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!