Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekly Happenings Post #124 (July 25-31)-- Sweet Little Sick Girl

 This was really a pretty boring week, but I liked it that way!  Annie got a little fever virus mid week and she was pretty pitiful for a day or so.  We didn't really get out much for whatever reason, but I felt like I got a few things done, so that was good!  It was one of those weeks that I actually feel like I was VERY productive in a lot of areas- I got a lot organized in my closet and now have a lot of stuff to get rid of; I worked on a sewing project; cleaned, cooked and did yardwork!  And I took care of a sick girl one of those days!

Graves has had a really good week and when I told Peyton I thought maybe he had turned a corner, he said he was not ready to "claim that promise" yet.  I stopped his reflux medicine because I really didn't see it making a difference and like I said, he's been better this week.  He still spits up a TON, but he's pretty much a "happy spitter".  The fussing and crying comes at other times as often as not, so I'm about to resign myself to him just being a fussy (or average? I have little basis for comparison) little guy.  Anyway, all that to say, this week was one of the best he's had!

First, a couple of pictures Cookie took that I forgot to include in last week's post:

 Monday was a long day.  Peyton was working a double, Graves was really fussy on and off, and I had another headache most of the day.  The babies woke up around eight thirty, but AP was playing happily in bed so I went ahead and showered (I LOVE having a video monitor!).  I put her in our bed and dried my hair and since everyone was happy I worked on the closet cleanout/changeover for about an hour.  We had breakfast, read books, and played for a little while and then AP had a little lunch and went down for her nap.  Graves napped a little, too, but not for long.  I wrote a post and then held him and watched Lost and folded laundry. I had to wake AP up from her nap at 5:30 and she was not happy!  We spent the afternoon watching more Lost (probably not great for a toddler) and just hanging out.

Annie took FOREVER to east supper.  I gave her a piece of corn on the cob and it took the better part of an hour for her to finish it.  She cleaned that thing better than I've seen anyone in my life do, though!  I was able to get all the clothes put up in their nursery, unload and load dishes, and write three thank you notes while she ate.

 I put her to bed and it was the roughest night we've had in a long time- she was pretty tired I'm sure, but she kept crying and wanting things ("MORE PIECES OF ICE IN WATER, MOMMA!!!".....uh, Princess and the Pea much?) She finally went to sleep and I watched TV until Peyton got home and then went to bed.

On Tuesday, we had a super lazy morning.  It was Peyton's day off, but he was working extra :(  Graves woke up around seven but I fed him and put him in bed with me until he feel asleep (he didn't want to be in the Pack N Play) and then transferred him.  I saw on the monitor that AP had taken her diaper off , so I went and got her.  Amazingly, the bed was dry.  She had thrown the diaper (and her pj bottoms) in the trash in her room.  We ate breakfast just played all morning and I got on the computer and got sucked into some Twitter controversy and wasted a lot of time. The View was also super interesting:!/Sarah_Denley 

When Graves went to sleep, I got a shower and then AP played some more.  I put Graves on his play mat and he promptly pooped on it.  I gave him a bath and fed AP lunch and I had some hummus and pita chips and then we went outside.  It was hot and Graves was fussy, so we didn't last long.  Annie went to her bed and climbed in immediately when we got inside.  She had been upset about coming in so soon and I didn't want another meltdown, so I didn't make her clean up.

I fed Graves and put him back down for a nap and then I cleaned up Annie's toys and dissembled the playmat (or rather, the Gravey Pen- it has sides and is quite the pain to wash).  I swept the kitchen, laundry room, sunroom, and bathrooms and was about to mop when Graves woke up fussing.  I was going to just put him in my sling and mop instead of do the hands and knees scrubbing I've been doing, but he didn't like that.  Actually, he didn't like ANYTHING I tried to do to help him.  I ended up just letting him scream while I finished mopping since he was crying in my lap anyway.  

After I mopped, he finally got settled down and fell asleep with me on the couch.  I put him back in the swing and just relaxed.  I swear listening to him do that and not being able to fix it is more exhausting than anything I've known as a mom!  I really shouldn't complain because AP takes such glorious naps between the time at the beginning and at the end, I did have probably a full hour at least of peace and quiet.  I got Annie up and we read The Please and Thank You Book.  Graves woke up and I decided we'd try going back outside.  Since the yard was soggy from a storm the day before, I decided we would go for a stroll.  This is how you do a (very short) stroll if you do not own a double stroller:

We made a quick trip around the block and then went inside.  I fed AP dinner and let Graves play on the floor and folded some laundry.

Peyton got home and we talked and he played with Ann Peyton a little and then we got everyone to bed.  We chatted some and I cooked some poppyseed chicken and cleaned up the kitchen and did a little organizing in the laundry room.  I got on the computer and then read my Bible and went to bed.

Wednesday ended up being, um, not what I thought it would be.  We got up and had a very low key morning, much like we had been all week.  Annie had woken up around 2:30 after having one of her night terrors and it took some effort to get her calmed down and back to bed.  She finally said she wanted to read "Kim and Carrots" (her name for her Baby Bug magazines) and I put her back in bed.  It was around 3:30 and Graves last feeding had been at 1:00.  He was up again at four and seven, so I was pretty tired.  I'm not really that worried about him sleeping through the night consistently at this point, but I do really enjoy those nights when he goes four and then eight hours. Anyway, I was so relieved when he slept until 9:00 and AP didn't get out of bed until almost ten!  I got a quick bath before she woke up and then I changed diapers and dried my hair.  We had a typical morning with the ladies of The View, some cuties, and all our favorite books.

Graves took a nap and I folded a load of laundry and played on the computer a little and then the kids both had a ton of fun covering themselves with blankets even though our house is EIGHTY degrees.  Graves is really cold natured and I've gotten to where I either have to put him in footies or a swaddler or cover him with a blanket, so he was on his play mat all covered up and AP thought it looked fun and went to get herself a blanket, too!

Annie didn't really want much lunch and started acting super tired, so I put her down for a nap and fed Graves and got him ready for his.  I talked to my friend Kellie on the phone for a bit and then Peyton got home and I started cooking a brisket because we were having his brother and his wife over for supper. I ran to the store to get a few extra things we needed and when I got home, I started chopping up things and doing some prep work, so all I'd have to do was throw the sides together.  Annie was acting super weird and Peyton said she was hot when she woke up, so we took her temperature.  She had felt hot to me, too, that morning, but I figured it was the blanket.  She had 100.1 plus an extra degree for under the arm, so we called Andrew and let him know they might not want to come.  We had a nice, relaxing evening and I was holding AP and she started crying and then laid her head on my shoulder and then....threw up all over me.  Yuck! I got us cleaned up and scrubbed the carpet and she went and laid on the sofa.
 [little sick girl]

I fed Graves and finished cooking supper. We had brisket, baked potatoes, rolls, and a new carrot recipe Peyton wanted to try.  It had lime rind and cilantro and was a little weird, but good!  We got Annie to bed and ate and then I read some blogs and worked on a post.  I also worked on a little sewing project. I tried to pump a bottle and got about an ounce (why is that so inconsistent?) and went to bed.
[I'm obsessed with these pjs.  I just love them.]

We had originally had plans with the Howies on Thursday, but since AP had been sick, we canceled.  She woke up in a great mood, though and we spent the first part of the morning getting baths for all three of us.  I bathed her and folded some laundry while she was in the tub and then I hopped in the shower.  Graves got a bath next and he's too big for the sink now so I just put him in an inch of water in the tub.  He really likes it!  We played in the den and read one of my favorite books, The Year of the Stars and then AP had some "brunch" and I fed Graves.  I tried to limit my computer time and just enjoy the kids, but we did watch The View.  Annie went down for her nap really easily and I got Graves to sleep early since he had taken only about a fifteen minute morning nap.
 [I know it looks like he lives in his swing.  It's good for photo ops, though.]

I ate lunch and then wasted time setting some Pinterest boards and got started pinning.  Clearly this is going to be something that requires a strict time limit.  Peyton got home and we talked and Graves woke up.  We woke up AP and fed her supper and went for a walk and then to Target for a storage box and to Sonic for a treat.  Of course, I saw people I knew since I was wearing a) no make up b) about a bucket of sweat and c) a MAN's UNDERSHIRT.  Ugh.  I did get a little perspective because a kid two aisles over was screaming like his mom had shot his arm off.  Clearly, it could have been worse.  Graves was a wreck when we got home and I swear from all the drooling and the really unusual refusal to nurse, I'm scared it's a tooth. I had tried to nurse him at Sonic, which Peyton thought was super funny.  I guess it's not the back of a huge parking lot, but it's still not what I would consider public breastfeeding or anything.  It's about as brave as I get, though ;) We finally got him calm and got AP to bed and then I worked on Mint.  We are months behind and it's going to be a chore to catch up.  I spent a long time doing that and wrote a quick post and then read my Bible and went to bed really late after taking a shower around 2:00 AM.  I just couldn't go to sleep.

It worked out fine because everyone slept really late on Friday.  A lady who I had called called me back about my continuing education at around nine.  She sent an email, so I looked at it and checked Twitter and then went back to bed.  Graves woke up a little bit after that, but AP played in bed for a long while.  She finally got up around ten and we started our morning.  Our mornings are getting pretty redundant, so I'll try to be pithy. Since I took my shower the night before, I skipped that.  I fed Graves and we had breakfast, watched TV, and went outside.  I folded and put up a load of laundry in the nursery and then feed Graves again and got AP's lunch ready.  We cleaned up her toys and it was nap time for both kids.  Annie never went to sleep, but she stayed in her bed a good while.  I cleaned out the "big" (travel system stroller) because a kitty had been sleeping in it (yuck!) and then went to the attic to get a bag of stuff to consign and a neutral sleeper that I randomly remembered I had put in a "girl" storage box.  I wrote a post and got my shower.  One thing I love about Summer is not drying my hair sometimes; some days just being clean is enough! I ate lunch and Peyton got home and we listened to a This American Life podcast.  Annie woke up and Peyton's dad and brother came over to help Peyton get the washing machine of the blocks he had put it on about two months ago when he was trying to find the source of a leak. After they left, we worked in the front yard, wedding flower beds while AP swam in her kiddie pool and Graves relaxed in his swing.


We came in and got showers and then went over to Peyton's parent's house because my parents were having dinner with friends so we weren't going over there for Beans and Rice.  We picked up Dairy Queen on the way and had a nice visit.  When we got home, Peyton fed AP supper and gave her a bath and I fed Graves and we put them to bed.  We watched a little Lost and opened up the package of new diapers we got.  They're "one size" and have little elastic things that make them looser or tighter and so I had to adjust each one to make it AP's size.  I'll probably do a whole post about them soon.

Anyway, I finished that and then cleaned up the kitchen from the day and straightened the house.  I did a little bit of work in my closet and read my Bible and then I installed my August blog design. I went to bed pretty late again.

Graves actually slept eight hours from about 9:00 to 4:00.  Of course, I was only asleep for three of those  ;) We went back to sleep and woke up again at 7:00 and 9:00 on Saturday morning. Peyton was off  but he wanted to go to an UMVIM training course so that he could be prepared to lead a team from our church in the even of a tornado or huricane or other disaster.  We got up around 9:00 and he left about 9:30. 

We read books, had breakfast and I emptied the dishwasher. 

Graves took his morning nap in the swing and Annie and I worked on switching out Winter and Summer purses and accessories (scarves and gloves and such).  Graves woke we played with him and Annie wanted to wear panties so I brought the frog potty in the living room even though that grosses me out.  She had an accident and I cleaned that up and then I did something real quick on the sewing machine. I fed Annie lunch and she teeteed in the potty(!!!)  and then it was naptime.  She took a good nap and I hung up a ton of Peyton's clothes and then he got home.  I ate lunch and folded laundry while we watched Lost and when she woke up we got ready and headed to my parents' house for Red Beans and Rice.  We had a good time, but we got home late.  Annie had a terrible time going to sleep and at 12:30 she had been crying and fighting it for two hours, but she finally went to sleep after two hours of Peyton and I taking turns going in there and and also giving her long stretches to work through it.  I worked on a couple of posts and ironed mine and her dresses for church.  I ended up ironing a big stack of other clothes, too.

Annnnd...she was up so much throughout the night.  I'm pretty sure she just wanted to play because after we'd get her up, she'd calm down, so I don't think it was night terrors.  Those things take a good half hour to talk her down from.  Anyway, there was no way to just turn of the monitor; our house is not huge and we don't even have a split plan, so all three of us were up a lot of the night (thankfully, it wasn't all FOUR of us!).  I think I got up with her two or three times and once with Graves and Peyton got up at least five times he said.  At 5:00 he let her stay up.  We ended up realizing after a conversation with my mom, that it was really our own faults because we let her eat a super sugarry dessert right before we left their house on Saturday night.  I was relieved to know what the problem was; I was having major anxiety thinking this might be something that our good sleeper was going to have to work through nightly. 

Today, (Sunday), we went to Sunday School and late church again this week since Peyton wasn't working.  He was visiting more classes doing a discleship survey, so I went to SS by myself.  We had a little party with cake and stuff because a girl that's been coming to our church for a little while was getting baptized and making a profession of faith.  One thing our church (and lots of Methodist churches) have a great record on is adult baptisms and professions.  Of course, I support infant baptism and the conformation process, but at the same time there should be more adults coming to Christ as a result of our church's ministry.  It's something to strive for and it was wonderful to celebrate with Erin!  She got baptized at the late service and her family was unable to come, but she said she was just glad to have her church family stand by her.  And we did, literally!  Our class all came up and laid our hands on her as she was baptized.  It was such a powerful moment and I cried, as did several other class members.

We got home and transferred a sleepy girl into her bed.  I fed Graves and pumped a little and then got my stuff ready to take to a consignment sale.  I dropped of the stuff and went by Target because they had had their car seats on sale and I was going to by a booster for future use.  The sale was off, though, so I went by McDonalds for burger and headed home.  I feed Graves and watched Lost and started dishes and then I read some in Modern Parables.  I took a thirty minute power nap and then we rushed to get Annie fed and everyone ready for church.  Peyton went to worship and I went to Bible Study. We were going to drive around, but Graves was hungry.  We contemplated nursing at Sonic again and Peyton said they'd probably start talking about us and saying "there's that breastfeeding couple".  I told him I'd just tell them that he was too young for tots and shakes, but he had to eat, too!  Ha!  Annie was getting cranky, too, though, so we just went home. We got home and I fed Graves and pumped again and Annie ate supper and then they went to bed.  Fortunately, it was much better tonight!  Peyton and I talked and then I finished this post.

This coming week should be pretty low key, but hopefully we'll have a little more activity that this week!

Weekly Smorgasbord

Links for this week:

Posted: 30 Jul 2011 10:37 AM PDT
This is such a hard, hard issue. I've used the "lifestyle" AND "hate the sin" phrases and I stand by that, but at the same time MY heart breaks for the writer and those like her. I can't imagine the pain of knowing you would never be able to be with someone you loved. I also know there is a school of thought about being homosexuals being able to undergo "reparative therapy" and be changed. I DO believe God can change people, but I've also heard horror stories about that kind of thing. Complicated. [Edited to add: I'm not sure I was clear enough on my position.  I assumed my second sentence provided enough clarity on where I stand personally on this issue, but I'm not sure it did.  So, from my comments, in response to some thought provoking dialogue:  I certainly don't think we should condone this behavior at all, just as we shouldn't condone any sin. As I said in the original post, I've used the "love the sinner, hate the sin" phrase many a time and I stand by that. I don't think hate is too strong a word and I do hate the sin that she is engaging in and won't apologize for it. I guess my point in linking to it was to say that while I don't agree with her choices and am not afraid to call it what is, I do feel a certain sadness for her and can't imagine her pain, just as I couldn't imagine the pain of someone who truly desired a husband or a child and yet never saw those dreams fulfilled. Obviously, in the end it is necessary to trust Christ for healing, whatever the circumstances.]

Teacher versus former student on Facebook. If you're a s... on Twitpic
Posted: 29 Jul 2011 01:14 PM PDT
Okay, STRONG LANGUAGE WARNING, but this was hilarious, in my opinion.

Science & Sensibility » NPR’s Beginnings Series Warns of the Risks of Elective Induction
Posted: 28 Jul 2011 08:12 PM PDT
I know some people don't want this to turn into "Natural Childbirth Blog", but I thought this was interesting. Also, I think the whole "Beginings" series sounds fascinating. And for the record, I like the author cannot speak from a "lofty pedestal", as I had an elective induction round one.
Posted: 28 Jul 2011 07:57 PM PDT
I think having a sample is helpful and this one (I think) pretty much covers most everything. Also? MAN, I wish I could have worn my own clothes.
Posted: 27 Jul 2011 11:16 PM PDT
What a terrible practice. It makes me so sad that these kinds of things happen in the world.
Posted: 27 Jul 2011 09:32 AM PDT
This is one of my favorite movie and P Dubbs does a fantastic job of articulating why.
Anything else good, send it this way!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Flashback Friday: Sippin' and Dippin' {July 29, 2010}

[Sidenote: Something is clearly messed up with my blog.  Actually, something is messed up on the site where I found this background.  I've already got the August header done, so I'm thinking I'll just go ahead and change it over later tonight.  Pardon the mess until then.]

Here are some pictures from today's date last year:

 I was wondering what was in that cup. Milk, obviously, right?  Well, the thing is we ended up putting her on formula for about three months after she turned a year to give her extra calories.  In retrospect, I kind of wish I had held out and just nursed her those extra few months, but at the time I really didn't have a good reason for feeling like that was necessary or beneficial.  It's not a huge regret or anything, but I'd do it differently this time.  Although, GEEZ, I don't think that will be a problem since Brother is wearing a 6-9 mo. outfit today. Anyway, I went back and searched it (one of the benefits of having a blog) and it just happens this was her first week on cow's milk!

We had fun outside that day, too. I actually took some pictures that day of a flower bed I was super proud of because we had spent most of the afternoon working in the yard. Coincidentally, we are planning on doing just that again today! 

 And here's Ann Peyton with The General.  He can probably relate really well to me because his life was so easy back then.  He didn't know how good he had it!  These days she's all "GEEEEEEENERAL!!!!" and chasing after him trying to step on his tail.  

I love looking back and reminiscing about the things we were doing and comparing them to my life now.  It's a wonderful reminder of how blessed we were and how blessed we are!

Babywearing Addendum

A few things from my last post:

First of all, several people have asked me, through comments and Facebook and things, where I got my ring sling.  It came from a local store called Leap Frog.  It's in Madison and it's pretty much my favorite place.  I've mentioned it before in regards to consignment shopping because it is part consignment, but it's just fabulous!  We got AP's big Christmas present (her kitchen) there last year and I've gotten tons of barely worn kids clothes.  I've only ever bought a few new things there, but my sling was one of my best purchases for sure!  I also took the liberty of finding the tag and doing some Googling and VOILA!-- I give you The Everyday Baby. [I know it's her because I saw her at the grocery store.  I realize I've said that three times, but I'm obsessed with the small world phenomenon.]  This momma is really talented and she sells the precious outfits she makes at Leap Frog, too.  I thought about buying one, but I'm somehow under the delusion that I will take another class and learn how to make a knot dress myself.  [I'm going to show y'all that dress I made MONTHS day.]

Second.  Y'ALL.  Apparently, I'm doing this all wrong.  My friend (okay, we've met once, but I really like her and we share an awesome mutual friend) and babywearing extraordinaire, Kristal, shared that if you spread out the fabric at the top of the sling it's really more comfortable.  It wasn't digging in and bothering me, but she did say it would help distribute the weight more evenly, which would be awesome because Graves is HEAVY...did I mention he and his sister wear the same size clothing? Anyway, I felt like a total moron because here I am posting pictures of my cute sling with my cute baby in it and kind of obsessing because I look sweaty in one and I have on the same shorts on two different days and all that and then...I'm not even wearing the thing right???  I was telling Peyton how mortified I was and I told him I felt like it was akin to posting a picture on the blog him with his fly down.  He assured me that he didn't think my sling strap not being spread out was of quite the same caliber as an open zipper.  Anyway, after writing the whole post, I ended up seeing that Kristal just did her own very informative baby wearing post.  I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to see that in her first weeks of baby wearing she was making some oopsies too.  These days she's carrying around a thirty pound kid.  Because she's HARDCORE.  I'm going to go on record and say that it will be a cold day in attachment parenting hell before you see me with a thirty pounder on my back.  In my defense, that is like a third of my body weight, so I'm thinking it's require the kid to walk or get a hernia. 

All that to say, I know when I was using the Moby I would occasionally go look at blogs where I remembered seeing pictures of someone with one.  That seems weird anyway (why not just go to the website or Google a tutorial? because I wanted to see what my "friends" did), but if you are one of the two people that told me you were interested in wearing your future babies, do not refer to these pictures.  It's not unsafe or anything and your baby won't be hurt but it's probably to your benefit to stretch out the top part.  Also, free advice from my SIL- if the ring is too high it will be super uncomfortable, but if it's too low it can grind into your boob (also, I'm assuming uncomfortable??) and give you mastitis.  And we all know how fun that is

That's where I will end tonight's post.  Giving future mothers advice on how to avoid mastitis.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Babywearing Me Out

I've been meaning to blog about it for awhile, but I finally found something to "wear" Graves in that he and I both like and I'm fairly thrilled with it.  Regarding the titular play on words, the part that has been wearisome was really the search for that elusive perfect babywearing apparatus, not the actual wearing of the Babykins, although even Peyton admits he is getting quite heavy.

Crunch, crunch, crunch goes the granola, right? SD's embracing another crazy crunchy practice, huh? Actually, this (like the cloth diapers) was just an issue of pragmatism more than anything else.  There are obviously parenting issues that I feel varying degrees of passionate about, but this is not one of them.  It works for us and it is what it is.

 I decided pretty early on that I wanted to invest in some sort of wrap or sling because as much as Graves likes to be held and as much as I obsess over my ability or inability to accomplish things I deemed it a beneficial alternative to a) holding him and obsessing or b) letting him scream while I rushed around attempting the bare minimum to keep our heads above water.  Peyton and I have REALLY tried to limit our purchases for him because he is the second child and much of what we truly need (and plenty of what we want) are things we already have.  In effort to be better stewards of our money, we decided to forgo a double stroller and an infant bath tub (the bathroom sink is sufficient for now), but the more time went by the more I decided this was a non negotiable.

We actually already had a carrier of sorts.  We had on of those "packs" as I call them that can be worn on your chest or your back- ours is an Infantino knock off of the classic Bjorn.  We used it once on a trip when AP was about Graves's age and Peyton has sworn he's going to hike with it, but it's bulky and hard to get on and overall, just not practical for day to day use.  Honestly, I'm not sure I even can get it on by myself. 

I also borrowed a friend's Moby Wrap.  It was definitly an improvement!  There's a lot of good to be said for the Moby- it's super easy to transport and launder, it's soft and comfy and it's very versatile in that it can be worn a bunch of different ways.  Now I know some people swear by their Mobys, but it did have a few weaknesses, in my opinion.  For one thing, it's a bunch of fabric and so it's really hot in the Summer and being as small as I am I had to wrap it around me a gazillion times so it wouldn't drag the floor.  Also, it was hard for me to get it on where it's not too loose or too snug.  It seems like every time I put it on it took me two or three tries to find that magic balance.  I'm sure with practice it would have gotten easier and faster, though.  Also, it's just a piece of stretchy fabric, so I didn't feel like it was as supportive as I really wanted it to be.  I knew Graves was going to stay in there, but as I walked around and moved he would kind of sink lower in it and I wanted him to be up closer to my face, where it was safer and more comfortable.  Also, he'd move around so that I couldn't see him as well and I felt like I was constantly monitoring his breathing.  Again, this is probably less of a weakness of the wrap and something that patience and practice would have taken care of.

After that, I decided to go over to my sister in law's house for a baby wearing tutorial.  She's an avid baby wearer and very active in the Attachment Parenting community, so I knew she'd have some helpful advice.  I tried on two of her ring slings and I really liked the feel of them.  I liked that you could adjust them one time and then you just loosened it a tiny bit to put the baby in and tightened it back up.  It wasn't like the Moby where I had to get out the instruction book every time.  With the Moby, I felt like I was reinventing the wheel and it made me not as inclined to actually use it. Elizabeth told me that Dr. Sears, attachment parenting guru,  reccomends putting on your sling/wrap first thing after your clothes and basically just wearing it all day, but I'm not quite that devoted of a baby wearer, so I felt like something I could take on and off easily would be desirable.  I also felt like Graves was more comfortable and more stable in it; he didn't move around as much and his face didn't slip under the fabric when he or I moved.  It has many of the benefits of the Moby- it's also easy to wash and small enough to tuck into my diaper bag.  The only drawback that I can think of is that there aren't as many ways to wear it.  Since it's a sling and not a wrap it really only fits one way.  Of course, there are different ways to position the child in it.  Graves liked the tummy to tummy "newborn hug hold" best anyway, though,which is basically how I wear him in the sling, so it worked out great.

There are lots of really fancy, high end slings on the market, but for our purposes, I just wanted a nice, cotton sling.  I decided to try to find one in town and I ended up finding a reasonably priced one in a pattern I loved at a shop in the area.  It was actually made by a local lady and that worked out nicely because we love supporting small businesses and cottage industries.  The lady who made the sling actually saw me wearing Graves in the Kroger near our house and stopped me to ask about it!

The sling is able to hold a child up to thirty two pounds and I've put Ann Peyton in it several times just for funsies (she's twenty two pounds).  Unlike most toddlers who were not worn as infants, she actually really likes it most of the time.  I think it's just that she has a sort of snuggly nature and likes to cuddle.

Overall, I have been VERY satisfied with my cute little sling and I've gotten a lot of use out of it.  I'd say it was worth it's price in full just on our first real family vacation and then it's been great at different events- birthday parties and such- as well as just around the house when I'm trying to get something done. I honestly would say it may be the best fifty bucks I've spent in some time.  Fifty dollars for an extra heaping of sanity? Yes please!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Renaming the NYC Blog....Help!!!

I mentioned that I was going to start trying to pay a little more attention to my "side blogs" and I remembered that I still haven't changed the name over here:

I loved the name, but obviously it's not very appropriate anymore.  Since I haven't posted on it much (at all), I haven't really rushed to rename it, but I'd like to go ahead and do it.  The trouble is, I can't figure out what to call it.  I really liked the name and of all my blogs, I felt like it was probably the most clever.  If we had a girl I was just going to change it to Little BelleS In the Big City, but having a boy makes it harder.  I was thinking of using "Beau", but I'm having a hard time making it work. Beaux and Belles In the Big City is okay, but I like having the "Little" in there to counterpoise the "Big". and Little Beaux And Belles doesn't work because there is only one little beau and one little belle and also it just doesn't have a good ring to it.

I'm probably just going to go with Beaux and Belles in the Big City and let go of the cute juxstapositional adjective.  Any other ideas???

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Recipe Even I Can Follow: How to Make an Annie Roll

Here is a surefire recipe(*)  that even I can follow:

Makes one Annie Roll:

1. Prep baby: Lather with soap and scrub gently. Add one cup of kisses.
2. Diaper baby, sprinkling a little powder if desired.
3. Apply lotion.
4. Working quickly, put on sleeper.
5. Swaddle tightly.
6. Line the bed with favorite lovies.
7. Drizzle genrously with binkies.
8. Add remaining tablespoon of kisses and half a cup of hugs.
9. Rock until drowsy.
10. Keep covered overnight.

Fortunately, this recipe works great for making a Gravey Roll, as well!

**Adapted and modified from here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekly Happenings Post #123 (July 18-24)-- He Works Hard For the Money

Peyton had a super busy week with work this week.  He had a manager meeting one day and had to do inventory on another and on top of that, he worked a double on Friday.  I was definitely ready for the weekend, but the week was smoother than I expected.  We ended up doing a lot of stuff with friends and that was fun, too! We've gone out to eat several times and I had some friends over during the week.  It's really nice when I can get my house clean early in the week and just enjoy it for the rest of the it!  For some reason, I don't have many pictures from this week at all.  Not sure what's going on with that.  It makes for a faster post, but not as fun of one!

We had put Annie and Graves in their room together for the first time last Sunday night and it was going really well.  I stayed up WAY too late and I woke Graves up to fed him before I went to bed.  By the time I got him fed, burped and changed it was almost two.  Around 4:00, Annie had one of her night terrors.  It was really terrifying.  We got her calmed down faster than usual, but she was just shrieking so bad.  Peyton said he thought someone was in her room it scared him so bad.  Surprisingly, it didn't wake up Graves at all.  We put her in our bed for a little bit and when Peyton asked her if she wanted to go back to bed she said "Hug Papa.  Hug Mama", so we just let her sleep with us.  Graves was up at six and then AP woke up at seven on Monday morning.  Peyton got up with her and I was really glad since I hadn't gotten more than two hours of consecutive sleep all night.  I slept until after nine and then I got up and had a bath and Peyton got ready because he had a meeting with our pastor about a new Bible Study he's starting in the Fall.  I got Graves up and fed him and started laundry and did other little things like emptying trash cans and scrubbing my vanity.  We watched The View and had breakfast and I held Graves because he was fussy.  Peyton got home and he and AP made brownies and she ate lunch and we read the first two parts of a really good series on Methodist beliefs.  I put Graves down for a nap and got AP ready for hers and then Peyton went to work.

I spent most of their naps doing little things that shouldn't take very long- straightening up some and rotating laundry and stuff.  I had to change the batteries in the Pack N Play because the vibration mechanism wasn't working.  I tried the actual vibration box first and when that didn't work I tried the controller.  It turned out the new battery in the box was actually old and the whole process took way too long.  I put a bunch of our extra keys on a key ring because I lost my old key chain and then ate lunch and watched Lost.  Ann Peyton slept for FOUR hours and then I had to wake her up.  I'm not complaining, but I don't really get the extremes of her naps right now.  Anyway, I woke her up and told her I had to vacuum, which she hates.  She told me that she wanted to stay in the bed.  She didn't even cry, she just laid there and read her books.  Baby Graves did start crying, so I put him in the sling and finished up.  I've always complained about how our heavy vac hurts my back and here I am doing it with my little eleven pounder. Ha!

I put up some laundry in their room and then we got ready and went to my parents.  We had dinner with them- sirloin steak, asparagus, couscous, and fresh tomatoes- and it was fabulous. We all ate outside and the weather was perfect.  Actually, Baby Graves got fussy because he was COLD.  Crazy.  Annie had a popsicle and got super sticky so she had a bath and then we headed home.

Once I got them to bed, I got to work around the house because we were having company the next day.  I straightened and picked up piles for almost two hours.  I think I could probably pick up piles for two DAYS.  I need to stay on top of them more and not just shift them around.  After that I cooked supper for Peyton (veggie supper- corn on the cob, English peas, and butterbeans) and almost fell in the toilet standing on a chair trying to change the light in the bathroom.  He had had a rough day and I was trying to be sweet and not to ask him to do anything.  I cleaned off the high chair which AP had made a huge mess in at lunch and washed the cover in the washing machine and Chloroxed the tray and put it in the dishwasher.  I started the dishes and swept and then decided to scrub the floor with a towel.  It really is more effective (though definitely more time consuming) than mopping.  It's also good because it's easy to scrub baseboards while you're doing it.  That took almost an hour and then I took out the trash, recycling, and compost.  I read my Bible and nursed Graves and went to bed.  It's honestly pretty amazing what I can get done on a day that I spend almost zero time entranced by various forms of social media.  I should have a computer moratorium more often!

Peyton was gone all day on Tuesday- he had to do inventory in the morning and work the afternoon shift. We were having company for lunch that day, so when Annie woke up around 8:30, I went ahead and got a move on.  I fed the kitties, started laundry, and ate breakfast.  I also cleaned the guest bathroom and then I fed Graves and put him down for a nap and got in the shower and got ready.  AP played and I hung up a bunch of Peyton's clothes that had been accumulating on the loveseat in our room.  I made some Suddenly Salad and emptied and started filling the dishwasher and then got Graves up and got the kids dressed.   I made AP clean up her toys and then we went outside for a few minutes before our friends got here. My friends Sara Ashley and Morgan and Morgan's  two girls came over for lunch.  We had turkey melts and pasta salad.  We had a great visit and after they left I put AP down for her nap and fed Graves and tried to get him to sleep.  I picked up a little around the house and cleaned up the kitchen, but Baby Graves didn't really want to nap.  I went and got him up and got on the computer and watched TV a little.  I did manage to get a couple of loads of laundry folded during his few little fifteen minute stretches of sleep.  I had to wake Annie up and once she was up we went outside for a few minutes while the sun was still up.  We came in and I put up clothes in the nursery.  Graves was super fussy and drooling a lot and didn't want to nurse and I decided maybe he was getting a tooth so I called Peyton for the Tylenol dosage.  I fed AP supper and got her to bed and got on the computer.  I could hardly function, I was so tired and she kept wanting me to come rock her.  She finally went to bed and Peyton got home and we talked and fell asleep watching Lost.

Wednesday was Peyton's day off and it was very chill.  He had a manager's meeting so we were on our own for the morning.  The kids woke up around eightish and I fed Graves and got Annie breakfast and checked Twitter and did my usual morning chores.  Graves took a nap and I managed to get a shower.  Annie wanted to color, so I put her in the high  chair with crayons and made a long and short term to do list.  Peyton got home and Graves was super fussy.  We fed AP lunch and put her down for a nap.  Graves didn't really want to take an afternoon nap and the only way he would sleep was if one of us was holding him, so we took turns.  We talked and watched Lost (Peyton is on episode 24 and I'm trying to catch up) and I folded laundry and wrote a few thank you notes.  When AP woke up, we got ready and went over to Peyton's parents' house for a visit and then to my parents' house.  We had dinner with them- tuna croquettes, cabbage, and macs and cheese- and it was wonderful.  Annie had a bath and then we drove around for a while, talking about how we should be living out the Gospel more, before heading home.  We got the babies to bed and then read a couple's devotion and I read my Bible and got on the computer for a little bit and finished a post and then went to bed.

We both had dentist appointments on Thursday morning and we took turns. I got up and got ready and went to mine first and then Peyton met me with the kids.  Annie wanted to come in and Peyton thought it would be a good idea to get her used to the dentist before her first visit at three, so we let her.  Bad idea! She did not want to leave without Papa.  We came on home and just played and watched TV until Peyton got back.

I started thinking about how long it had been since Graves had a bath and was a little grossed out by my suspicions, so I decided to give him one.  I picked him up and he had had a blow out in his swing that I was completely unaware of.  Good time for a bath!  I bathed him and started cleaning the swing and doing laundry.  Peyton and AP decided to make spaghetti for lunch and I loaded up the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen.

[Peyton chopping lettuce, babywearing and listening to MPB.  My soulmate.  Swoon.]

We let AP play a little more and I fed Graves and put him down for a nap. We put Ann Peyton to bed and she never did go to sleep.  I may have to make her bedtime later or start getting her up in the morning or maybe just try to tire her out more during the day.

Once the kids were in bed, Peyton and I both worked on making candidate calls for a guy we know from church who is running for the state House of Representatives.  I was glad to get that finished!  I got on the computer after Peyton left and watched Lost and basically just vegged out.  Around 5:00, I finally went in and got Annie and Graves woke up about then, too.  I worked on the closet changeover/clean out while they played.  AP kept getting in all the boxes.  I put Graves in the sling part of the time and then he played on his playmat.  I'm kind of proud of myself because I have two largeish bags to go to Goodwill! After about an hour of that, we went outside.  We stayed out there for about half an hour and then came in and I fed Graves and got Annie's supper ready.  I put him back in the sling and loaded the dishwasher.  I got them both to bed and then started some laundry and tidied up a little and read blogs. Peyton got how and watched a really weird movie (Black Swan) and I wrote a post and went to bed.

Graves slept pretty well most of the night, but he got up a lot during the very early morning.  I was pretty tired when eight o'clock rolled around on Friday morning and Peyton was working a double.  I took Graves to the couch and snuggled with him a little.  AP woke up around 8:30, but she was happily reading in bed, so I hopped in the shower.  I showered, got dressed, dried my hair, painted my toenails, made the bed, AND put up a load of laundry in just over thirty minutes.  I can be a fast mover when I want to, I guess.  Annie got up and had breakfast and I started some laundry and put the bedspread I had washed and hung to dry back on her bed.  I cleaned up the kitchen a little from the night before and got the kids dressed and put Graves down for a nap.  We straightened up the house a little because we were having Carrie and her kiddos over for lunch.  She texted me to say they were a little behind and then Graves woke up.  I put him in the sling and folded a load of laundry and put up some of it.  Carrie, Aubrey and Jude arrived and we all had a nice lunch and visit.  Graves stayed in the sling for awhile and then I put him in his swing and he just hung out (awake!) in it.  Annie had a pretty good lunch, but she wanted to share my soup.  Carrie and I were equally impressed with how well she fed it to herself  (the soup was pretty thick, but still, she's about to lap me in the coordination department).  Everyone played really nicely and we were able to have a good conversation.  After the Howies left, I got AP down for her nap and fed Graves and put him down.  I picked up the house a little (Aubrey and Carrie had done most of the cleaning) and got on the computer.  Some repair men came to fix our washing machine and I went through probably two months of receipts so I could work on our finances later.  Graves woke up and then it thundered and Annie woke up.  I browsed some cloth diapers on the internet and then we all got ready and headed to my parents' house.  We picked up my mom because she was going to sit in the car with the kiddos while I ran in Target.  Graves screamed the whole way there, so I rushed through.  All I needed was coat hangers, storage bags for breast milk, and Cokes.  We went back to their house and when we were almost home (after dosing him with Tylenol) we figured out he was just cold.  I pumped because I had given Graves a bottle earlier and then went to the Mediterranean Cafe to get some hummus while my parents watched AP and Graves.  I got home and had supper and Annie had a super fun (lots of water!) bath and we got ready to leave.  We couldn't find MonkMonk and I swear we looked for half an hour.  My dad finally found him and it was right after I said a little prayer over it.  I'm usually not one to pray for parking places and such, but I felt like this merited a small intercession.  We got home late and Peyton was already there.  We put the babies to bed and watched Lost and stayed up late chatting and then went to bed ourselves.

We had a birthday party to go to on Saturday morning and I woke up with a splitting headache.  I was really tired and the whether was effecting my sinuses.  I had a bottle that was getting old, so Peyton gave it to Graves and I pumped a new one.  After that, I went ahead and got ready and I wrapped the present and got all our stuff together while Peyton got the kids up and dressed. We were a little late, but we made it!  The party was super cute, with a barnyard theme (seems to be the popular theme these days!) and they actually had some little barnyard animals.  I'm going to do a whole post with pictures, don't worry!  There was a pool and some big water inflatables, too, and AP loved those as much as the animals.  She had a blast and Peyton played in the water with her.  Graves spent most of the time in his sling and I think he enjoyed it, too!

We came home and my head was hurting even worse, so I took a long nap.  Annie had fallen asleep in the car, and would not take a nap; I let that be Peyton's struggle, though ;) Graves did take a nice nap and when we woke up, I fed him and got ready to go out to eat with some of Peyton's friends from work.  We went to Mellow Mushroom, which is one of my faves, but I could hardly eat I was so nauseated from my headache and sinus drainage.  I started feeling better toward the end and I think eating something made things a lot better.  Graves was super cute and smiley and then slept for most of the time and AP was really well behaved, despite the skipped nap.  I was impressed.  We drove around a little, talking and then came home and put the children to bed.  I gave Graves the bottle I had brought to the restaurant and never used and then started straitening the house.  I got laundry going and unloaded and loaded a full load of dishes and then pumped two(!!!) fresh bottles.  I checked Twitter while I was pumping and actually ended up catching up on the whole day since it took awhile to pump both bottles and since it was Saturday which is a slow day (at least for the people I follow).  For some reason, I'm okay with missing a day on Facebook but I just hate to miss out on tweets.

I started thinking about how I want to get back into blogging on my "throwback blog" as well as my other peripheral blogs and wrote a short post to that effect.  I read my Bible and fed Graves and went to sleep.

We woke up this morning (Sunday) and got ready for Sunday School and church.  I actually had time to feed the cats, change over the laundry, and iron my dress.  Peyton had to miss Sunday School because he's on the Discipleship Committee at church and they were going around surveying Sunday School classes about how good of the job the church is doing disciplining people.  I hate he missed it because it was all about the Canon of Scripture and he loves that kind of stuff! We ended up talking to our friend, Darlene, after Sunday School, and were late to church.  The sermon was on the Lord's Prayer and it was really good!  After church, we went to eat at Abners with some friends and then came home and got everyone down for naps.  Peyton went to play ultimate frisbee and I cleaned out the base of Graves's car seat because it was FILTHY and then worked on this post and uploaded pictures.  Peyton got home and then Ellis and his girlfriend, Minda came over.  AP had the same reaction that she did to him last time and freaked out.  She even got really anxious and worried when he held Graves.  After they left, we got ready and headed to church.  I went to Bible Study and Peyton studied pharmacy stuff and then went to evening worship since he hasn't been to the study yet.  We went by Sonic for a treat and then drove around.  We fed AP supper when we got home and I fed Graves and then it was bedtime.  We talked a little and then I finished up this post and talked to a friend on the phone.

I'm going to bed early because the start of this next week is going to be a little rough.  We're having one of Peyotn's brothers and his wife over for dinner on Wednesday, but other than that I'm really not sure what the week holds!

Weekly Smorgasbord

This week's links:

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 12:23 PM PDT
Peyton and I are reading this together. We've only read the first two posts, but so far it's really interesting and a good conversation starter.
Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:17 PM PDT
I like the idea of being a "yes mom". Of course, if it's not what is best for her, I'll say no, but so often I say "no" out of my own laziness or my own selfish priorities- "No, I can't read to you right now" (because I'm in the middle of some all important computer browsing...WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME?) or "no we can't go outside" (because it's too, clearly, we won't melt). I'm going to try to say "yes" a lot more this week!
Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:12 PM PDT
I could have written this post. In a lot of ways it describes how I feel about Annie. I've told Peyton before that for the longest time, it was really hard for me to see a sin nature in her. It's getting a lot clearer these days, though ;)

I particularly loved these lines: "Erring on the side of worshiping these delightful little people is what our current world does, but only a few short generations ago, we erred the other way. Daddies didn't love their babies, and often times Mamas didn't either (useful MadMen reference inserted here). Children were abused and put to work and not gloried in, and now they are bowed down before and allowed to set the family's routine, diet and not expected ever to work. "
Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:07 PM PDT
Okay, I may start participating in the littler carnival as well as one other one. It looks like fun!
Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:06 PM PDT
First: I love Lindsey's style.
Second: This is the other one. I think I may start doing this, too. I know the whole purpose is to keep SAHM and WAHM accountable to really getting dressed every day and I don't do that especially in the Summer, so it may be a flop. I'll probably just do this OR "Small Style" each week, maybe alternate? For one, this kind of post is time consuming to me and for another, I don't have a "style blog" and I don't particularly want to. I have some I love, but it's just not the entire theme of my blog and I don't want it to end up that way. [And plus, I'm not that stylish.]
Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:04 PM PDT
Yeah, I loved me some Clarissa Explains It All.
Posted: 23 Jul 2011 10:03 PM PDT
One of those posts that is just a good reminder for me as a mother.

C-section Birth Trends: Why the rates for this procedure are rising
Posted: 21 Jul 2011 07:47 PM PDT
I think this is very interesting and worth mulling over. One point I found very interesting was that the use of c-sections hasn't changed in objective cases such as placenta previa; it has only risen in "subjective" cases. That is why it was SO important to me to have an OB I trusted and felt on the same page with
Posted: 20 Jul 2011 10:11 PM PDT
I love Little Golden Books so very much.
Posted: 20 Jul 2011 09:11 PM PDT
How much fun is this ?!?!
Posted: 19 Jul 2011 07:23 PM PDT
How terrible for the mother. I agree that this whole situation could have been avoided with a better design for pedestrians. Ugh.
Posted: 19 Jul 2011 07:22 PM PDT
What a sad story. So glad she's having another baby. I can't imagine.
Any other links y'all love?

Thursday, July 21, 2011



She's the entire reason I knew before Ann Peyton was even born that we wanted to give her a sibling approximately two years younger than her.

She is the "Ann" that our Annie is named for. 

She was my best friend for as far back as I can remember. When I was in second grade, I wrote a short prose and an acrostic declaring her such. [Have to find those.]

 I was terribly bossy during those early years and always had to be the teacher, boss, mother, or coach, while she played the willing pupil, employee, child, or athlete.  I made her eat nasty concoctions full of ketchup, honey and vinegar, which I referred to as "punishment".  She loved me in spite.

She made me laugh.

And we experienced so many of childhood's beautiful moments together.

We've had so many fun late night talks through the years.

Once she got her driver's license, she drove every day when we were in high school. Because I *hate* to drive.  Everyone thought that was weird because she was the baby sister, but we didn't care.

We had rough patches, but when we both left for college, we learned to appreciate each other even more in our absence.

And she kept making me laugh.

She was my maid of honor, but the honor of having her stand beside me was truly mine.

She adores Peyton and speaks so highly of him. She challenges me to be a better wife and to see his goodness more.

I watched her as she  loved my little girl more than I ever could imagine.  She's always enjoyed kids, but I never expected someone at her stage of life to take such a genuine interest in the little details of Annie's life.  I never anticipated that she would fall in love with Ann Peyton the way she did and want to spend so much time with her.

She was one of a very few people I felt comfortable asking to be in the delivery room for Graves's birth, knowing it would be a much different experience than Annie's.  I knew the emotions would be raw, that I would be in a ton of pain, and that I'd be at my most vulnerable. I hoped so much she'd want to be there.  And she was.  And it was perfect.  I'll never be able to express how much it meant to me.  Words just won't come.

She not only wants me and Peyton, but she wants our kids, at EVERYTHING.  Her graduation, her celebratory dinners....everything.  It makes my heart smile that she always wants to include them.

She graduated at the top of her nursing school class after taking a risk and trying something she wasn't sure she'd like.  She ended up loving it and I know she will be perfect.  She used to want to be a veterinarian so bad when she was little, but the Lord knew she was made to care for people.  She will care for them so beautifully.

 She told me the other day that I was everything she wanted to be when she's a mother.  I fell apart.  It was one of the kindest things anyone has ever said to me and  compliment I will never in my life forget.

She's moving to another state soon and I don't know where I will be without her.

She's twenty four years old today and she's made the last twenty four years of my life all the more precious simply by being her.