, so once he got up around noon, I ate lunch and then went back to bed myself.  I slept a while and then just kind of pittered around the house.  I took some medicine, drank lots of water, and even went out in the yard for some fresh air.  Nothing helped! My mom and Cookie came over for a visit and that was fun.  Then we all got ready to go meet Erika, one of Peyton's friends from pharmacy school.  We had dinner at Primos and my head started feeling much better.  We went by Peyton's parents' house on the way home and visited a little.  Once we got home, we put Annie to bed and then Peyton and I read some in Radical Together and talked.  I got on the computer fora  little bit and then went to bed.

Peyton was off again on Thursday and we just relaxed and got stuff done around the house most of the day.  Annie slept late (TENish!!) but of course, Graves was up around eight.  He had a hard night and I was up a lot, so Peyton got up with him. I slept pretty late and then got up and did laundry and dishes.  I got a bath and had lunch and did a few things around the house.  We put Annie down for her nap and I ran to Target, Kroger, and Wear It's At.  I got home and put up groceries and Peyton had some stuff to do for Ultreya.  He left and Graves, Annie and I spent a couple of hours starting to work on my closet changeover.  I decided I needed to get rid of some stuff this year, but I still have too much!  AP got kind of fussy and Graves started melting down and I almost lost it myself.  I told Peyton the other day that it's easiest right now for me to do small, mindless task (like dishes and laundry) that are easy to stop in the middle of.  Maybe the closet was too much ;)  Annie was so whiney and I really wanted to pop her even though we decided not to spank.  How terrible is that?  It makes me kind of glad we decided against it, though, because I know I won't do something in anger that I regret. [Not that that would be a good rationale, alone, for not doing it.  If I felt like it was the way to go I'm sure I could control my temper.]  I also kind of wanted to just drop Graves in his crib and walk off. I was crying by the time Peyton got home because I felt like such a TERRIBLE momma.  Peyton took them both and just gave me a break.  He fed AP supper and got her ready for bed.  I fed Graves and we just kind of relaxed the rest of the night.  I got on the computer, cleaned up the kitchen, and tried to take some pictures of Graves for his birth announcement (now that he's six weeks old, ha!).Graves_20110526_023
I do think my son is supper cute, but he is just not as photogenic as Ann Peyton was. I kept asking Peyton "Is our baby really as ugly as he looks in these pictures??" We ended up picking a close up of him sleeping that really just looks like a generic baby.  I told Peyton I was worried because you couldn't really see what he looked like and Peyton said (jokingly, of course), "Well, that's a good thing!".  Poor Baby Graves.  We love you and think you're precious! 

Ann Peyton slept a little late on Friday and when she got up, I straightened a little and cleaned the bathrooms because Carrie and the Howie kids were coming over for lunch and a visit.  I got a shower and got ready and fed Graves while Peyton played with Annie and got ready for work.  We had a wonderful time visiting once Carrie and her crew got here.  She picked up lunch from Corner Bakery and it was great!  It was nice to be able to sit and chat without worrying about kids getting loud or getting out of their seats.  We actually had the longest visit that we've had in a while.  After they left, I put AP down for a nap and fed Graves (who had slept through almost the entire playdate).  Graves fell back asleep and I straightened the house a little and did dishes and then I read some blogs and worked on my closet change over some more.  I'm about half way done with my closet, but that doesn't include a dresser or my shoes and purses.  I really am trying to get rid of some stuff as I go this time.

When they woke up, we went over to my parents' house for Red Beans and Rice.  It was very relaxing!  Annie went right to bed when we got home and then I started working on the birth announcement. I got so made because I couldn't get the red eye to go away on the picture I really liked.  Peyton got home and  Ellis called and said he was in town and wanted to come over.  He ended up spending the night and we had a good time catching up. 

Ann Peyton woke up early on Saturday and Peyton left for woke and Ellis headed out, too.  I went ahead and got a shower before Graves woke up and then we did laundry and dishes and played all morning.  I pumped a little bit of a bottle (frustrating!) and fed AP an early lunch and she took a GREAT nap.  I ate lunch and watched TV and then worked on my blog design for June.  My mom came over to help me make a final decision on the announcement and then I folded laundry and worked on pumping a little more.

Peyton and I had an Ultreya thing Saturday night, so I dropped of the kids with his dad and headed to Byram to meet him.  I've never driven to his store before and it was kind of confusing.  I'm bad with directions and not the best driver, so it was pretty intense.  We ate a quick supper at Subway and then headed to the our Ultreya gathering.  I picked up the kids and Peyton ran by Walmart on the way home.  We got to bed late and then I had to wake up and wrap some presents that needed to be ready on Sunday and then Ann Peyton had a nightmare.  

I got up at six on Sunday morning.  Peyton helped me get everyone ready, and we headed to church.  Church and Sunday School were good and Graves made it through both without needing to eat!  We had another Cursillo event that afternoon, so I swung by the house and grabbed a few things I already had together and then headed to my parents' house.  I ate lunch and dropped the babies off and met our friend, Buzz, to ride down to Camp Wesley Pines.  We dropped his girls off and then headed down there.  We had a nice trip; he and his wife are THE SWEETEST.  The service was great and we picked up our friends from the retreat and headed home.  I picked up Annie and Graves and AP kept saying "hoooommme" she was so tired.  She fell asleep in the car and when we got home I put her in bed even though it was late.  She slept a while and I fed Graves AND pumped a bottle.  Peyton got home and we talked and relaxed.   I told Peyton I thought we should get AP up, but he said we should just see if she'd "sleep until in the morning".  It sounded like a bad idea to me, but we went with it.  Well, she was up at eight thirty and was very mad.  Nothing made her happy.  Of course, she was still tired, but I kept her up for a couple of hours and attempted supper (she ate a cereal bar and Nilla Wafers with peanut butter- mom fail) and then after a lot of tantrums we put her back to bed.  That's the last time I'm deferring to Peyton on sleep schedules!  I unloaded the dishwasher and loaded a full load that was in the sink, straightened, went through diaper bags, and started some laundry and then went to sleep.

This week is going to be a good one I think.  I love Summer weeks that are full of family and friends.  Sometimes it's exhausting, all the going and doing, but it's so worth it!

Weekly Smorgasbord

Not too much from last week. I was super tired and did a poor job of keeping up. I acutally have a list of posts emailed to my self that looked interesting but I just couldn't find the time to read. Maybe some will appear next week!

    Posted: 29 May 2011 06:45 PM PDT
    Loved this post. THIS is one reason why me and and Ashley are friends- I related to every word of it.
    Posted: 29 May 2011 06:44 PM PDT
    This post posed an interesting question. I really hadn't thought about how to address the issue of letting our children go play at someone's house where we don't know the parents. I thought a lot of the commenters who said "just go along with him" had the right idea.
    Posted: 29 May 2011 06:39 PM PDT
    I thought this was an interesting post from a mom of TEN!
    Feel free to share anything good that I missed!

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    This Could Change Your [Blogging] Life

    I mentioned that I had several "picture posts" that I needed to do.  I wanted to share something new that I discovered because it is so LIFE CHANGING.  When we got our new camera, Blogger started taking even longer to upload pictures than it previously had.  Now, we have a pretty fast connection, but even with the new editor, I could only upload three pictures at a time or it would "time out" and I'd get an error message.

    Which would make a post like this one, um, difficult. 

    Solution?  Windows Live Writer.  It's a neat tool used for creating post and it's SO user friendly.  I still write all my "text only" posts directly in a Blogger draft, but if I have more than, say, two pictures, I want to upload I use Live Writer.  Sometimes, it still takes a little time to get the size and spacing of the photographs right once you're in draft mode on Blogger, but I feel like it's saved me countless uploading hours. 

    I'm so, so not one to enjoy trying new things.  I'm a girl who really hates change.  So trying this out was something I put off way longer than I should have.  But, I'd suggest it to anyone who, like I did, spends way too much time waiting for stuff to upload!

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Picture Post: Graves's One Month Out Takes (05.12.11)

    I have a bunch of "picture posts" I've been needing to catch up on.  Not too much to say, just a few of my favorite outtakes from Graves's one month shoot with PigPig.

    Graves- One Month Old_20110512_002

    Graves- One Month Old_20110512_007 

    Graves- One Month Old_20110512_008

    AP and Graves_20110512_008

    AP and Graves_20110512_010

    AP and Graves_20110512_009

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Teeth Grinding. Stomach Churning. Heart Breaking.

    I said on Twitter recently that I was going to make an effort to pray often that no matter how passionate I became about my choices as a mother I would not be arrogant when discussing them.  I said that so often I see well intentioned words that reek with superiority.  I said that mommy wars make my teeth grind, my stomach churn, and my heart break.

    I hate it when some mothers act like the only legitimate way to get your child to sleep is in your arms or at your breast. I can't stand people thinking I'm lazy or mean or worst of all selfish because I've let my child cry herself to sleep.  I get angry thinking of the person who said, cruelly, in regards to this, "Babies in orphanages cry because they know no one is coming for them".  I resent you comparing my loving home to a negligent ORPHANAGE.  

    And yet.  AND YET.  I also have a strong disdain for the pretentious smiles and the words of condescension from one mother to another when the latter confesses her child still isn't sleeping.  Just because Babywise worked for you, and just because it IS effective, doesn't mean everyone is comfortable with it.

    It bothers me that there are a lot of women who are formula feeding their children for good reasons and who still feel tremendous guilt over it.  It makes me uncomfortable knowing that some people equate pouring formula into a bottle to pouring poison down a baby's throat and it brings me equal discomfort knowing, KNOWING that in some people's mind the most important form of bonding is that which occurs at the breast. 

    But.  BUT.  I do know breastfeeding is best and I want to be a strong advocate for that, knowing that many American women don't understand how beneficial it is for their baby, physiologically or emotionally. I feel a fire within me when I see a seemingly well educated, and ironically pregnant reporter on a national cable news station say "Many doctors agree that the formula of today is of equal nutritional value as breast milk" further perpetuating this misunderstanding. I know breast feeding is hard and I wish there was more support for it and more openness to it in our culture. 
    I cringe when I hear about an elective Cesarean because a woman is afraid of a vaginal birth and worried about the mess of it or wants the birth of her child to line up with visits from extended family. I gasp at the "too posh to push" phenomenon.  And I feel a twinge of sadness, that, as someone recently pointed out, many women spend more time researching a new household appliance than they do their birth options. 

    And still.  AND STILL.  I find it offensive when natural birth advocates, people whom I want to identify with, vilify mothers for their birth choices.  It stings when I hear people say that mothers who choose a medicated birth are less than deserving of their birth experience.  It leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I see mothers feeling forced to defend their epidurals and their necessary C-Sections...their choices.

    The thing is, there are some of these statements that I understand to an extent.  I just try to make every effort not to make anyone else's teeth grind or stomach churn or heart break with my words.  I'm sure some people would accuse me of being too "PC" or not being firm enough in my convictions, or trying to placate everyone but really it is just the opposite.  It's actually a very pragmatic approach.  I feel like when you address a situation with kindness and put your relationship (or your potential relationship) with a person ahead of your opinions on an issue, both the relationship AND the issue will be better served.  By that I simply mean, as my Momma used to say "you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar".  People will take more interest in, and be more likely to further explore, your views if you treat them with respect and give dignity to their choices and decisions.  Or so it has been in my experience.

    Weekly Happenings Post #114 (May 16-22)-- Infection Invades (SD's Boobs)

    (102) Family Picture (May 22, 2011)_20110522_001We all look a little rough in this one, I think.  Oh, and that's Annie's new best friend, "ROBOT".  Peyton thinks it's hilarious because he's one of her favorite "dolls" these days.

    Well, if last week was two steps back, this week was TWO HUNDRED steps back.  I did have a good excuse, with the sickness and all.  I just felt like I was on such a kick and after Graves was born, I bounced back (physically) really fast and was able to gradually start accomplishing a bit, so it's been hard going in reverse.  As a sidenote, I'm sure it seems like I'm obsessed with "being productive" and "accomplishing things" even though I rarely do much of either.  I guess it's just hard for me, because being a stay at home mom is,  in one sense, unique among most other jobs, in that one's motivation is basically entirely intrinsic (unless you have a taskmaster husband or something).  This is something I've always struggled with. I feel like if I'm not constantly evaluating my "output", I literally won't get anything done.  I know this because I was, in the words of my dad, a total lard ass for the first year of our marriage.  At the same time, I realize that there is a fine line and the primary reason I am what I am is not for the purpose of completing various projects or having some kind of ritualistic cleaning schedule a la Fly Lady.  I want to sit and savor these moments for their benefit as well as my own.

    Also, this post should be more brief than normal (y'all are probably thankful!).  Blogger is REALLY upsetting me lately and after last week's outage, this week for some crazy reason it deleted the majority of my post.  I always type each day's events up before I go to bed and when I looked at it on Saturday night, everything but the first paragraph was gone.  So I'm doing this mostly from memory.

    I honestly hardly remember anything at all about Monday.  I think we just stayed home the whole day?  I do know I spent a long time during nap time fooling around trying to figure out some changes I wanted to make to the design of my blog. Cant' remember much else. UGGHH.

    Ann Peyton_20110516_008 Of course, she actually didn't like her jeans (I personally prefer dresses, too, because they are "waistless"), so I put on some somewhat coordinating gingham shorts/bloomers.

    Ann Peyton_20110516_013 Annie loves to take care of her babies now.  She told me "they resting".

    Tuesday was a busy day, though.  Peyton was off the whole day and he took Annie to fed the ducks while I took a bath and got ready because we were meeting all the ladies I worked with at Mother's Day Out for lunch.  They were so sweet to invite me back to their end of the year celebration!  I gave Graves a bath and when they got back Peyton helped me get AP ready.  He went to the grocery store while we were gone and when we got home we put Annie to bed.  She had fallen asleep in the car, but she still had a little quiet time in her room.  I got on the computer and then Graves got fussy, so I held him and we cuddled.  Peyton had to run up to the church for something and he took Ann Peyton with him.  I straighten up the house while they were gone.  When they got back, we got ready and went to our Ultreya meeting, which we were hosting this time (it's at the church, but there's still a "hostess" for every meeting).  I had a really bad headache when we got home and fell asleep super early on the couch.

    Wednesday was one of the hardest days, physically, that I've ever had.  The morning was pretty long and we spent a lot of time eating extra snacks, coloring  in the high chair, and watching The View.  I let Ann Peyton curl up on the couch with me and look at pictures in my Facebook albums and identify all the people and stuffed animals and things she knew in them.  A few somewhat inconsequential toddler rules (you have to clean up your messes before naptime, you have to eat your veggies before anything else, ect) went out the window, but I was okay with it.  We made it!  Also, special thanks to Graves, who channeled a six week old Annie Baby and hardly fussed all day.

    Once they took a nap, I took one myself and then ate lunch and had a bath and rested some more.  Annie woke up and we watched Army Wives and then Peyton got home and I rested for a couple of hours.  We went to Newks for dinner and then I went straight back to sleep.  Graves had a bit of a rough night, but I was already feeling better.

    Peyton was home Thursday morning and I slept in.  Once I got up, I did a little laundry and straightening, but not too much.  Peyton's mom came over to visit and she played with Annie and gave her a bath.  Peyton cooked chili and a pork tenderloin, fixed our leaky sink, and took care of both babies most of the morning.  WOW.  I just rested while they did and then when they woke up we went to my parents' house for dinner.  We had chicken, corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes and bread and butter sandwiches.  My mom cut mine and Annie's with a heart shaped sandwich cutter.  We went to bed after we got home. 

    We met Carrie and her kids for lunch on Friday at Mellow Mushroom and it took me literally two and half hours to get everyone ready and I was the only one who had a bath.  I did take a little break to get on the computer and fold some towels, but mostly we just ate breakfast, changed diapers several times, made sure everyone was dressed and ready, got various bags and snacks together (because I never know if AP will like what's at the restaurant and I'm too cheap to gamble) and nursed a couple of times.  Whew!

    Lunch was a bit harder than last week.  AP got impatient waiting for the pizza and Graves was hungry AGAIN.  Luckily, I had a bottle I pumped earlier in the week, so I gave it to him.  It woudn't have been too fun to make Carrie sit all by herself with her kids while I went and fed him for twenty minutes (I think he's having a growth spurt because he nurses more often and for longer). 

    Everyone took a nap when we got home and I got on the computer and didn't do much else, I don't think.  Peyton got home and he cut the yard while I folded laundry and then we all went to my parents' house for Red Beans and Rice.
    Graves_20110520_002 This is the bubble Graves wore as his "coming home" outfit.  It's about to get too little, but it's one of my absolute favorites (I like that it doesn't have a collar that gets all in his face), so we're trying to make the most out of it and he's wearing it for casual outings as well as to church for the next couple of weeks!

    Peyton worked on Saturday so we were on our own.  We had a pretty laid back morning.  I folded some laundry and put up dishes and cleaned and put away all the stuff that we had to get out from under the sink for Peyton to fix the leak.  We watched TV and read books and just relaxed.   When Annie took her nap, I ate lunch and read blogs while I held a fussy little baby.  I also ended up giving him a bath because he peed AND pooped mid diaper change.  I think he's going to make a boy mom out of me yet- the night before he pottied and I caught the poop in his diaper like a catcher's mit and then on Saturday we had another boy first.  I can't really articulate that one though without sounding like a predator or using words from a Viagra commercial.  Anyway, after that my mom and her friend Lynn stopped by for a visit.

    Annie woke up and "visited" and then we went over to my parents' house AGAIN because Cookie had been out of town for the weekend and wanted to see us.  It was nice- they ordered sushi and I took a little nap.  We stayed longer than I intended because a neighbor came over to visit and when we got home, I put AP straight to bed.  Peyton and I talked a little and I got on the computer, but then I decided I HAD to get some things done.  I did housework for over two hours and I was pretty proud of all I accomplished- I consolidated a bunch of piles around the house and deposited a lot of things to their proper place and then I dusted in the study and our bedroom.  I did a really thorough job in our room- I emptied out my open top vanity and cleaned it and all the little bottles and jars of stuff in it and I also took special notice of things I always miss (the ceiling fan, our headboard, ect.).  I swept the hardwoods and put fresh sheets on our bed and rotated the laundry a couple of times.  I REWROTE THIS WHOLE POST and read my Bible and went to bed too late.

    We actually got to go to late church on Sunday because Peyton wasn't working.  I volunteered to to help in the nursery during Sunday School for a friend who was going to be out of town  and they had so many kids I ended up staying for church, too.  Peyton was ushering, so I kept Graves in the nursery with me.  Of course, having me and Graves there made Annie particularly whiney.  After we got home from church, my friend Ellis stopped by for a lunch and a brief visit.  It was too short!  He left and Peyton left to go play ultimate frisbee.   Both kids were crying and I was still trying to finish my lunch.  I had told him I was happy for him to go, but for a minute I really resented it.  I fed Graves and got Ann Peyton down for her nap and then I straightened around the house and read some in my Modern Parables book for Bible study that night.  Then I took a nap, too!  I set my alarm and had to wake both babies up for church.  Peyton had meetings at the church all afternoon, so I went to our study by myself and then met him for the last meeting.  We got home, fed AP supper and put her to bed.  We chatted a little and watched a movie, 127 Hours.  It was weird, but pretty good.  I folded laundry and pumped a bottle during it.  Then I fed Graves, read my Bible and got on the computer for a few minutes.

    I'm so glad I feel pretty much back to normal and I'm hoping for a very "normal" week next week.  We've got a few things going on, but nothing too big and I'm glad to be able to just ease back into things!

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Weekly Smorgasbord

    Here's a few links from the week:

      Posted: 22 May 2011 07:44 PM PDT
      I've read this before and loved it. I think it's true in a way- we are scared to be what we were created to be.
      Posted: 22 May 2011 07:43 PM PDT
      So true.
      Posted: 22 May 2011 07:42 PM PDT
      Great posts on the different seasons of parenthood and how fleeting they are.
      Posted: 22 May 2011 07:42 PM PDT
      I love creative posts like this!

      Posted: 21 May 2011 11:59 AM PDT
      Well this is an interesting little debate that I knew not of. Let's just say that I have my personal beliefs on what I felt was best for my son, BUT true to my conservative roots Ima say government should stay out of this one.
      Posted: 21 May 2011 11:32 AM PDT
      I thought this was a great post on raising a Godly man- something I'm increasingly concerned with doing ;)
      Any to share??

      Saturday, May 21, 2011

      Blue Jean Baby

      Even though the world didn't end today as predicted, I do believe that I spotted one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse this past week...

      Ann Peyton_20110516_001

      Ann Peyton_20110516_003

      Ann Peyton_20110516_004

      Ann Peyton_20110516_006

      That's right, baby's got her blue jeans on!

      Albeit, they have gingham, eyelet, AND ricrac on them, but still.  Y'all.  DENIM.  

      And because I have a weird inability to include song titles or lyrics in a post without including a videographical reference, even a poor quality one,  here ya go:

      Thursday, May 19, 2011

      In Which Infection Overtakes My Body (Okay, I'm Being Slightly Melodramatic)

       TMI Warning: This post is about boobs.  No visual samples, but leave if you can't handle hearing about them.  [Which is not to say I don't have visual samples.  Because apparently, once one has a sister who is nursing school, and who moreover, was an active participant in one's child's birth, any boundaries one ever had with said sibling are nill and void.  And she sends you text asking for pictures.]

      Soooo, just popping in to say hello.  And to tell you about the havoc that has been reeked on my body the past two days.  I feel so out of  sort, having not blogged but maybe two of the last six days (or something like that?).  IT'S SO UNNATURAL.  GAH.

      Anyway, here's what's been going on:

      I went to bed super early Monday night and slept TWELVE hours (with a few newborn nursing/snuggle sesh interuptions) and when I woke up I felt....MORE MISERABLE THAN I HAD WHEN I WENT TO SLEEP AT EIGHT THE PREVIOUS NIGHT.  WHHYYY?  WAAAAHHH! [MOMMY WHINE COMMENCES.]

      Also, despite the fact that I had been freezing cold all night, even when snuggled up to Peyton, I was drenched in sweat and a little shaky.  So I took my temp.  100.7.  There's that. I did think, hmm, maybe matitis because my boobs had been hurting when I nursed during the night, but there were no specific sore spots and they felt fine that morning.  Mainly, I kept having chills and then getting crazy hot and I had one of the worst headaches of my life (which is saying something because in high school I was diagnosed with migranes.  Now, I think they were just tension or sinus related, but they were bad, okay???).

      Peyton had already gone to work, my mom had recently had surgery and his mom was sick so, NO CHILD CARE.  Fun times, y'all.  I got through the morning by telling myself  "You pushed a (near) eight pound human out sans medicine, you can make it a few more hours until naptime".  Natural labor provides powerful coping mechanisms, yes it does.  There was one point when Graves (who is not always the best napper, but did, by God's grace, sleep phenomenally yesterday) was asleep and AP was in her highchair and I just escaped to the bathroom and sobbed, I felt so awful.

      I did, with the help of Twitter Doula, Veronica, figure out that it was in fact mastitis.  One side of my chest had gotten a little sore, but nothing as painful as basically the rest of my whole body.  My throat hurt, my back and chest ached and my headache just got worse and worse.  And I kept having chills and then getting hot and I got so dizzy it was hard to even get up and walk around.

      Fortuanly, we made it to nap time and I got to get some good sleep.  By the time the children woke up, it was only about an hour before Peyton got home. When he did get home, he took one look at my fire engine red boob and said "I'm glad you called in those antibiotics or we'd be heading to the ER tonight".  Incidentally, I need to thank the Lord for my OB (once again), who was sweet enough to call me in a script based on the the above description of symptoms.  Our family practitioner jerkwad wasn't going to get me in until Monday.  At which point, I'm pretty sure I'd either be dead or toxic.  Or not, but in really, really not good condition. 

      Once Peyton got home, I basically took to the bed for the night save an impromptu family Newks trip, which I decided I was up to after a combined five plus hours of napping, but which, subsequently wore me slap out.

      Today I'm a lot better.  Graves had kind of a rough night last night, but it was worth it to have had an easy day with him yesterday.  I'm going to really take it easy the rest of week.

      Tuesday, May 17, 2011

      Weekly Happenings Post #113 (May 9-15)-- Two Steps Back

      (101) Family Picture (May 14, 2011)_20110514_001
      Well, I think this is a new record for lateness on the WH posts (and maybe a new record for how long I've gone without blogging in recent history!).  I'll be honest- last week kind of felt like "two steps backward" to me.  Don't get me wrong, Graves is doing wonderful and Ann Peyton had finally (I think) gotten completely adjusted and that's what's important.  I just felt like I didn't accomplish much and that's not my favorite feeling.  Oh well, do better next time!

      It was so nice to sleep late on Monday. Peyton was home and he got up with Ann Peyton and let me sleep in. I woke up pretty rested since Graves had slept pretty well Sunday night. Once I woke up, I had a little breakfast, brushed my teeth and washed my face and then we went for a walk. A friend from church called to say she had a baby present so we met her at our house after the walk. It was pretty warm outside and I felt DISGUSTING from not having a shower and being kind of drenched in sweat.

      I took my shower and after that I scrubbed the shower curtain liner because it was getting gross. We gave AP a bath and Peyton had one, too. The sun must have worn AP out and made her super hungry and she ate a big lunch and went right down for a nap. I fed Graves and Peyton and I talked and he read the introduction to Radical Together out loud and then I finished up a post and put up laundry. When Annie woke up, I got Graves up, too and we got ready to go to Peyton's parents for a late Mother's Day celebration. Annie was in a terrible mood (I think she was still tired) and did not want to help me clean up her toys. She even went to time out and I finally just told her we weren't leaving the house until she did it. We were about twenty minutes late, but we made it. My inlaws just got a new fence in their backyard so the kids could play back there and Annie had a blast playing with her cousin Simeon and sliding and swinging on the swing set. Graves was awake almost the whole time, too (I think it's the longest stretch he's been awake yet!) and was so content the whole time. My brother in law (who is a pizza chef) made a bunch of yummy pizzas and my sister in law had made a cake. It's funny because even after dating for four years when Peyton and I got married I don't think I could see myself going over there and hanging out with his family for three hours without him there. But now it just seems natural. I know I am so blessed; so many people I know have trouble with their in laws, but mine are just so good to us!

      When we got home, I fed Graves and read some books to AP and then I put her right to bed. I caught up on blogs and started a post for the next day. Peyton and I talked a little when he got home and then went to bed.

      Tuesday was a really long day (although I did get a huge nap break in the middle of it). Peyton had a manager meeting and a meeting with the financial planner in the morning and then was working that afternoon. So I was solo parenting for about fourteen hours. I felt so tired all day. It was the one day we were staying home all day and I had planned to be productive, but I ended up really not accomplishing a lot. I hate that feeling but I have to remind myself that getting everyone fed, bathed, and diapered is something. And when I factor in my own meals, showers, and bathroom breaks, sometimes it's a lot. Ha!

      Anyway, Annie got up when Peyton left around eightish and I went ahead and got a shower before Graves woke up. We did our usual dishes and laundry routine and Annie had breakfast and I also scrubbed the kitchen counters. I folded laundry and watched The View and she played and then Graves woke up and ate. I got AP's lunch ready early and put her down for a nap early too because I wanted her to go to sleep early since we were planning a little day trip for Wednesday. She played in bed for almost an hour and then slept for almost THREE more. Whoa. I got on the computer and worked on a post, but I couldn't get the spacing right and I fooled around with it forever. Then I watched Army Wives and ate lunch and fed Graves again. Graves got fussy after that, so I just held him and watched part of The Good Wife until Annie woke up. I hate that I didn't do much during her nap, but in the end I'm glad because the evening was long enough without being more tired.

      When AP woke up, we read and played in their room and I tried to soothe Graves some more and once he finally got calm, I folded and put up laundry in their room. I fed Graves and got AP's supper ready and gave her a bath. Of course, Graves started melting down right as it was time for her to go to bed. I fed him and got him calm and then did her nighttime routine and put her in bed. She had kind of a hard time getting to sleep and Graves cranked up AGAIN. Whew, it's a good thing I love that little boy so much! I finished the episode of The Good Wife and got on the computer again and finally finished my post. I talked to Peyton some and then went to bed.

      Graves only woke up once and that was great because I woke up around 6:00 on Wednesday to get ready for our little day trip to see Granny. She lives about an hour and a half south of us and I slept the whole way down (okay, I did wake up for doughnuts!). Graves slept, too, and AP just played quietly with MonkMonk the whole way. We got there and had a big lunch and good time visiting. Peyton's mom and sister and her little boy happened to be going that day, too, so that made it even more fun! We stayed for several hours and had a good time just playing and talking.
      Trip to Granny's House_20110511_010

      Trip to Granny's House_20110511_056

      Graves and Ann Peyton both did great on the trip back, too! They both slept almost the whole way home and fussed maybe the last fifteen minutes of the trip. When we got home, we unloaded the car and Cookie called to see if we wanted to come over. Peyton dropped me and the kids off and we had dinner (tuna croquettes, cabbage, and macaroni and cheese with my dad's homemade cookies and an ice cream Snickers for dessert) and watched American Idol. He wanted to see the new fence his parents had put up in their yard, so he headed over there. We got home and put Annie straight to bed and I straightened the house, unpacked all the bags we took to Granny's, read my Bible, and cleaned up the kitchen.

      Thursday was a fun day. Peyton got up with AP and I slept about thirty more minutes. I got up and started laundry, got a shower, and gave Graves a bath and took his monthly pictures with PigPig. AP and Graves_20110512_003
      Peyton gave Annie her bath and I fed Graves and got our stuff together because we decided to meet Carrie, Aubrey, and Jude for the first time since Graves was born. I was a little apprehensive about having four kids at a restaurant, but it went fine. Annie did get a little out of control and so I tried doing time out in the bathroom for the first time. It worked pretty good! It was kind of hard to get a good conversation in; we were there for an hour and half and we probably talked maybe twenty minutes? After lunch, we stopped by Target for diapers, wipes, and a few other groceries. It was about a fifteen minute trip, but with both kids it took thirty. I was glad to show myself I could do it, though!

      When we got home, I fed Graves and put Annie down for her nap and talked to Peyton a little before he had to leave for work. I wrote Graves's monthly letter and checked my email. Then I uploaded a bunch of pictures and organized them and wasted some time on Twitter and Facebook. Graves got fussy and I fed him again and when AP woke up she had a snack and I folded laundry. A guy came to fix our DVR (we downgraded and needed a new receiver) and he was here for about two hours. We played in the nursery and put up laundry and then I fed Annie supper and we cleaned up and got ready for bed. Graves had been SO good all evening, but once Annie went to sleep he got really fussy. For a while, nothing was working- I gave him gas drops, held him, used the rice sock, ect. and nothing helped. I was so glad when Peyton got home and could help a little with the screaming baby! We both fell asleep on the couch (Graves was in his swing) and when Graves woke up to eat I realized that our sheets that I had been washing were still in the dryer. So I put them back on at 3 AM and went to bed. Ha!

      I was just exhausted Friday morning. I think the combination of the long day Tuesday, our road trip on Wednesday (even though it was easy, traveling wears me out), and not sleeping well on Thursday just all added up. I was so tired and on edge, even with Peyton being home all morning. I slept kind of late and got a bath by myself, but I was still close to tears most of the morning. I just felt so anxious- not like worried anxiety, though, just like every cry/whine was fingers on a chalkboard. I'm not used to that nervous, want to claw someone's eyes out kind of anxiety, so it was really disconcerting. I really didn't do much and it was noon by the time I opened the blinds, started laundry, and did dishes. Peyton decided to put Annie in panties that morning and I kept going with it all day. Long story short, there were too many accidents for me to believe she's really ready. Peyton was meeting another pharmacist for lunch and I feed Graves and AP ate lunch and then I got them both to sleep. I finished Graves's monthly post since Blogger was messed up on his month birthday and ate lunch myself. I just watched TV and relaxed for most of their naptime.Ann Peyton_20110513_015
      Annie taking care of MonkMonk.  She really thinks he's her baby- she got him a drink, a book, the rice sock and covered him up like this.  So sweet!

      My friend Morgan and her little girl, Mary Milton, stopped by after Annie woke up and brought me a milkshake and a big hanging basket of flowers for my birthday. We had a nice visit and the girls had fun playing. After they left we cleaned up and headed over to my parents' house for Red Beans and Rice. We had a good time just sitting outside and visiting and Annie loved blowing bubbles and playing in their yard. It's really cute because she's gotten SUPER attached to my dad and asks for him to push her in the swing and stuff. We got home late and Peyton and I talked and went to bed. Graves slept really well that night!

      Saturday was my twenty sixth birthday! Peyton had to work and we had a pretty uneventful day. Annie and I got up and I had breakfast (she didn't want any) and then I hopped in the shower before Graves woke up. He woke up and I put him in the bouncy and Annie in our bed and finished getting ready. I tried to pump a bottle, but I didn't get much so I got to work on laundry and dishes. I also dusted in the living room while AP had a late breakfast. We played and folded laundry all morning and then AP ate a little lunch and went down for her nap. I fed Graves and read blogs and ate my lunch. I pumped again and was more successful that time! Graves got fussy so I just held him and watched TV. I told Peyton that as much of a "lap baby" as Graves is, he is either going to have to buy me a sling or buy me a maid. Ha!

      Annie woke up and Graves fell back asleep, so I put up laundry in their room, cooked her some veggies, and fed her a snack. I fed Graves and then I let AP play on our bed again while I got ready since Peyton and I were going to a Better Than Ezra concert that night. I still had some time before Peyton got home, so we put up two baskets of laundry PLUS all the clothes that had accumulated on the loveseat in our room.

      Peyton got home and I got everyone ready and AP and I straightened up a little and then we dropped the kids off at my parents' house and headed to the concert. It was kind of a bust. Better Than Ezra still hadn't even taken the stage when we had to leave to go get Ann Peyton and Graves. The tickets said 8:00 and we left around ten. UGH. We did have fun "people watching", though. It was the weirdest crowd- lots of people older than us (I guess they are an early nineties band) and we spotted several guys wearing SOLID WHITE WALKING SHOES that basically looked like orthopedic shoes with thick soles. Not knocking them; it's just not what you expect at a concert, you know? We picked up the children and my mom said Graves did great but (big surprise!) she had to hold him the whole time. Annie, of course, had the time of her life with Mickey. He had even shown her some of his tools! We got home and just chatted a little and went to bed so late! Basically the night looked like this: asleep by one, up again to nurse at four, and up for the day around six thirty. I could not do that long term!

      On Sunday, we all got up and got ready for early church and despite waking up a little late (yes six thirty is still "a little late", when the four of us have to be somewhere at 8:30), we made it pretty much on time. Also despite me forgetting some post birth products that I hopefully about to be all finished with. The sermon today was basically all about being faithful and courageous in life's daily tasks, even when most likely no one will notice. I was SO tired, but it was SO good. I fed Graves between church and Sunday School. [Sidenote: in a year of breastfeeding Ann Peyton I used our church's nursing room NOT ONCE; in a month of breastfeeding this little Piggy I haven't walked in the building without needing to use the room. Also? he's about to outgrow my favorite church outfit. I think it's related ;)].AP and Graves_20110515_001
      They both had on blue and I wanted to get a picture.  This is the best one I got, ha!  I'll have to get some soon because Graves is about to outgrow that bubble!

      When we got home, I fed Annie lunch, started laundry, and got her to down for a nap and then I fed Graves and ate my own lunch. AP took a super long nap from about 12:30 until I woke her up at 4:30 and I spent a lot of that time sleeping myself. It wasn't a solid chunk because I had to wake up to nurse again, change Grave's diaper and reheat the rice sock/reinsert the paci, but it was better than nothing and completely guilt free! I set my alarm and woke up to get ready for night church. I got ready and got Annie up and fed Graves and we headed to church. We're doing a new study called Modern Parables. It was good to be back after the break we took after Crazy Love.

      When we got home, we all went for a walk and then I gave AP a bath and fed Graves. I cleaned up the kitchen and read my Bible and Peyton went to get a few groceries. I got on the computer for a while and stayed up too late.

      AP and Graves_20110515_004 coordinating again!

      AP and Graves_20110515_005 She kept pointing to parts of her body (EYE!) and telling us what they were and then pointing to them on Graves!

      AP and Graves_20110515_006
      I love how she's opening her mouth as she inserts the paci! 

      Well, this week is almost half over.  I'm going to save the details for next week's post, but it's been a good one.  Having Graves here is such a blessing, but he is so much more needy that AP was as a baby and I'm realizing that I have to be gentle with myself and adjust my expectations.

      Sunday, May 15, 2011

      Weekly Smorgasbord

      A few links of interest from the week:

        Surrender, Dorothy: Internet Hiatus

        Posted: 15 May 2011 09:08 PM PDT

        I fear the day one of my children asks me if I love my phone, computer, ect. more than him or her.

        YOUR Action Photos: Group 3 | Pioneer Woman Photography | Ree Drummond

        Posted: 15 May 2011 09:07 PM PDT

        These are all such fun pictures.

        Our Happily Ever Afters: Inspiration Images: The Hundred Acre Wood

        Posted: 15 May 2011 09:07 PM PDT

        I loved every one of these images. I actually usually love every one of the images in Ashley's "Inspirations Images" posts.

        The Howie House: Motherhood

        Posted: 15 May 2011 09:04 PM PDT

        Tears. It's an honor and a privilege to be her friend.

        live.laugh.love...and libbi!: confessions of a pregnant woman...

        Posted: 15 May 2011 09:03 PM PDT

        This post was beyond hilarious!

        320 * Sycamore: Some Things I’ve Learned About Being a Mom by Sarah

        Posted: 15 May 2011 09:03 PM PDT

        Good advice!

        thankful house: what is thankful house?

        Posted: 15 May 2011 09:02 PM PDT

        This is one of my new favorite blogs. I love just about every post!

        Placenta Encapsulation

        Posted: 10 May 2011 09:31 PM PDT

        I saw someone "talking" about this on Twitter and I was kind of intrigued. It weirds me out, but I did think it was interesting.

        The Difference a Moment Makes « The Reformed Pastor

        Posted: 10 May 2011 09:30 PM PDT

        Okay, first of all I am horrified that they shackle women prisoners during childbirth. That is sick, in my opinion. But this author makes a good point about protecting the life of an unborn child as well as one being born.

        Never Mention the Housekeeper - NYTimes.com

        Posted: 10 May 2011 09:29 PM PDT

        Do any of y'all have "help"? It is interesting because I KNOW I'd feel guilty if I had a housekeeper come even twice a month like this article mentions, even though there is nothing wrong with that.

        Breastfeeding research = massive guilt? | www.acornpack.com

        Posted: 10 May 2011 09:26 PM PDT

        Interesting article on how breastfeeding research can lead to guilt and what we can do to change that.
        Anything I'm missing??