Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Challenges

I'd be lying if I didn't say life hasn't been challenging lately. Being pregnant with a toddler is kicking my butt. There are some days I sit back and think- "I'm not strong enough for this!" Some days I wish I could just enroll her in daycare full time and be selfish with my time (not that we could really afford that, but hey, its a daydream!). And I know people do this ALL THE TIME... I mean, how many siblings are 1-2 years apart?? I'm ridiculous to think that this is harder for me than it is for others... the only thing that gives me hope is that when I wasn't pregnant, I was confident in my ability to have 2 children. So I know that I won't always feel like this- cranky, irritable, tired, unmotivated... but it's just difficult right now. 

The cold weather makes it hard to get outside and burn off toddler-energy... which doesn't help matters! She gets bored, she gets whiny and cranky herself, then I find myself getting shorter and shorter with her as the day goes on. I hate that, and every night I pray for forgiveness and the  strength to do it better the next day. I pray these prayers with Annabel at night, because I want her to know that I am humbling myself before God and that's okay. I want her to see my weakness, because that is relationship. I don't want her to think that she always has to be strong, and if I can't model that myself, where else is she going to learn it? Plus, I don't want her to think that I think it's okay the way I treat her when I feel badly. 

Last night she was having a rough night, so Derek brought her into bed with us. It melts my heart to hear my husband say, "can't she just sleep with us tonight?" Annabel's never been a great sleeper... I keep hoping we'll get better luck with number 2! :) She is such a snuggle-bug, and I don't know where she gets this. Derek and I specifically got a king-size bed just so we would have our own sleeping space and wouldn't have to touch each other all night! Then along comes baby, and she sleeps best only when she has about 20 points of contact with another person! If I sleep facing her, she puts both arms around my neck, intertwines her legs with mine and breathes into my face all night. If I roll over, she contours her body around mine and reaches her arm over me and wants to hold my hand. And forget her sleeping on her own pillow. I'll push her over to the middle to her pillow and within 5 minutes she's back in the middle of mine! Exhausting! I mean really, about 5 nights out of 7 she sleeps in her own bed, and all night long, so I really have nothing to complain about... I'm just wondering where she gets this cuddle gene. She's been like this since day one, so it's not an environment thing. 

Anyway. I was also going to post about some of the funny things she has said lately. In the last month or so, her vocabulary has really exploded and it is so funny some of the things she says! And she gets really frustrated if she can't think of the word for something or if I don't understand what she's saying. 
*The other day I got a big box from the UPS man and she was standing behind me. She gasped and exclaimed, "My dirtbike!"
*She was talking on her flip hairbrush and said, "Hewwo, daddy? I need more cookies and candy. Uh-huh. Bye"
*After getting dressed the other day she twirled around for me and said, "cute!"
*"Mommy? I go to Noni's house." (Me:) "Honey, it's too late. Noni's already gone nightnight." "Okay, I go to Baby Eden's house" (Me:) "Well, you're probably right, Baby Eden is probably still awake... but you can't trick me that way!" "I twick you, mommy"
*"Mommy? I want roni-cheese for supper" (Me:) "Well I was going to make eggs for supper." "Why?" (Me:) "Well, because they sounded good to me. But I'll make you macaroni and cheese if that's what you want." "Tanks, mommy."
*(From the bathtub) "Mommmy! The soap hurted me!"  I go in to discover several bite marks in the soap- yuk!
*(While making cookies the other day) "I hold the egg....oops...messy" (I should have used my better judgement about that one!)
*And of course, several times a day, which is not so much funny as irritating- "no, mommy! Go away, mommy! Go AWAAAAAAY!!!" This is usually when I'm trying to help her put on her shoes, underwear or pants. Fine. Just wear them inside out and backwards, see if I care!

There are so many more, but I can't think of any right now! 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I AM Still Alive!

Ok....deep breath. It has been a LONG time since I've posted so this may be a long one. We've been having a lot of trouble with our internet at home, which makes it almost impossible to upload any pictures. So the last couple times I've gone to the school to post, but I haven't had that opportunity in a while. Anyway, I'll try to get some up today, but I'm not making any promises!

About 3-4 weeks ago, we went down to my parents for the opening of deer season and Derek got his first deer! It was an 11-point buck, about 210 lbs field-dressed- impressive! I'm not much of a hunting-advocate (just for sport, anyway) but I was proud of Derek for processing the meat himself and even saving me some tallow (fat) for soap-making. :) I'm getting him a dehydrator for Christmas (shhhh, don't tell! No, I think he knows anyway) so he can make lots of super yummy jerky! I don't love venison, but it does make good jerky. Annabel was pretty excited about the whole hunting experience, too. She went out while Derek was sighting in his gun (with proper ear protection, of course) and kept laughing and yelling "boom!" Then when he brought in his deer she was very excited about that, too. On the way home, we passed one of those deer mannequins in someone's yard and she yelled, "look, daddy- boom!"

The tenderloins, ready to be cooked up the next day! Sorry if this grosses anyone out...

The next week Derek went to Peoria to the National Missionary Convention and left me all alone for 4 days :( Boooo. I stayed 2 of the nights with my friend Angie and we stayed up way too late each night talking, watching movies and doing pedicures :)

Being silly at Miss Angie's house!

And talking on a calculator... very hi-tech!

Putting a diaper on her baby:)

I just thought this was so cute! 

Shortly after, it was Thanksgiving, so off for more travel. I joined my family on Thanksgiving day, then drove down to Bowling Green that night to meet up with Derek and his family. We had a wonderful time, ate lots of prime rib and filet and did some black Friday shopping:) I tried to get some $15 jeans at Old Navy but quickly decided it wasn't worth the 2-hour wait in line. The weather was absolutely wonderful- 60's both days- so we played outside on the farm and went to an outdoor craft fair/petting zoo. 

"Holding" her baby cousin Deacon. I love how this picture looks like a cheesy Sears portrait :) Actually they're just sitting on a couch with a blanket behind them. Annabel loves holding babies so much. 

Hugging another cousin, Jacob, goodbye. She had so much fun with all her little boy cousins! 

Later than night in Kentucky. Here she is snacking on "fries." Bull fries, that is. Rocky mountain oysters. Bull nuts. Yes, it is what it sounds like. She loved them :) I thought they tasted like a mild version of liver- not bad, but not my favorite! 

Playing outside with the puppies and Grandma Sue. She's sporting the hat and scarf I made her!

Making grandpa read stories to her! 

Aunt Sandy has a great big jar of antique marbles, which you can imagine are fascinating to a 2-year-old! 

And the best part of the long trip home:
(and yes, for all you car-seat freaks, I realize the chest buckle is riding about an inch too low here...)

On our way home we stopped at Justin and Holly's (derek's brother and SIL) for dinner. When I look at this picture I can hardly tell the girls apart- except for the eyes! They are so similar in their facial expressions and the sound of their voices! 

The day we got back from Thanksgiving, we started packing for our vacation to Las Vegas the next day! We left Annabel with my parents' and flew out on Tuesday. I think it was harder leaving her this time because she was able to talk on the phone more and say "I miss you mommydaddy." Awww! I think she had a good time with Grammy and Papaw, though. She keeps talking about her cousin Bonnie, and holding the kitties, so I think that's a good thing! As for Derek and I, we had an amazing time in Vegas. Amazingly, I don't think I actually lost any money, and I played a lot of blackjack. There was one day I lost $130, and I went to bed soooo mad at myself. But then the next day I won over $150, so it worked out. Some of the guys we went with, though, they would be up or down hundreds or thousands at any given time. Craziness. I think one of the guys finished up $3500 ahead... I just can't imagine. Oh well- play big to win big, I guess :) Derek and I finished up our Christmas shopping for Annabel at FAO Schwartz, went to a Cirque du Soleil show - KA - it was amazing, I got a massage at the spa, and we ate the best food I've ever tasted in my life, so yeah, it was a good trip. Very relaxing and much needed. It was a little bittersweet, because it will probably be the last time Derek and i get away on our own for quite awhile. Next year our new baby will be about 6 months, and I am not willing to leave a child that young. And then who knows what will happen after that. 

A picture of the whole group of us, having a great time at Hooters! This is where I won all my money! :)

Most of the nights there we ate with the group, mostly at steak houses (they are all cattle ranchers/farmers!). One night, however, Derek and I snuck off to a fancy Japanese restaurant at MGM. I have never at anywhere so high-class in all my life- seriously! It was like a restaurant you would read about in a Danielle Steel novel :)

My third course was beef tenderloin with a black truffle oil ponzu (dipping sauce) and a variety of Japanese mushrooms. 

Derek got lobster and scallops in an uni butter sauce (I don't actually know what this stuff is, I just eat it!)

Dessert was a trio of Japanese fruits prepared in different ways- I couldn't remember what they were if I tried. 

We may not be able to afford to eat for the rest of the month, but it was worth it! 

So anyway, its very good to be home. I'm just trying to get caught up on housework, grocery shopping and laundry before all the crazy Christmas traveling begins. Which is next weekend for me- I'm meeting 5 or 6 of my girlfriends from high school in Nashville on Friday! Yikes! It should be fun, though- some of them I haven't really seen much in the past 10 years! 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kitties and Carebears, Oh My!

Halloween this year was really fun. We started our day by heading to the mall for candy and pictures (we never actually got pics since the line was a thousand people long!) We met up with Annabel's friend "Noni" (Nora) and her parents. The girls were so, so cute! (Nora's a cat, btw)

That evening, we headed to our church for a "Halloween Carnival." There were lots of carnival-type games for the kiddos to play (and win candy!), a bounce house, free hot dogs, nachos, cotton candy, popcorn, cider, etc! And a costume contest, which I am proud to say that Annabel WON! She was so stinking cute in her vintage carebear costume.

Here she is sporting Noni's cat ears instead of her own head!

And contemplating stealing Baby Eden's hat, as well! What a sweet little ladybug!

And the girls, best buddies. That night on our way home it was late and Annabel was so sleepy. I was talking to her about the evening and going over all the fun stuff she had done. I asked her what her favorite part of it was and she sighed... "Noni..." My heart just melted! 

My birthday falls shortly after Halloween, so Derek and I planned an evening away. We don't get out- just the two of us- too often, so it's always a special occasion. We went to Carmel to eat sushi and then hit up Clay Terrace to do some early Christmas shopping. We actually didn't end up getting anything (except a wonderfully delicious green coat for me at Delia's!) but it was fun walking around in the crisp air, holding hands and daydreaming about Christmas gifts:) We ended our date in our traditional manner- Barnes and Noble:) It doesn't get much better than that! 

Last week, Derek had the week off, so we headed down to my parents. I took the old rocking chair that is Annabel's room-
-to my grandmother's to help me refinish and reupholster it.

(ripping the old fabric off)

(The refinishing process) 
This was my mom's rocking chair when she was a child, and I was glad to have it handed down to me, but I always knew I would fix it up some day. The upholstery was in pretty bad shape, and the foam in the cushions was deteriorated. So anyway, it took us about 4 days (longer than I had anticipated) and about 3 yards of fabric, but I love the way it turned out!

The new fabric is so soft and wonderful, and I just think it looks so fresh and modern in there now! Annabel likes it too! - 

This project didn't allow me to spend a lot of time with my parents, but we did some fun stuff in. For my birthday, they took us to Red Lobster on night (can you tell I love fish!? Seriously - I could live on it). Yummy! Another night, my grandparents took us all to a bbq place in Illinois that was wonderful. We were definitely spoiled!  We are actually headed back down there this weekend for the opening of deer season. Derek is hoping to fill our freezer with all kinds of meat.

 Annabel enjoying a cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera Bread-
Apparently she liked it :)

In her pretty Sunday dress

Torturing the kitties at her cousins' house!

So silly in her undies and cowboy boots!

I'll leave you with this gem of a video:

Oh, I forgot to mention- I had an ultrasound yesterday to determine how far along I am, and I am officially due June 13! I am 9 weeks and 4 days (but who's counting??) Unfortunately, Derek had an opportunity to cater a wedding on June 12, but I'm guessing he's going to turn it down... I have to admit it is hard to pass up on the money, though!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Projects and Fun!

The weather this week took an unexpected turn for the better (60's most of the week!) so we definitely took advantage and got some Vitamin D. Monday we went to the "big" park in town and played for several hours. I've posted pictures of it before, its the one with all the bridges, slides and climbing stuff. I definitely notice a difference in Annabel's attitude and energy level when we get outside to play for a couple hours. The rest of the week we have taken looong walks around the neighborhood, gone to our little park down the street, and played out back with Bailey. I even got about 9-10 more bulbs planted, which was a relief. I think I still have about 10 to go, and I really don't want them to go to waste, but ah, well. 

Derek's work schedule has been busier than usual this week, with him working 6 days this week, and 4 of those days not getting home until after Annabel's in bed. This makes it harder on both of us... we get a little tired of looking at each other all day! This next week should be better, and the week after he is taking the whole week off! Woohoo! Time to get in some of that vacation time before the end of the year! On his day off this week, he was able to put in a couple hours in his garage and work on Annabel's play kitchen. 

Derek's still working on the oven while Annabel plays at the nearly-completed sink.

One evening, as Annabel and I pulled into our driveway, I noticed that a tree behind our neighbor's house was amazing in the light from the setting sun. It reminded me of the burning bush! I just had to snap a picture.

Then Annabel and I proceeded to take a little walk down the sidewalk:)

The fall colors have really been amazing this year. Listen to me- I sound like my parents! haha

Annabel has discovered a new interest in TV and movies. Normally we are not TV people- I don't even like it on as "background noise." However, this could not have come at a better time, as there are many days these days when I have a hard time getting off the couch!

I am a shameful parent. I try to make it up to her on the days I feel well- lots of crafts, books and outside time:)

One of our recent craft projects! We just ordered a butt-load of craft kits from Oriental Trading Post, and this was one of the better ones:) Some of them are pretty cheesy! (I guess that's what you get for $0.37!) My beautiful Indian princess. 

One of the other things I made this week was cloth napkins for our table. I get so sick of buying things like napkins, so this is my solution:) I spent $10 on 2 yards of flannel and a basket, and they should last us forever!

The four separate prints I used. I cut them with my pinking shears, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to go back over them with the serger. Booooo. 

What have you been up to this week?!