Monday, October 26, 2009

A Litte Bit About Me

...As if you needed to know more!

I saw this little questionnaire on Heather's blog the other day and thought it would be fun to do. I'm sort of in a blogging rut anyway.

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while your blogging?
Right now I wish I had some sour cream and onion Pringles.

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
My non-spiritual, unemotional answer is a razor.

3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
This is hard! All three would be fun. Lately I've been thinking about farm life.

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?
Mopping. Yuck!

5. Who do people say you remind them of?
My mom, probably because I'm such an eloquent speaker and powerful teacher. Yeah right! We're quite alike in the way we think and in what we're passionate about.

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?
I like to socialize but I hate being gone too many nights in one week. I guess I like whatever I'm lacking.

7. What's your all time favorite movie?
Steel Magnolias. All the women in my mom's family (Nanny, mom, my aunts, Melissa and I) used to watch this whenever we were together. That hasn't happened in a very long time, but the Moore girls still adore this movie and Annabeth and I watched it together in Wyoming. It was a full circle moment for me.

8. Do you sleep in your make-up or remove it like a good little girl every night?
Oh no, no, no. I would NEVER sleep in my makeup. I'd wake up with more acne than a teenager. That reminds me that I failed to mention the irony of having a serious acne breakout the week of my 30th birthday. I'm one of the lucky ones.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?
I've always wanted to learn to ride English and jump fences.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?
I'm pretty good at drawing horses. And making collages.

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?
He was funny and he reminded me of Val Kilmer.

12. What is something you love to smell?
Mrs. Meyers lavender countertop spray. That is the best stuff!

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
I can be really bad about calling or returning calls. The only time I like talking on the phone is when I'm in the car, but I try not to when I'm riding with my kids.

14. When you have extra money, what's the first thing you think to do with it?
Go shopping.

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?
I used to be more of a silent laugher, but at some point I realized loud laughing is more fun. Curtis Jones's laughter makes me laugh the hardest, especially when he does the silent laugh/guffaw combo.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?
I've always been very loyal to Banana Republic. Although I have to admit that I AM NOT AT ALL PLEASED with their decision to stop selling long pants in their stores. I will forgive them because of their merino wool sweaters, lycra undershirts, and LBD's. (Heather, I am very excited about my gift card!) I probably do most of my shopping there, at Forever 21, and at The Nord.

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?
I'd probably read more books. Of course I could do that if I would turn off my computer.

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?
I wouldn't say I'm a big spender but I struggle at bargain shopping.

19. Who is your favorite character of all time?
I love, love, love Ivy (the blind girl in love with Joaquin Phoenix) from The Village. If we had another daughter, I can't swear she wouldn't be named Ivy.

20. Would you want to be famous?
I think being truly famous would be much more of a burden than a blessing. But being a little famous would probably give you a lot of the perks without the pain of being a spectacle everywhere you go. I'd rather be a less popular actress who was well respected than a superstar who couldn't go anywhere without being mobbed. Mostly, I think there's no possible way famous people are as happy as normal people. If you had everything the world has to offer - fame, wealth, and power - and that still didn't fulfill you, wouldn't you be terribly depressed?

What are some or all of your answers?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Catching Up with Big Pink Bear

I've gotten a little behind on posting my Big Pink Bear pictures. Here are months seven and eight.

Seven Months Old

I originally bought that dress for Annabeth in yellow, but when I got it home I kept thinking about the blue one. I ended up exchanging it and I'm so glad I did. She was beautiful in it every time she wore it. I can't decide whether to put this or her Easter/dedication dress in a shadowbox. That is if I ever get around to doing one.

Eight Months Old

I had already done some 8 month pictures of Annabeth in this outfit and posted them on the other blog, but I did them over again today. I'd wanted her to wear black leggings with that skirt and hadn't found any yet. Now it's perfect. I could eat her up in this.

Annabeth, at eight months old...
-You eat yogurt and oatmeal for breakfast, a veggie and a fruit for lunch, and rice and a veggie for dinner. (My sister just added "veggie" to the list of words she hates.)
-You just learned to crawl. You're not fast, but you're all over the place with your creeping and rolling.
-You're starting to fight me during diaper changes. You try to crawl away.
-You were just weaned and now you LOVE your bottle. You drink Similac formula and you get three bottles a day. You get your first one of the day in the big pink chair.
-You like Gerber puffs and teething biscuits.
-You sometimes spurn the pureed food. I bet I don't have long.
-You like peas and carrots. You don't have much patience for green beans and pears. You love bananas!
-I've stopped putting headbands in your hair because your hair is too long. It's just long enough to hold a bow.
-You are absolutely beautiful.
-You love to be held and talked to.
-You love getting a bath in mommy's big tub. It's very brief and you only get 2 inches of water, but you get very excited about it. You like to splash the water with your hands.
-You would like to play with Jackson's cars.
-You like other people, but you prefer your mommy.
-You do pretty well in the church nursery.
-Your daddy calls you Beauty.
-You wear 6-9 or 6-12 month clothes.
-You wear size 3 Cruisers during the day and size 4 at night.
-You wake up between 7 and 8 in the morning.
-You nap from 9:30-11:30 and then from 1:00-3:00.
-You don't say anything yet, but you've started making a "b" sound. I'm working on "mama" with you, of course.
-You still think your brother is hilarious, even when he's trying to shoot you like a slingshot in your jumperoo.
-You are dearly loved by your family!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

And She's Off

On Tuesday, October 20, 2009, my baby girl crawled for the first time. I was sitting in front of a mirror in my bedroom, drying my hair when she crawled to the cell phone I had slid across the floor to bait her. I was watching her like a hawk because she'd been getting close for days. She did four little crawling steps toward my bedroom door. The sound of her little knees pounding the carpet is fresh in my mind.

I didn't have the camera ready when she was making her first strides, but here we were trying to repeat it.

It amazes me that at only 8 months she already seeks out the things that aren't brightly colored plastic, i.e. the things she's not supposed to have.

I lost several cell phones to Jackson's drool and don't plan on repeating that. But I had to give her a moment of victory.

If I'm remembering correctly, Jackson first crawled to a remote control. Girl to the phone, boy to the remote. Sounds about right.

Jackson crawled at 8 months and 14 days.

Annabeth crawled at 8 months and 17 days. Pretty close, I'd say!

I'm so proud of you, Annabeth!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Party in My Crib!

Mom and Dad (really just Dad) dropped my crib mattress last weekend. They were afraid I was going to learn how to pull up on the crib rails and catapult myself onto the floor like Nadia Comaneci. Huh. Never heard of her.

I like my sweet new view of the world. And the taste of this ruffle.

It's a party in my crib!

I'm having the best time. Every time I get in here I practice all my moves. Sleep? Who needs sleep? Sleep is for babies!

I've been trying to perfect some new "relaxation" positions like putting my legs under the bumper and sticking them straight out of the crib. One time I tried to "rest" while reclining against the bumper. Mom wishes she had a picture for you, but she wasn't fast enough.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Well, I turned 30 last week. The big 3-0. It was hands down the best birthday I've ever had. My family, friends, and co-workers spoiled me to no end. My husband truly outdid himself and surprised me with a really fun gift and then threw me a little bowling party with some friends. It was a blast. I was not really bothered by entering this decade because most of my friends are already there and I keep thinking it's better to feel like the baby of the thirties than the old lady of the twenties. Turning 29 was probably weirder for me.

Anyway, the birthday has only been half of the drama in my life lately. Two weeks ago I started weaning Annabeth. Here's the whole story if you care about this kind of thing.

Annabeth had gotten good at taking an occasional formula bottle late in the summer, but by the time we got home from our Wyoming trip she refused it. Jackson had done the same thing at the same age and didn't take a bottle again until I weaned him at a year. I was really bummed to be repeating that scenario. I craved the flexibility of being able to give her a bottle if I needed to.

Annabeth had not been gaining weight properly and had fallen in her percentiles at her 6 month appointment. The doctor didn't tell me to start supplementing, but she did say to watch for certain signs that she might need it. So I watched and hoped that everything would be fine. What I knew was that Annabeth had never been a super enthusiastic nurser and was very easily distracted by everything going on around her. She wouldn't put in the time she needed to get her fill. In my mind, I had always sort of thought she would be weaned in October, but once she refused the bottle I put it out of my mind. At the Aggie football game she slurped down a bottle of water and I realized she might be open to the formula, too. I didn't rush into it though.

Our drive home from Irving two weeks ago was hard. Annabeth whined much of the time and I kept thinking that my baby girl was losing some of her sweetness. She had been a lot harder to please and was grumpy much of the time. I began to worry that she was too hungry. Plus, she'd just been to the doctor over those hives and I knew she'd hardly gained anything. As soon as we walked in the door, I gave her a bottle. She sucked it down and then was in the best mood I'd seen her in in a while. On one hand I was thrilled to have my happy baby back, but on the other hand I felt horrible that she had been so hungry.

The next day I supplemented her feedings with bottles and her mood continued to improve. That was twice as much work and I quickly decided we were only going to do one or the other. Nursing was obviously not working anymore, so that meant it was just time to wean her. Over the next week and a half we started dropping feedings until we were down to just one. I learned a couple of things during that time. One, bottle feeding is really sweet too. We were still snuggling a lot. Two, you can't really multi-task because it takes two hands. Three, bottle feeding gives you a lot more freedom, but there's a trade off because now I'm doing a lot more dishes.

One thing I discovered when Jackson was a baby is that you seldom know when something is "the last time." On the first day that I only nursed Annabeth once, I knew we were getting very close to the end. But I had no idea how long my milk would last. So that night I nursed her in the dark in our big pink chair and completely took it in for the last time. It was a very sweet moment as we said farewell to that aspect of our relationship. Not only that, but since we are not planning to have any more babies, I was saying goodbye to what has been a very big part of motherhood for me. I didn't cry or anything. It was just one last, sweet time for us.

I'm so glad we had that time, because for the next few days she fought me when she nursed. She'd do it for a few minutes and then cry and push me away. I was really only doing it so I wouldn't have to pump. (I haven't touched my pump since May. I hate that thing.) The last time I ended up nursing her was Thursday night. So I guess she's been weaned for four days now.

I weaned Jackson when he turned one and I remember being very emotional and tearful because of his birthday. This time would be a breeze, I thought, because I wouldn't be emoting over the birthday. I took everything in, but I was not going to let myself go overboard emotionally. I took my thoughts captive and didn't go there.

Nevertheless, last Tuesday I absolutely crashed. It started off with a crying meltdown when I had to clean the kitchen that morning for the third time. Then I couldn't stop it. I kept crying all day long. I left emotional messages on two of my friends' voicemails. I consciously said to myself that I felt like a teenager. That is NOT a good feeling. It was like Super PMS. Then I started suspecting that it was tied to weaning. So I looked it up online and found that when your body suddenly stops getting prolactin from nursing (which gives you warm and fuzzy love feelings), it freaks out. The symptoms are like major PMS. I even found two testimonials of women who said they felt like teenagers again. Ha!

I didn't have another day like that until yesterday. I felt like a nutcase. Then I discovered that I was experiencing the post-weaning hormonal craze with actual pre-menstrual syndrome. FUN TIMES, Y'ALL! But I lived to see today and my husband still loves me.

Weaning is done and now I just get to enjoy having more freedom and seeing my petite baby girl gain some weight. I am not taking that for granted. Nine-month-olds are supposed to be in that adorable, roly poly phase. We have two weeks to catch up! I'll probably have to talk about this at least two more times before the week is over, so consider yourself warned.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Hoax

Last Thursday afternoon I was leaving my birthday lunch at Pappasito's with all my co-workers when everyone stopped, pointed at a TV over the bar area and gasped. It showed a big silver balloon flying through the air and at the bottom of the screen it said that a little boy was inside. I was immediately traumatized by the thought that we were watching the last moments of a child's life on national television. It was horrible to think that it would probably end violently as he fell to his death or crashed into something. As a mother of a little boy, I wanted to throw up. I was so disturbed that I rushed out of the restaurant because I couldn't bear to watch it. I even forgot Annabeth, who was being held by my friend Michelle. Now, to find out that the kid's parents were allegedly lying and even making their children lie to the whole nation is infuriating. What a twisted thing to do. I'm obviously relieved that the child wasn't ever in physical danger, but now he lives with the knowledge that his parents are liars and frauds.

I usually tend to err on the side of compassion when people get into trouble. I have sinned so much in my life. How could I not have mercy? But emotionally traumatizing others for no reason? I struggle to have patience for that.

Once in college I met a girl my age who was claiming to have terminal cancer. She came down during the invitation time at Breakaway with her best friend, who was sobbing with grief. It was so sad. I was sucked into her lie for several weeks before a mutual friend broke the news to me that this girl was making it all up - with a shaved head and all! I was appalled by her accusation, but it turned out to be true. The thing that made me most angry was the image I had of her best friend's grief. What kind of person does that to their friend? Seriously.

Then of course there was the fake holocaust survivor who was exposed as a fraud late in the summer. I would not be allowed to write everything I'd like to say about what she did and how she eagerly invited us into her deception, but I'll tell you what sickened me the most. When I googled her name, I found that she had spoken to some middle school students in the past and shared her stories with them. They were even allowed to ask her questions. God only knows what kind of traumatizing things she told these children and what joy it probably gave her to see the tears in their eyes and their faces turn green - to have power over their thoughts and emotions. That disgusts me.

There is an overwhelming amount of traumatizing information in this world. Thank God I am not privy to all of it or I'd lose heart and die. The Lord created me with a compassionate heart, which is both a blessing and a curse. It can be hard to feel so much. There are times when I get overloaded with sadness for other people and I can't pick myself up. Sometimes I'd like to trade it in and be a little harder. It would be easier.

All that to say, I am willing to weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn. I usually give people the benefit of the doubt. I generally love mercy. But I have no room, no compassion, no patience for people who seek attention for themselves by emotionally manipulating innocent people with their fake, traumatizing stories. Let me save my grief and compassion for those who truly do not know where their children are, who are truly suffering with cancer, and who have truly looked evil in the face and lived to tell about it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Perfect Day for Dewberry

It was cool, clear and blue this morning and we decided that the best way to spend this gorgeous fall day was to visit Dewberry Farm. This place is amazing. If you're within driving distance and you have kids, you cannot miss it. One day I want to have a farm and recreate all of this cool stuff for my grandkids. I would totally be their favorite.

We left early to get there right when it opened. We had to wait in line for about 10 minutes for our tickets, but then we had an hour before the big crowds arrived.

We went straight to the hay barn, which was our favorite part last year.

This year they had added swings, which looked really fun. Jackson was a little iffy about those and the hay wasn't loosened up yet, so we moved on.

Jackson loved the Fort and the super fast slide. There were only a handful of kids on it.

Later it looked like this.

The roller slide thing.

I don't know what to call this. It was a pony walker crossed with a swing.

This was the kiddie jumper/pillow. That's our child in the red socks that have nothing to do with his blue outfit.

One look at his face and we decided he's getting a trampoline for Christmas. He loves bouncing.

This was obviously Jackson's favorite thing.

Then he saw this.

And it became his new favorite.

Have you not always wanted to try this?

Mother-son bonding.

Mother-daughter bonding.

Annabeth could not be bothered to pose.

Or to smile.

It was just too bright. I'll try again with some other pumpkins on an uglier day.

Sis was not happy about her bow today. She wore it for 30 seconds at a time.

I always knew he was a turkey. Or is that a rooster?

This goat was enjoying a nice little nap in the sun.

Jackson and Curtis doing the rubber duck races.

My sweet little baby goat really needed a nap but wouldn't give in.

So we did. We decided to leave before Annabeth lost what was left of her cool.

Now she smiles...

She sure was cute though.

We bought a huge cup of sweet tea from a vendor on the side of the road and headed back to the city. That's when we heard that Dewberry Farm had been on GMA on Friday and they were expecting 10,000 visitors today. Two words: whoa Nelly.

Farmer Dewberry, thanks for another great visit! We had a lot of fun and we'll be back next year!