Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekly Happenings Post #137 (October 24-30)-- Hand, Foot, and Miserable Disease

Random note: Peyton *always* calls our buffet a "breakfront".  It's funny because we do have a breakfront, but I don't refer to it as such most of the time; I just call it the "china cabinet".  Anyway, somewhere along the line he got confused.  I correct him every. single. time.  Well, recently someone asked me if we used a tripod for the family pictures.  "Oh, no", I said, "we just put it on the breakfront" (meaning, of course, the buffet).  Ha!  At first, I just felt stupid, but later that day I thought about it and it made me really glad that Peyton doesn't have any truly awful habits because those things rub off so easily!

Last week was kind of rough.  Graves was sick the better part of the week and poor thing just felt miserable.  He had Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease and it was just no fun.  He never actually got the terrible sores, but he did have a pretty awful rash and really the first couple of days before he was symptomatic were the worst.  He cried, literally, every time we would move him, the doctor said it was because his muscles hurt.  Poor little baby!

We didn't do much on Monday- I mostly just wanted to start getting things back in order from our trip.  Peyton wasn't working that morning, so I slept in a bit and then I started unpacking and sorting laundry, getting suitcases and coats put up, and trying to straighten some.  Peyton started some dishes and we had lunch and then he had to leave for work.  I was going to feed Graves and put both kids down, but (of course) right as I was nursing him, the tv repair guy that was supposed to come sometime in the MORNING got there.  Our TV had been lagging ever since we switched to U-verse and I was just glad to get it fixed.  I didn't really want to attempt naps while he was here, so we just played in the kids' room.  I did manage to get a couple of loads of laundry folded and I had a "spa party" with Annie- I painted her toenails and cleaned out her ears (I know that's a fun spa treatment, ha!).  He finally left and Graves took a super short nap in his swing and AP stayed in bed for maybe half an hour.  I managed to get some pictures uploaded and went through and deleted the bad ones. Then Ann Peyton told me she was "so hungry".  She did have an early lunch and it was past four, so I just got her up.  She had a snack and we all got ready and headed to my parents' house. We had supper with them and I had a nice visit (with a small disagreement!) with my mom and then we came home and I put them to bed.  I straightened up a little and finished my Weekly Happenings and Weekly Smorgasbord posts  from last week and went to bed.

Graves was up off an on ALL night long, but he really didn't even want to eat, so Peyton, very sweetly, got up with him a lot.  We were still both pretty exhausted by morning on Tuesday and AP woke up earlier than she typically does.  Graves was so fussy and just almost inconsolable so I decided we better take a sick day from Mother's Day Out. I actually called Darlene at five fifteen in the morning(!!!), not realizing the time, to tell her we wouldn't be there. I'm thankful for such a sweet boss who i also a dear friend and who also had two little ones within two years and understood that at this point the concept of day and night was a very loose one!  Peyton held him most of the morning and I took a bath, fixed AP and myself some oatmeal, and tried to do some things around the house.  Peyton had to go to a meeting, so we just hung out and by the time he got home, I had made a doctor's appointment.  I did some dishes and got ready and then Peyton left and his mom came over to keep Annie so I wouldn't have to risk getting HER sick at the doctor's.  We had to see another doctor because Dr. Denney didn't have an opening.  She was really sweet and I was surprised it wasn't his ears.  After taking some blood, she said he had a virus and asked me if he was in daycare.  Then, DUH!, it hit me- several kids from MDO have been out with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.  I just didn't think about it because he's not in the room with any of those kids and he had absolutely no symptoms except fussiness.  The doctor said that's what it's like at the start and he probably felt like he had the flu- sore muscles and maybe even a headache.  For some reason, it makes me so sad to think of a baby with a headache.  And all the crying he did all day I'm sure just made it worse :(
 poor little guy

Anyway, we picked up Motrin on the way home and I took him outside so Annie could play some.  We came in and I started to unload dishes and made some Suddenly Salad and heated up a frozen casserole. I talked to Logan on the phone and tried to feed Graves some baby food.  I changed the batteries and put him in his swing for a bit and I was able to vacuum the sofa and give Annie a bath after her supper and then I got them both to bed.  I laid down on the couch and fell asleep until Peyton got home.  Graves had another rotten night.  He was up every thirty minutes and we ended up putting him in our bed and then Peyton took him to the couch and snuggled with him so I could rest.

Peyton was off on Wednesday and we got a slow start.  I got up and got AP ready and they went and took a urine sample to the doctor's office to try to figure out what was wrong with Baby Graves.  I took a bath and fed Graves and when they got home I emptied the dishwasher and folded some laundry.  Then we all headed to my dietitian appointment because Peyton had some questions.  After that, we came home and attempted a nap with Ann Peyton.  Peyton snuggled with Graves and I went outside and read some of my Christian Believer. I came in and Annie was up and Peyton was dozing on the sofa with Graves.
  sweetest boys!

My mom came over to keep both kids so we could go to Bible Study and I was glad I went.  It helped to get out of the house!  We got home and put the kids to bed and I wrote a post and read blogs and caught up on Twitter.
 [It didn't look too bad yet.]

Peyton was off again on Thursday, so we had a relaxed morning and then headed out to do some errands.  We went by Deville for a book and a memory card (which we didn't get because Peyton realized he had an extra one at home) and then by the Mediterranean Cafe for some hummus.  We drove through Sonic and then went to Kroger.  When we got home, we fed AP lunch and put her down and she actually took a nap.  Peyton and Graves napped, too, and I cleaned up the kitchen, unloaded and loaded dishes, and put up all the groceries.  Then I started working on my closet changeover and Ellis called from Brazil!  He's been gone for months and it was so good to get to talk to him and he may end up staying with us for a couple of weeks around Christmas when he gets back!  AP woke up and my mom came by.  She brought us BBQ for supper since she had picked up some for her and my dad.  She helped me pick out some "tired" looking things from my closet to get rid of  and also helped us hang some pictures.  After she left, Peyton helped me with a little craft project with the kids and worked on fixing the kitchen sink because it was leaking and then we fed AP dinner and put the kids to bed.  Graves actually did a good stretch in his bed and I got on the computer and then we watched TV together and went to sleep.  Of course, Graves did end up in our bed at some point.

Peyton had an eye appointment on Friday and AP woke up earlier than she has been, so I put her in bed with me and Graves.  I feel asleep and at one point, I dreamed she went in the bathroom and got a razor.  Paranoid, much? I woke up and fed Graves and at that point she did roll off the bed, so we decided to move to the living room.  We had breakfast and Peyton got home. I rested a bit (and had more weird dreams) and then we had a quick chat while Graves played in his swing and Annie had a snack.  He helped me hang one other thing and found some memory cards from our old camera and then gave AP a bath.
She *hates* getting water in her eyes when we wash her hair, so Peyton came up with this trick!

I tried to transfer some of the pictures to the computer, but I just got frustrated.  I took a shower and made a few phone calls to line up someone to do children's church for me, to RSVP to a shower, and to talk to our flooring guy that's doing the kitchen and then I sent an email about Sunday School curriculum.  I gave Graves a bath and fed AP lunch and ate mine.
 Look at those sick eyes.  And his skin looked terrible.  He has really sensative skin anyway, so it was bad.  I have this awful feeling he's gonna be this Paul Phiffer type kid in school with a milk allergy and eczema.  All he needs is a pair of horn rim glasses!

My mom came over to drop something (more food!) off and we visited for a little bit and then I put them down for naps.  They both slept well and I got on the computer and just wasted time.  I had to wake them up to get ready to go to my parents' house for Beans and Rice.  My mom was going to Easely Amused with a friend, so we got there early to hang out with her.  We had a fun time eating and spending some quality time with Mickey and got home early.  I put the kids to bed and got on the computer and worked on my November header.  I cooked fish for us to eat (my second supper, ha!) and Peyton got home and we talked some and went to bed.

Annie was up pretty early (for her) on Saturday and Peyton had to work, so I put both kids in bed and we watched movies.  I hopped up and got a bath and then we all had breakfast in our room and I worked on my closet for over an hour.  We played some and I got AP's lunch ready and then she went down for an early nap.  She took one of her great naps (it's been awhile!) and I ate my lunch, talked to Morgan on the phone for an hour, did my Beth Moore study, and took a nap myself!  They woke up and played in the nursery while I rearranged some things.  I cleaned out some stuffed animals to send to my parents' house and made the bin in the living room a "dress up" bin because AP has been emptying her drawers and wanting to try on five hundred different things.  I hung up clothes and Peyton got home.  We had a low key evening at home and Annie went to bed late since she had such a long nap.  I think she really enjoyed the time with Peyton .  She started calling him "Daddy" and he wouldn't respond.  He told her "Um, my name is PAPA." Hilare. 
 She was so hyper.  Like dancing around her room hyper. Long naps and late night with Papa Peyton will do that to a ya.

 Working on the settings.  Automatic.

 Something that wasn't automatic.

I got on the computer and read blogs and finished up my header and then I swept and mopped in the kitchen.  We had leftovers for supper and I went to bed really late.  I fed Graves at 2:00 and then every time he woke up after that (I think it was three times) I just patted him and gave him his paci.  Peyton had fallen asleep on the couch and around 5:00, I handed him off.  I ended up not feeding him again until about nine on Sunday morning, which is really good for him, especially lately!

We skipped church on Sunday because I was worried Graves was still contagious and we had a very lazy Sunday morning.  Peyton had to work, but Annie slept really late and then we just got up and had breakfast and I folded some laundry.  I didn't even rush to get a bath!  When Graves feel asleep (yay for a morning nap!) I hopped in the tub and then Annie played in our room while I worked on the closet.  Graves woke up and I fed him and then I got mine and AP's lunch ready.  I put her down for a nap and snuggled with Graves some and then he fell back asleep!  I was shocked, but he took a pretty good nap, too.  I had a snack, got on the computer and folded some more laundry.  I did some of Beth Moore study.  I had to wake Annie up and she was pretty ill about it, so I let her watch a little more Elmo while I tackled my closet some more.  Graves woke up and I got them dressed in their Halloween costumes and Peyton got home and we finished getting ready and then headed to his parents' house so they could see the kids all dressed up.

 [more pictures soon to come!]

We stayed over there pretty late and when we got home, I put the kids to bed and cooked some sirloin steak and potatoes for supper. I worked on my Beth Moore study some more and went to bed.

I am hoping that we'll be able to get back to our normal routine this week! Graves is feeling much better, and I'm so thankful.  We don't have a lot planned, besides the Trick or Treating we did tonight and our normal activities, but I'll be glad to return to normalcy!

Weekly Smorgasbord

Last week's best links:

    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 02:09 PM PDT
    Sometimes this site is super funny. Sometimes it's downright scary. This would be the latter.
    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 02:08 PM PDT
    "But in belittling God's joy, their darkness only calls forth more darkness."
    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 02:08 PM PDT
    I feel these things all the time. Such a strong desire to be a person about from the children, but then such a strong desire to fully immerse myself in this season.
    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 02:06 PM PDT
    I always enjoy posts about blogging for some reason. Good insights.
    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 02:05 PM PDT
    Oh, y'all. Sobbing.
    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 02:05 PM PDT
    "Not to be confused with the ugly cry. This cry is the ugly cry on crack." Funny post!
    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 02:04 PM PDT
    "it doesn't matter WHEN we do it... so long as we do it. "
    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 02:03 PM PDT
    Good tip!
    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 02:03 PM PDT
    "And then my little boy said, 'It's hard being a Christian. It makes me odd."'

    Lord, prepare me for this day.
    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 02:02 PM PDT
    "Sometimes we make the world too big. "Sometimes we make the world too small." I'm going back and reading the posts I missed and I love it. Every one.
    Posted: 31 Oct 2011 01:14 PM PDT
    This was a hard read, but a good one. It gave me perspective and reminded me some of the things I worry about really don't matter in the long run. Found it via here, which was via Kodi.
    Hope you find something you enjoyed!

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Christian Believer: Week Eight {Humankind}

    This week's topic was "Humankind: Made in God's Image" (Created in God's Image).  I think I'm going to start sharing a verse from one of the hymns they include each week.  I love hymns and it's really neat to see how they relate.  I may even go back and add some to my previous posts!

    I have to be honest, this week was one of the more dry lessons.  I have no idea why, but it just wasn't as interesting to me and that seemed to be the general consensus of the group.  There was still some good stuff, though, of course!
    O God who shaped creation
    At earth's chaotic dawn,
    Your word of power was spoken,
    And lo! the dark was gone!
    You framed us in your image,
    You brought us into birth,
    You blessed our infant footsteps
    And shared your splendored earth.
    ["O God Who Shaped Creation", William W. Reid, Jr.]

    Of course, we began by watching the video.  The video began by saying that perhaps the notion of "in the image of God" tells us more about God than about us.  It defined the Latin phrase Imago Dei as meaning (the image of God) and say that this asserts the intrinsic value of every single person.  The video did also list two concerns with this teaching: first that it would lead to denigration of the body and a rejection of the importance of the natural world and second that it might promote human arrogance. We discussed each of these a bit.  Finally, it shared a quote from John Wesley- "The great end of religion is to renew our hearts in the image of God." I really liked that.

    We then moved to the reading and discussed what being made in God's image actually meant.  Our workbook shared several different ideas:
    1. Being made in God's image suggests personhood and that we have relational qualities.
    2. It indicates that we can control our conduct and take responsability for our actions.
    3. It means we are capable of communing with God
    4. It gives us the inclination to worship.
    5. Finally, it means we have the potential to be Godly.  This is also becomes our most seductive temptation.

    It went on to say how we are made from dust, but have the breath of God in us and how we are in a constant struggle between the flesh (dust) and the spiritual (God's breath).

    It discussed our social nature and how it is our gory and joy, but also our peril.  Jelousy and envy are sins that would not exist without our social nature.  However, because we are social, we care for one another and our noblest deeds spring out of our social nature.  Finally, because we are social creatures, we struggle with "the oldest human malady", lonliness.  The book made the excellent point that even before the Fall, there was lonliness and that's why Adam needed a companion.

    Of course, man, made in the image of God did not last long in his original state.  It was not enough to be made in God's image; he wanted to be equal to God and thus rebelled.  The only cure for this rebellion was God Himself becoming human and freeing us from sin and death.

    The book went on to describe how this doctrine should affect our treatment of others.  How can we bless God and curse a creature made in His image (James 3:9-10)? And also, if we are made in His image, what is expected of us?

    It ended by saying that "to view ourselves from any other perspective is to miss the wonder of our orgins, the magnitude of our potential, and the reality of our destination.  From any other perspective we would also miss the degree of distress involved inour fally short of our divine potential."

    We discussed the Scripture readings next.  We read Psalm 8 and talked about how it says man was "made lower than the angels".  This was kind of confusing because it appears in the New Testament that we will be above the angels when we die.  It seems to reconcile, though- we were created as lesser than they; but when we reach our home in glory, we will be greater.

    I also really liked the reading from 1 Corinthians 15:
    "All flesh is not the same: men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds have another, and fish another.  There are also heavenly bodies and early bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another." (1 Corinthians 15:39-4)  and "So it will be with the resurrection of the dead.  The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).

    There were several readings from the text that I really enjoyed, too.
    "The opinion of Augustine...and the early doctors is that the three faculties of intellect, will, and memory, which are distinct and yet constitute the one soul, are a similitude of the one God in respect of the existence and the trinity of the Persons.  This I do not dispute, so long as we are not led astray by the three faculties and imagine that in God as in us there is a conflict of will...I do not reject ht opinion of Augustine, but I think the are many things which give us an awareness of the divine likeness apart from those which Augustine singled out as the chief.  The is in particular that looking to God and the the words of God which is a sure sign of the divine relationship, image and similitude within us...-Ulrich Zwingli

    "Wherefore that image of God in which Adam was created was a workmanship the most beautiful...while as yet no leprosy of sin adhered either to his reason or to his will.  Then all his senses, both internal and external, were the most perfect and the most pure.  His intellect was most clear, his memory most complete, and his will the most sincere, and accompanied with the most charming secure, without any fear of death and without any care or anxiety whatsoever. ...For I fully believe that, before his sin, the eyes of Adam were so clear and their sight so acute, that his powers of vision exceeded those of the lynx.  Adam, I believe, being stronger that they, handled lions and bear, whose strength is so great, as we handle the young of any animal". -Martin Luther

    " [God created man in His own image.] "...Not barely in his natural image, a picture of his own immortality, a spiritual being endued with understanding, freedom of will, and various affections; not merely in his political image, the governor of this lower world...but chiefly in his moral image, which according to the Apostle, is 'righteousness and true holiness'...Otherwise, God could not have pronounced him as well as all the other works of His hands, 'very good' (Genesis 1:31)  If we suppose an intelligent creature not to love God, not to be righteous and holy, we necessarily suppose him not to be good at all; much less very good." - John Wesley

    "The image must be seen in man's threefold relationship: towards God, towards others, towards nature. When originally created, humans imaged God sinlessly in all three relationships.  After the Fall, the image of God was not annihilated but perverted, so that human beings now function wrongly in each of the three relationships.  In the process of redemption, however, the image is being renewed, so that man is now enabled to be properly directed toward God, others, and nature.  The renewal of the image of God is seen in its riches form in the church.  The image is therefore not static but dynamic0 a constant challenge to God-glorifying living.  In the life to come the image of God will be perfected; glorified human beings will then live perfectly in all three relationships.  After the resurrection, redeemed man will be in a higher state than man before the Fall, since he will no longer be able either to sin or to die." -Antohony A. Hoekema

    "We know from a psychological standpoint that there is a profound sense in which who we are is only revealed in our relationships with others.  When we enter into a relationship with someone we become who we could not be otherwise and learn things about ourselves that we did not know before.  Not uncommonly we are surprised to realize how we tend to interact with others.  In being children, and having children, in being loved, and living another, in being rejected and misunderstood, as well as in being accepted and welcomed, we develop self-awareness and self-understanding, and the promise of our won life becomes as story." -Christopher Morse

    We ended our discussion by talking about some practical aspects of our being made in God's image- our charge to be good stewards of the Earth and its resources and the value of human life.  Such interesting discussion, even on a "slow" night!

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    A New Lease on Lifestyle

    So tomorrow I'm going to the dietitian for the third time.  It's been kind of different that I expected and I thought I'd share a little about it on the blog.

    First of all, I think this whole thing is a bit more involved than I realized.  I guess I thought I'd just go, we'd discuss healthy high calorie foods and then I'd come back in a month or something.  Maybe that was naive.  Because, um, no.  After my initial visit, I went back one week later and I'll continue to go every two weeks following until I gain the desired poundage. Secondly, there is this money thing.  The supplements and "medical food" and tests and labs and oh yeah appointments are expensive.  Fortunately, we're in a good situation financially and insurance covers some of it.  Finally, (and I really should have expected this), I'm supposed to keep a very detailed account of what I eat and strive to get certain established recommended servings from each of the various food categories on a by no means small list.

    Really, though, even though it's kind of daunting and seems like a lot of work in a way, I know it will be worth it.  When I stepped on the scale right when I got to the very first appointment, I was two pounds down from my appointment with Dr. McMinn.  I was actually sitting right on the scary number that she stressed I not get below.  I'm not sure if a scale was off, I had on heavier shoes at my gyno visit, or (the most probable) the most recent dairy detox after trying to gradually (unsuccessfully) reintroduce it has really kicked my bootie.  Either way, it was enough to scare me and make me realize that this is worth the commitment.  When I get a little overwhelmed by the list (because um, I'm not much of a cook. or a meal planner. or a grocery shopper), I've also been trying to think back to Annie first year when I had to really work at keeping her on a strict schedule and making sure she ate lots of good solids plus nursed.  I was extra diligent about every feeding and for periods I had to wake her up at night.  I made most of her baby food and I never let her skip  her solids like I do with Graves sometimes.  I reminded myself that I could do that and I can do this.

    I also think that this is going to be really good for me longterm and for our entire family. It's more than just about eating and not eating certain foods, this program (which is called First Line Therapy) is all about an overall healthy lifestyle.

    The first thing we did focus in on, though, of course, was food.  Kelly (the nurse practitioner) and Kristin (her nurse) discussed the diet plan they had come up with for me.  My recommended caloric intake is at least 1800 and those calories need to come from an assorted variety of categories.  Here is my basic plan:

    To explain the "medical foods"-- that is just a powder that can be put into shakes or smoothies or whatever.  It's full of protein and other good stuff that I need, especially since I'm going sans dairy these days.  Even without the lack of dairy, Kristin explained that breastfeeding in general "strips" you of nutrients, so really I think any nursing mom could benefit. You can also get the same supplements in the form of snack bars. 

    Another thing Kelly recommended was some fish oil capsules.  Even though I am taking a calcium supplement, there are other nutrients that I'm missing by cutting out dairy.  One of these things (I don't remember what it's called) can even change how your brain works and could slow down it's functioning.  It can increase the occurrence of anxiety and depression, which as most of y'all know, I'm already at risk for.  Moreover, it could even effect Graves's brain development.  What a scary thought! 

    We also talked about staying hydrated.  I know I don't drink enough water, but the requirements seemed really difficult.  I was concerned that it would be hard to drink so much water AND get the extra food in that I need.  I think it's going to be a gradual process and may need to include cutting back on the Cokes (now that I drink caffeine free, I like to indulge!).  Kelly said that's why my lips have been so chapped lately and why it was hard to find the vein to draw my blood- I've been dehydrated.

    Then we discussed other lifestyle patterns- sleep, activity, and stress management.

    Just like with Dr. McMinn, we talked about fatigue. I did explain that I attribute my profound tiredness more to the constant demands of two sweet little persons- and the occasional demands of one hunky big person ;) I also shared with them, re: the pallor, that I had not really been worried about it because I'm naturally fair and having had a baby in April, I didn't have a lot of tanning options this past Summer, as opportunities to be poolside just didn't seem practical.  However, I do understand that a better diet will obviously benefit me in this area regardless.

    Next up was exercise.  While it's not advisable to start any marathon training right now or to do any super high calorie burning activity, Kelly said increasing my walking would help with my energy and my appetite.  Also, she said it would be good to get some small hand weights because after your fat is burn you start loosing muscle mass and then if you're not getting enough nutrients, it starts to effect your bones.  Right now, I'm at the muscle level probably.  ::Shutter::

    The last thing we touched on was stress management and a lot of what we discussed was getting adequate rest, exercise and SUNSHINE.  I felt like I got a ton of helpful information!

    I went back a week later and not only had I gained the two pounds back, they did a little body composition test they do every time and my numbers looked like they were really improving.  It measures a lot of different things, but the main things we focused on were my fat free mass, my intra-cellular water, and my overall cell health. My fat free mass went up, meaning I'm not just adding fat to my body. My intra-cellular water also went up, meaning I was more hydrated and my overall cell health went up, basically just meaning I was becoming more healthy. 

    I'm kind of nervous about tomorrow's appointment.  With our big trip this past weekend and with a sick baby this week, I've been less diligent with everything.  I'll just have to get back on track this week. I'm really glad I have the tools now to do it!

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Weekly Happenings Post #136 (October 17-23)-- Meet Me in Saint Louis

    Last week was a fun week and it ended with an exciting weekend!  I haven't said anything because it was a big secret, but Carrie and I decided about a week ago when Ashley got her travel call that we wanted to be at the airport to welcome her and Liam home!  The more we discussed it the more we thought it would be fun to take our two husbands and four (well, five!) kids along for the ride!  I'm glad we did- it was great seeing Ash, the kids had a blast at the zoo on Saturday, and I think Peyton and David had some quality bonding time, too!

    We had a good day mostly at home on Monday.  Peyton got up with the kids and I took a bath, hung up some of Peyton's clothes, started laundry and cleaned out a really messy bathroom drawer.  I fixed a big breakfast after Peyton left for work and then did dishes. 
      I LOVE pajamas with little back flaps!

    I fed Graves some baby food and my mom came over for a visit.  She had been out of town and was dead to see the babies.  After she left, I gave the kids baths.  While AP was in the tub, I go ton Twitter and folded and put up laundry.

    I put the kids down for naps and I uploaded some pictures and played around with editing some.
     Before and after.  I think I may like the original better.  I need to get more practice and also maybe to ditch the free software and make an investment!

    I worked on a couple of posts, ate lunch, and watched Lost.  Graves woke up and we snuggled and then Annie woke up.  We had been practicing wearing panties all day, so we resumed that.
       I lowered my TV standards a bit and let her watch more than she's used to in hopes of accomplishing some potty training goals.  She's actually watching Baby Beethoven.  I'm hoping the reason she finds something meant for a baby Graves's age entertaining is her lack of exposure ;)

    We went outside and then I got AP's supper ready and fed Graves more food.  Peyton got home and we ran a few errands- Lowes for some paint and tools and the grocery store.  We put the kids to bed and I got on the computer and made brownies since it was Boss's Appreciation Day and I wanted to take some to Darlene.

    Tuesday we had Mother's Day Out. 
     BG loves MDO!

    The morning went by fast and when we got home, I got AP's lunch ready and made more brownies and did dishes.  I fed Graves his cereal and put them down for naps.  They slept great and I got one the computer and did some in my Beth Moore bible study.  When the kids woke up, we got ready and left for our Ultreya meeting.

    I almost went in the church with my Snow White classes on!

    The meeting was good and Peyton met us there.  We came home, got everyone in bed and I played on the computer, straitened the house, and went to bed.

    Wednesday morning we got up and got ready and went to Bible study at Morgan's house.  We've missed it for several weeks due to sickness and Morgan being on trips and having sick kids, so it was great to be back!  I always leave feeling so encouraged!  We got home and I fed Annie and Graves lunch and we played a little and then I put them down for naps.  I read some in Christian Believer and took a nap myself.  Peyton got home and we headed to church for dinner and our group he leads.  It was really interesting this week. We picked up Peyton's car and dropped it off to have the tire checked the next day and came home.  I straightened the house, did dishes, and got on the computer.

    Peyton worked a double on Thursday.  Fortunately, we spent the morning at MDO and it was my day to stay through lunch again.  I ran by Morgan's to drop off some money I owed her and then by the car pace to see if I could go ahead and get the key for Peyton's car and pick up the actual vehicle later with my dad.  The spot right by the door where I could see the kids from was taken, though, and I didn't want to unload everyone, so I just turned around.  Annie fell asleep on the way home and actually transferred well!  I got Graves to sleep and then straightened the house, got on the computer, and took a really short snooze myself.  My mom and dad both came over and my dad helped me pick up Peyton's car and get the last three super heavy boxes from the attic.  I picked up Chick Fil A on the way back from the car place.  My mom kept the kids while I ran to Target for a few things- turtlenecks and tights for AP, some huge ziplock bags, and some entertainment for the trip courtesy of the dollar bin.  I also ran by TJ Maxx and got a few cheap books and to Babies R Us to get a double stroller and another mirror for the backseat since we have two rear facing kiddos still. I got home and talked with my mom a little and then she left and I basically fed the kids and put them to bed after we played a little.  I got on the computer and finished a post and then Peyton got home and we packed for our trip.

    We got up early on Friday morning- around six.  Peyton thought he had an eye doctor appointment, but it turned out that it was for the next Friday, so we just finished getting ready and had breakfast and got on the road.  The trip was about eight hours and we stopped NINE times.  I know, ridiculous, and it wasn't even that much for the kids.  We stopped and got gas, picked up breakfast at Primos, and went by Target one last time for some bottles, baby food, and a new sippy cup since I forgot to pack one. We made it a few hours with no interruptions- Graves and Ann Peyton both fell asleep much earlier than I had expected- and then we decided to stop for food.  We went by a McDonalds, but it looked sketchy, so we stopped at a gas station and I fed Graves, and then found another McDonalds to get some chicken nuggets for Annie.  I really didn't want anything from there, so we got back on the road.  We stopped a bit later at a KFC and they said they were out of chicken nuggets.  We got gas at another place and then Peyton got a burger at a Steak 'N Shake and I got some chicken nuggets at Chik Fil A.  It was absurd how terribly unorganized we were with our stops and it made for a long trip.  The kids did SO good though and only got fussy the last little bit.

    Once we got there, we unloaded the car and met up with the Howies.  Carrie and I got ready and headed to the airport and the guys watched the kids.  That was an experience, too!  It took us a while to even figure out how to get into the airport in the first place; we couldn't figure out where to get off the interstate and then we parked in a parking lot and then we realized we were in the completely wrong place. We left there and parked in a parking garage and went inside and realized we were in the wrong terminal.  We tried to catch (read: ran to catch) a shuttle to the other terminal, but it left us.  We were already late at this point, but we hustled back to the car.  We paid to leave and the lady that took our money just laughed at us! We finally got to the other parking garage and the airport security wanted to inspect our car! Thankfully, it was really brief.  We had talked to Ashley's brother, so once we got in the airport, we knew just where to go.  We hurried and got there pretty fast.  Ashley and Liam was already off the plane and we hid while they had time with her family.  We finally popped out and there were lots of tears.  We talked to Ashley a little bit and hugged her neck, and then tried to get out of her hair so she could get home to rest!
      Isn't Liam a DOLL? I stole this off of Carrie's blog.  Everything was so fast-paced, we didn't have just a ton of time for pictures.  Imagine that!

    We ran by Steak 'N Shake and I got myself and Annie some mini corndogs.  We visited with the Howies a little in their room and then Peyton went to get himself some food while I got the kids to bed.  We went to bed pretty early and (SO STRANGE!) Graves slept through the night.  There was some major pumping going on at five in the AM.  I guess the swing was really comfortable.  Too bad he's a little old to make that a habit!

    We woke up the next morning (Saturday) and got ready to take the kids to the zoo.  We took it easy and got a slow start, so we got to the zoo mid morning.  We walked around and saw lots of animals.
      [More trip pictures to come!]

    My favorite was the baby elephant, but the prairie dogs and especially the monkeys were a HUGE hit with Ann Peyton. We had lunch there and I got a hot dog.  Fast food is hard when pizza and cheeseburgers are out of the question, ha!  Aubrey had some funny things to say about hotdogs, actually!  We saw some more animals and then everyone started fading really fast.  The kids were SO tired, so we headed back to the hotel.  We worked so hard to keep AP up for the ride back, but then she didn't even end up napping in the room.  She takes so long to fall asleep and we just didn't have a ton of time.  We had one king bed and we all just snuggled in it.  Peyton fell asleep and at one point I dozed off.  I woke up when Annie started climbing on me and was about to climb on Baby Graves, though!  We got up and got ready again and headed out to see the Arch.  It was really neat and the kids had fun playing and running around in the big park around it.  

    We left and were going to go have supper, but there was a detour and we had a terrible time finding it.  We stopped for a bathroom break for Aubrey (I guess there are some perks to still having Annie in diapers because I was stressed worrying if Aubrey would make it and she's not even my baby, ha!). We finally made it to a neat restaurant, Qdoba, and ate and talked a little and then we headed back to the hotel.  The babies went to bed pretty soon after that and I got us mostly packed while Peyton watched TV and then I went to sleep.

    We got an early start on Sunday morning.  Originally, we had planned to stay and just go to the church the Howie's were going to (commence hugging and singing Kumbaha with your Calvinist/Wesleyan brother).  In the end, though, the Sunday night bible study that I go to was having a potluck and a meeting to decide our next book.  We had taken October off and attended Sunday night worship instead, but we decided to get back in the swing of things for November.  Anyway, we got up and were on the road before nine.  We only stopped three times for lunch, gas, and to feed Graves and we made really good time!  We pulled into our driveway just in time for me to hop in the car and go to the meeting.  Peyton kept the kids at home and I had a nice time (and they forgave me for coming to the potluck empty handed!).  I got home and fed Graves and rocked Annie and put them to bed. I got on the computer and started unpacking a little and then Peyton and I had a nice long chat and went to bed.

    This week should be fun but much less eventful!

    Weekly Smorgasbord

    My favorite posts from last week:

      Posted: 24 Oct 2011 07:45 PM PDT
      "Robert Capon, in his wonderful, delightful little ditty, Bed and Board, says that the thing children cannot tolerate is unfairness. They can tolerate all manner of toughness and firmness and hard work and difficult requirements, but the minute we are unfair, we lose them." So interesting, as is the rest of this post.
      Posted: 24 Oct 2011 07:44 PM PDT
      I've been reading this whole 31 days series about a "no brainer wardrobe" and have really enjoyed it. This post was one of my favorites, though. I decided I should go through my closet and pick out a "go to" outfit for several different occasions!
      Posted: 24 Oct 2011 07:43 PM PDT
      "Why do women work? Or more specifically, why do MOTHERS work? Can there possibly be a more complicated question?" This is really excellent writing. Such good deep stuff. However, when I got to the part where Suzanne calls BS about Funions, I had to just go ahead and add the blog to my reader.
      Posted: 24 Oct 2011 07:40 PM PDT
      "If you give a kid shoes," she told me, "they wear out or they grow out of them, and then what do they have? If you give the kid's parents a job, the whole family will always have shoes." "The problem isn't that people don't have shoes. It's that they don't have the means to buy shoes." I think this is a really good post about TOMS. I actually think they're super cute and really want a pair. This article shows how the company is doing a good job, but could have a greater impact.
      Posted: 24 Oct 2011 07:26 PM PDT
      Have I told y'all I love a good birth story? ;)
      Posted: 24 Oct 2011 07:25 PM PDT
      We've discussed this type thing before, but never really made it a priority. I think having a time for "business" would be so helpful. Got to be intentional now.
      Posted: 24 Oct 2011 07:25 PM PDT
      Emily's thanksgiving in the midst of sadness.
      Posted: 24 Oct 2011 07:24 PM PDT
      While I don't have this exact problem, I can relate on many levels. I thought this was such a beautiful, important post.
      Posted: 24 Oct 2011 07:23 PM PDT
      This is such a neat story!

      Thursday, October 20, 2011

      Christian Believer: Week Seven {Covenant Maker}

      This week in our Wednesday night group our topic was "Covenant/Election" (God Makes Covenant With Us). We talked about God's covenants with his chosen people.  The readings were a little dry and Peyton and I were both nervous that the conversation would be the same.  It ended up being as good, if not better, than ever!

      We, of course, started with the video.  The first thing the video said was that the story of God's covenant binds the Old and New Testaments together.  It went on to talk about how we see many covenants in the Old Testament lead up to the one great covenant in the new.

      After the video, we discussed the readings.  The readings from the workbook were really interesting.  First, the book defined covenant.  It said that it is "longing put into commitment and into some sort of specific terms.  Covenant establishes the relationship between the two parties, defining their obligations and responsibilities." I really liked that definition and I shared how (even though this seems really dumb) it made me think of when I was in college and boys and girls would have a "DTR" (a define the relationship talk) after they had been to several functions (that's what we at the Baptist college call dances, only kidding!).  To me it seemed like an appropriate analogy.  Then we discussed that had we not sinned, there might be no need for a covenant.

      We discussed several things the book mentioned about the covenant:  First, God initiates it.  And, although God may make a covenant with an individual (Noah, for example), it also effects the rest of humankind. The book also made mention of how most all Old Testament covenants involved, in some way, blood.  Later covenants, all the way to Holy Communion, continue this idea that blood is the conduit of life and therefore a "sacred symbol of ultimate seriousness". Again, the book touched on how a covenant can be made with individuals, but is never for the benefit of the individual only.  We discussed how the nation of Israel often mistakenly assumed that their chosenness was for their own benefit and how we as Christians also often make the same mistake, "not often by doctrinal statement, but by pattern of life and failure of mission".

      The book then talked about what a covenant shows us about God:
      1. Good is faithful and keeps all covenants.  Even when vacillation becomes outright rebellion, God still pursues humankind.
      2. The desire for a people reveals a strong humility in God.  He is complete, by nature, nothing is necessary to His existence or fulfillment but Himself.  And if it were, He could easily compel its compliance.  However, in His humility, he chooses not to force us.

      We then discussed how we respond to God's covenant invitation.  I loved this passage from the book, "Those of us who would not imagine making a graven image need to examine our souls with particular care.  The cultures that make graven images do not fool themselves; they know who their gods are.  Those whose gods have no images may never fully realizes the contours or natures of their gods.  The reading went on to define and describe the Hebrew word, hesed, which means loyalty and inner faithfulness, and was an obvious
       precursor to grace, a term not directly used in the Old Testament.

      At this point, we delved into one of the scripture passages from the week, Psalm 89.  In this Psalm, the writer challenges God's faithfulness and can't understand why he has forsaken the covenant.  We discusses how, although his complaints aren't justified by being included in Scripture, it does help us to realize that we have a right to express such an opinion honestly and without fear, to God.

      Finally, we moved to the new covenant.  The book explained that "we are disadvantaged in grasping the wonder of this consummating covenant, because familiarity frustrates our perception".  How very true.  It goes on to describe the covenant this way- "God, the covenant-maker, acknowledging that distance between the two parties in the covenant was too great, came to the territory of the second party in the Person of his Son.  The son then took to himself the factor- sin- that had complicated and destroyed the relationship in the previous covenants". We discussed how this new covenant affects us as individuals and in the community. 

      We went on to discuss the readings from our textbook.  I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorites. I really liked these because they explained what election could mean from an Arminean point of view.  The first is some of John Wesley's thoughts; the second is sort of a history of the ideas from various thinkers.

      "I believe it [election] commonly means one of these two things.  First, a divine appointment of some particular men, to do some particular work in the world. And this election I believe to be not only personal, but absolute and unconditional. This Cyrus was elected to rebuild the temple, and St Paul, with the twelve, to preach the gospel.  But I do not find this to have any necessary connexion with eternal happiness....I believe election means, Secondly, a divine appointment of some men to eternal happiness.  But I believe this election to be conditional, as well as the reprobation opposite thereto...." -John Wesley

      "Election is that act of grace by which God chooses a companion with whom to live in an intimate relationship of love and responsibility.  Augustine, Luther, and Calvin devised a pastoral view of election that emphasized God's grace as free (devoid of consideration of merit) and prevenientSchleiermacher answered the first question by rejecting the classical assumption that God singles out individuals for this special relationship and argues that communities or the totality of the world were the focus of divine care.  Karl Bath answered the second question by criticizing the traditional, dualistic view that God chooses some and rejects others and by affirming the election of all persons in Jesus Christ. -Mary Potter Engel

      Finally, we discussed more Scripture.  We discussed Genesis 13 and Peyton suggested that maybe God purposefully made the land Lot chose look very beautiful to him so he would choose it, thus guaranteeing Abraham the better land and protecting him. Then we moved on to other covenants and discussed how it changed from a covenant between God and an individul an his family (Noah), to one between God and an individual, family, and distant relatives (Abraham), to one between God and an individual and a nation (Moses and Israel), to finally, one between God and all peoples (through Christ).  I thought that was really cool! We also discussed Jesus's influence- how we no longer need the sacrificial system (He is the sacrifice); we no longer need the temple (our bodies are temples); and we no longer need intercessions (He is our high preist).  It was really interesting, too!

      The last thing we discussed was if it was possible to be a covenant people and not know it.  I shared that I think an interesting idea is the possibility that one can know Jesus- know of a sin nature and a need for a Savior- and call out to God for that, without knowing the name Jesus Christ.  They can be in relationship with Him without knowing his proper name, in the same way a child can have a strong bond with a parent without knowing the parent's given name.

      I know I say it every time, but I love the way this study stretches my mind and nourishes my soul!

      Wednesday, October 19, 2011

      Strong Willed?

      Recently I've noticed that so many parents seem to think their toddler is strong willed or some variation of the term.  I'm not just talking about the word; I've heard some say "high maintenance" or "high needs".

      It doesn't bother me in the least that parents label their children this way.  I have been known to call Graves a "high maintenance" baby and I recently blogged abut Ann Peyton's independent streak.  I guess that's what got me thinking- my mom mentioned seeing some my strong willed nature in Annie.  NOW, I'm sure part of her stubbornness is hereditary- she does have two pretty bull headed parents.  But I also wonder if  much her stubborn nature and independent assertions are just typical toddler behavior.  I still maintain that she's a pretty compliant child.  But.  BUT.  She has bit me, spit in my face, and hit her brother more than once.  She wants to do things her way and she stomps her feet and throws herself on the floor.  I'm still not sure I'd call her strong willed.

      I guess it's just strange to me how full the Internet is of strong willed children.  I know they exist and I'm not trying to degrade anyone's experience.  My mom has said countless times that she wished had known about such a label and the subsequent Dobson-esque research that comes with that title when she was in the throes of parenting me.

      But, again, what with the abundance? Is this a new phenomenon? Are there more really difficult kids? Have children gotten harder? Has mothering? Are we just more honest and transparent about our (and our kids') struggles? It's hard for me not to, in my mind, compare it to the frustrating ADHD epidemic sweeping the nation, whereby many normal, albeit hyperactive young boys are labeled as disordered.  [Disclaimer: I'm not going to go all Jon Rosemond on y'all.  I fully believe the thing is real.  I live with someone who works through the limitations of such a disorder daily.  I also (and he also) still contend that it's over diagnosed and highly over medicated.]

      I guess the difference, though, is that while many a child may suffer from an errant ADHD dx, by and large, a child will not suffer from a parent labeling them as strong willed and seeking to inform themselves on how to better parent that child.  In fact, they may benefit.  I just think it's interesting how widespread it seems to be.  What do y'all think?

      Tuesday, October 18, 2011

      A Most Beautiful Story

      "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." -Psalm 118:24

      Today was a very special day for a very special friend.  My friend Ashley was finally able to get her precious little boy from Korea.  I'm not sure why exactly (besides my best friend being one of the central characters) but something has drawn me so strongly to this story.  I know I am not alone.  From all the comments on Ashley's Facebook and blog, it's obvious that for many people, this is like reading the best book ever and seeing it unfold before our very eyes.  And it's real!  I think part of it is just watching someone be so obedient to the Lord and do something that is outside of the norm.  Ashley and Kurt are perfectly able to grow their family in the typical way, but they felt this was the Lord's will and they didn't waver in their obedience. I feel so blessed to call Ashley my friend and I'm so inexplicably proud of her. 

      I wrote Liam a letter and sent a package up to Ashley a few weeks ago and in the letter I shared that, excepting my own children, I don't think I've ever prayed for a child (I'd even wager to say a situation) as fervently or as diligently as I have for him and their family.  I'd also guess that this is the case for many more than just myself.  When I think of it that way, this journey that the Lancasters have allowed us to travel with them has not only been about giving this precious little boy a forever home.  They will probably never know all the people whose faith has been strengthened through their beautifully written story.  And what a wonderful climax today! It was such a joy to witness. I can hardly wait for the next page!

      Monday, October 17, 2011

      Weekly Smorgasbord

      Links from last week:

        Posted: 17 Oct 2011 12:17 PM PDT
        There is a BIG initiative that we Mississippians are voting on come November. The wording makes it difficult to vote for this (I personally belief life begins at conception (not implantation), but I think it's a fuzzy area). In the end, though, I think we probably will. Peyton has been really researching and I'm trying to talk him into doing a post If he doesn't, I'm sure I will!
        Posted: 17 Oct 2011 12:12 PM PDT
        What an interesting idea. I think it'd be super hard.
        Posted: 17 Oct 2011 12:12 PM PDT
        I'd say I won't put three links to Ash's blog in my WS post every week, but with this news, I don't know if that's a promise I can keep ;) Y'all be praying for her, Kurt, Liam and Evy this week!
        Posted: 17 Oct 2011 12:10 PM PDT
        Even though it's a different set of circumstances, I felt these emotions so strongly the last few weeks before I had Graves. I love it when my best friend articulates the exact emotions I've felt before. And does it so beautifully.
        Posted: 17 Oct 2011 12:09 PM PDT
        I want to go here now.
        Posted: 17 Oct 2011 12:09 PM PDT
        Yes, to bullet points #2, #3, and #4. Pretty awesome observations. And I already gave Kodi a piece of my mind about the second to last one. Any guesses? Ha!
        Posted: 17 Oct 2011 12:06 PM PDT
        I needed to read this. I struggled with this kind of thing all the time.
        Posted: 17 Oct 2011 12:05 PM PDT
        I love days like this.
        Hope you enjoy!

        Weekly Happenings Post #135 (October 10-16)-- Trip to the State Fair, the Half Year Mark with Baby Graves, and a Plethora of Hats for Annie Banani

        Hows, that for a title, folks?

        [It's not Blogger making this picture fuzzy; it's just blurry for some reason and I hate that!]

        Last week was a good, fun week!  I felt like the week before was so long, but for some reason this past week flew by!  I'm not sure what the difference even was; they were actually probably really similar.

        Graves was up a lot on Sunday night and Peyton and I were up late chatting and so he let me sleep in on Monday.  He helped me get the kids ready and we went to lunch at Primos with Carrie and her kids.  It had been way too long and during lunch we got the text that Ashley got the call and they were leaving for Korea on Saturday.  It was kind of neat it happened when we were together.  On the way out, the girls wanted to play in a flower bed.  They got dirty and I didn't care about that, but at one point AP ran off a little too far.  She wasn't that close to the street but she wasn't listening to me very well and an older lady kind of looked at me when I fussed at her (I don't blame her and she really didn't glare or anything but that always makes me uncomfortable).  Peyton and I have really strict rules about parking lots and I wondered if maybe I let my desire to finish my conversation take precedence over keeping her safe.  I hate that feeling.

        We got home and hung out with Peyton for a bit and then he left for work.  I had gotten Annie some Elmo slippers and I wanted to make a big deal of giving them to her, but she found them first. I was working on organizing a bunch of stuff and I wanted her to take them off and she got upset.  I don't know why I make my life harder than it has to be.  I spent a good bit of time organizing clothes and then I switched out the books under her dressing table with some more "advanced" ones from her closet.  She's kind of bored with the old ones, so I put them up for Graves to read later. We skipped naps that day  for some reason so I fed her an early supper and fed Graves some cereal and unloaded and loaded dishes.  I put Graves to bed and Annie helped me clean up and then I put her to bed, too.  I got on the computer and put a bunch of pictures on Flickr and finished a post.

        We had Mother's Day Out on Tuesday.
         Annie thuggin' in her ski cap. It was just not a battle I could fight at seven in the AM. 

        It was a pretty good, uneventful morning and when we got home, I fixed Ann Peyton's lunch and fed Graves and then I got on the internet on Peyton's ipad while they played a little.  We listened to some CDs in Annie's room and played with Graves on the floor and then I put the kids down for naps.  I put them down a little later than usual and Annie fell asleep way faster than she typically does.  I ate lunch and finished last week's Weekly Happenings post and uploaded and organized more pictures on Flikr.  Graves woke up and Peyton got home and then AP woke up.  We hung out and relaxed a bit and then got ready to go to the state fair.  I was super excited for the fair food.  We had a good time and the kids lasted a lot longer than I thought they would.  We saw several friends- our hairdresser, my old college roomate/bff and some friends from church.  
        [Toward the end, I figured out the appropriate camera settings for this- I can't remember the white balance but I ended up changing the ISO manually, which I typically don't fool with.  Know for next time, I guess.]
        We got home after ten and put the kids right to bed.  I got on the computer for a little bit and Peyton watched a movie.

        The kids slept SO late on Wednesday.  Graves snuggled in bed with me and Annie slept until 10:00!!! Once we were up, I took a shower and bathed the kids and put up laundry.  Peyton got home and we ate lunch and then got ready for Graves's well baby visit after Peyton left.  I couldn't find my keys and we were running late, but we made it.  We had a good appointment, but I was kind of baffled by Graves's stats.
        Weight: 14.563 lbs (7th percentile)
        Height: 26.5 in (5th percentile)
        Head Circumference: 16.495 in (9th percentile)
        I was shocked his weight was so low.  He really LOOKS chunky. And he wears things that are true to size, if not one size up!  And it's especially weird since he's right in the middle for height.  I don't know, strange.

        We came home and Graves took a nap and Annie had about an hour of quiet time in bed.  I got on the computer and scrubbed down the high chair and the microwave.  AP got up and I folded laundry and sewed a button on and she ate supper and colored. Graves woke up and I fed him cereal and took his six month picture.  We played some more and then I put the kids to bed.  I got on the computer, but I was really tired, so I laid down until Peyton got home and then I finished Graves's letter and went to bed.

        Thursday morning was Mother's Day Out.  Peyton left early to go swim, so I got everyone ready by myself.  I got myself ready and even packed their bags and my lunch and loaded up the car and then woke up the kids and got them ready.  We were a tiny bit late, but not too bad.  We had a good morning and stayed for lunch.  Annie loved the pizza and I think ate about five pieces.  Wish I could have enjoyed some :(

        When we got home, I did a bunch around the house that I had been meaning to do- I changed AP's bedding because she had a leaky diaper, emptied trash cans, put batteries in Graves's aquarium soother, and vacuumed the house.  Annie took her nap (she had a terrible time going down and had to go to time out a couple of times) and then I called AT&;T and tried to get Graves's hand print for a project.  Both were fails- Peyton is going to have to call AT&;T back and I'm going to need another adult to help with the hand print.  I put him down and worked on another craft.  Peyton got home and we talked some and then got ready because I had a UMW circle meeting and he was going to dinner with the guys whose wives were at the circle meeting.  We got the kids up and got ready and left.  The meeting was really good- it was about "restorative justice" and we discussed the church being a center of reconciliation within itself, in the local community, and globally.  So interesting and important!  Peyton picked me and the kids up and we ran something by his parents' house and stopped by Walmart and Kroger.  We put the kids to bed and I wrote a post and went to bed.

        Friday was one of those days I really didn't feel like I got much done at all.  The kids woke up late, but I didn't have anything to do until my dietitian appointment at 1:30.  I took a bath, got breakfast ready for myself and AP, fed and bathed Graves, took out the trash/reclying/compost and straightened up the house.  My mother in law came over to keep the kids and I went to the appointment.  I was really happy- I've already gained two pounds! I ran by Hobby Lobby on the way home and I visited with Denise a little bit.  Graves was sleeping, but he woke up and I fed him.  Peyton got home and we all went for a walk and played in the back yard.  He got AP's supper ready and I put Graves to sleep.  We put Annie to bed and she woke up Graves.  She had missed her nap and so was so tired and just fighting sleep.  We ended up letting Graves sleep in his swing in the den for awhile.  I got on the computer and Peyton watched TV.  We had sandwiches for dinner and went to bed.  Graves was up a ton and AP was up a couple of times, too, and it was just not the best night.

        However, Saturday morning was fabulous.  I woke up before Peyton left for work and we chatted a little and then I took a bath.  I was drying my hair when AP walked into the room.  She used to be really good about just calling us and we're trying to keep it that way.  She was so cute, though.  She had had a leaky diaper, so I striped her bed and gave her a bath.  She wasn't much of a fan of the early bath and was so ill about it, so after that we just snuggled on the couch and she pointed to pictures in a catologue she had been looking at while Graves continued sleeping.  It was sweet and reminded me of the days when it was just us.  Graves basically just combined his morning nap with his nightime sleep, which was fine.  After Annie was done snuggling, I got to work on laundry.  I had been washing all week, but handed folded a thing, so we had basket upon basket that needed to be folded.  It took all morning and some of the afternoon, but of course, I had to stop to get breakfast for me and AP, nurse Graves, change diapers, fix lunch, check Twitter, got outside to play, ect.  
        [BG doing some sit ups while I was folding.]

        The kids both took good afternoon naps that overlapped and I finished my laundry. I watched some Lost and Peyton got home shorty after they woke up.  He played with them and I put up laundry in their room and organized Graves's pajamas and Annie's bloomers/hats/bows drawer.  Ann Peyton had supper and we put the kids to bed.  Peyton helped me clean up the kitchen and then we cooked together- we made chili for supper and chicken salad and guacamole for snacks for the week.  I also boiled some eggs for a snack and steamed some pears to make into baby food for Graves.  I got on the computer, cleaned up the kitchen, and worked on a craft a little.  Then I organized a bunch of the kids Summer clothes, boxed them up, and took them to the attic After that I went to bed.

        I woke up late on Sunday, but we still made it to church on time! Peyton was late, too, and I got the kids ready mostly by myself.  I was so proud of that, ha!  Peyton had to go to work, so after church I went to Sunday School by myself.  Graves was kind of getting hungry when I got back to the nursery, so I fed him before we left.  The hat thing is becoming a real obsession.  Of course, she didn't wear it in to church, just to and from!

        We got home and I was carrying Graves in his his carrier/carseat and I tripped in my high heels.  It was so embarrassing.  Luckily, it was in my own driveway and no one was hurt!  We all got our clothes changed and I fixed AP lunch and had some, too.  She had chili and I had chicken salad and hard boiled eggs.  We played for a little bit and then I put them down for naps.  They both went to sleep really easily.  Maybe because I let AP put her nap mat on the bed ;) During their naps, I plunged a clogged up toilet, made some laundry detergent, took out recyling, watched Lost, and got on the computer. I also went outside and cleaned the kids' wagon and some other outside toys.   A good mix of productivity and relaxation!  They both woke up around the same time and I got ready for church and then fed Graves baby food.  
         Already hiding under the bed!  Silly boy.

        I unloaded and reloaded dishes and got the kids ready and fed Graves and we left for the evening service.  For some weird reason, there was no nursery and there was a small crowd and I was the only one there with little kids.  Our friend Mickey was there, though, and grabbed AP some crayons and sat beside us.  She was doing great until about five minutes in and Mickey was messing with her bag trying to help her get some crayons out and she just started crying hysterically.  I don't know what happned, but I took her out.  She kept saying "go to the nursery".  Poor thing.  Right then I got a text from Morgan asking us if we wanted to eat dinner with them.  I called Peyton to meet us and we headed over.  We had a great time and stayed pretty late.  When we got home, we dropped both kids in bed.  AP was having a hard time and I climbed in bed with her.  I was so tired and fell asleep in there.  Graves slept a long stretch and woke up around 3:30 to eat.

        This week is going to be good, but full!  Today was the only day we really didn't have anything going on.  Luckily, pretty much everything on the agenda is fun stuff!