December 19, 2013

A Little Holiday Gratefulness

Today I'm thankful for:

-a less-stressful-than-previous-years holiday season.

-great Christmas music on Pandora.

-lights on our Christmas tree.

-online shopping.

-free Christmas activities to do as a family, like this Living Nativity (if you live locally you should check it out) and a cute Christmas program at the cousins' school the other night. I especially appreciated the hilarious kindergarteners, though they were not intentionally hilarious. The Boogie kept looking over at me and whispering, "Why are you laughing?"

-all gifts mailed that need to be mailed.

-a good 33-week check-up this morning. Blood pressure is great and Baby Bacon is guesstimated to be around 4-4.25 lbs. Dr. S asked how big the girls were at birth, and said, "This one won't be small." Well. He was exactly right with the Boogie's birth-weight, and pretty close with Peabody's so I guess I have to believe him.

-2 little girls who behave themselves when we go to the doctor, as well as all of the other places I've been dragging them over the past 2-3 weeks.

-2 little girls who are big enough to walk everywhere and who don't require a bunch of gear. While I am more uncomfortable the bigger I get, I appreciate that a 4-lb. Bacon is (almost) all I have to carry around -- no infant seat, no diaper bag, no making sure the stroller is in the car, plus both hands are still free!

-Peabody's bravery yesterday at her first "real" haircut. Although I've cut her hair myself, she was nervous about having someone else do it, and she told us in so many words: "Well, I'm nervous."

-Peabody's vocabulary. She cracks me up.

-Peabody's exclamation of "Ella!" when she hears an Ella Fitzgerald song play. The first time it happened I thought it was a coincidence, but nope, she's correctly identified her several times. I am so proud.

-funny conversations between the girls, like the one overheard this morning:
Peabody: "I just want somebody to help me!"
The Boogie: "Well, it's certainly not going to be me."

-my sewing machine. It's been fun to come up with simple Christmas gift projects and then see them happen.

-my husband who, when I creep to bed long after midnight (because while it's been fun to learn how to use my sewing machine, I'm still very much a novice seamstress so even simple projects take about 3 times longer than they should), instead of shrinking away from the block of ice that is his wife, snuggles closer so that I'll warm up quickly.

-being a stay at home mom and the perks that come with that, like taking a nap at 10:30 in the morning after being up until 1:30 a.m. working on Christmas projects that take 3 times longer than they should.

-a backyard in which to let the dog out so that I don't have to actually take her for a walk to do her business in below-freezing temperatures.

-above-freezing temps today, and a forecast of 60 and 70 degrees for the weekend! Yippee! I'm dreaming of ... not wearing a winter coat.

December 16, 2013

O Christmas Tree

Every year we get a live Christmas tree. We know that it would be more financially responsible to purchase a fake one and use it for several years, but we like real ones. Besides, a real one will eventually return back to the earth from whence it came, so that makes it the greener choice, right? Gotta justify that decision somehow ...

We decided that we would go after church last Sunday. The forecast called for snow flurries -- no big deal, and the girls would get a big kick out of tree hunting in the snow (and by tree hunting, I mean searching through the stacks of them at Lowe's. We've tried to do our part supporting local businesses in the past, but let's face it -- those trees are way more expensive.) The flurries started during the morning service. Soon it became apparent that it was more than just flurries. I asked Eric, "Are you sure you want to do this?" We hadn't told the girls so they wouldn't be disappointed, and he was the one who would have to haul the tree around and tie it to the top of the van. He said he still wanted to, so off we went after the service. The roads weren't too bad. We stopped for something to eat, which was probably a mistake because while we were eating the snow came down fast and furious. By the time we left there was considerably more on the ground. Eric still wanted to go, though, so we continued on to Lowe's.

At Lowe's I stood under an overhang out of the snow and pointed at different trees which Eric then stood up and shook off and spun around for my approval. We found one we liked pretty quickly -- I didn't want to be TOO picky, but then again I didn't want to be stuck with a Charlie Brown tree. Meanwhile the girls ran around in the snow while I repeatedly told Peabody to stop eating it.

Eric tied it to the top of the van and we slowly made our way home. By then the roads were pretty bad, and there were a lot of people out, but we didn't see many cars in ditches. Our little town has one hill right through the center of it, and we saw people stuck going up and going down the other side. The van did great, though! We made it safely home with no trouble, praise the Lord.

The snow-covered tree went into the garage, though after a while I realized that it was just as cold in the garage as outside so it would never dry off. So Eric brought it into the laundry room to drip-dry.
Not the first time we've had a tree in our laundry room! Mama Dog was NOT happy with that. She doesn't like it when things are strange or out of place. There were bins of Christmas decorations stacked up in the living room, and the next day we rearranged in order to set up the tree in front of the window, and she really did not like that at.all. She moped around for a couple of days until she got used to it. Weirdo dog.

On Monday night we put the lights on in what had to be the quickest light-stringing-experience ever. I think it literally took us less than ten minutes which was surely a record. On Tuesday night we watched a classic Christmas movie and drank egg nog while I sat on the couch and handed out ornaments for the girls to hang on the tree. That meant that multiple ornaments ended up on same branches, and hardly anything made it to the top, but overall they did a pretty good job and after they went to bed we cleaned it up a little.

We even convinced Peabody to put the penguin on top! Last year she was too scared.

We're pretty happy with our little tree this year, especially at night with the lights on.

December 5, 2013


I don't like it. I can't fathom shopping for fun. It just makes me tired. The only kind of walking around a store that I like is when we go to Target because then I can get a mocha. And okay, people-watching is fun.

But I especially dislike grocery shopping. Do you know why? Other shoppers.

For example:

-Carts left in parking spaces. There are cart corrals everywhere. Why is it so inconvenient to walk an extra couple of parking spaces to put a cart into a corral? I mean, it's not like the shopper isn't capable of it. They just walked all over an entire store. But maybe that's why. They're simply too tired to take another step.

-Aisle blocking. I'm sure we can all relate. Really, it's not so hard to pull the cart over. Or, you know, stand just a liiiiittle closer to the shelves while perusing them.

-Never moving out of anyone's way. For some reason this is a confusing concept for the other shoppers to understand, so maybe I should wear a shirt that says, "It is much more difficult for this pregnant woman to maneuver my heavily loaded cart and two young children out of your way than it is for you and your small basket to step out of mine." Except they obviously haven't noticed me, my kids, or my cart, so why would I think they would read my shirt?

-Check-out line inconsideration.
The customer who leaves their cart in line to "hold" their place while they run back for something all the way over at the other end of the store.

The short conveyor belt and the customer who puts their groceries on it, then stands at the register in front of their (now empty) cart while all of their purchases are scanned and paid for, effectively blocking the (now empty) entire belt for the next customer (me.)

The long conveyor belt which I foolishly neglect to completely block while putting my own groceries on it, so that the person behind me decides to unload their own cart ... despite the fact that my cart is still piled high meaning OBVIOUSLY I'm going to need more than the two feet of belt they have left me.

-Parking lot inconsideration.
The person who sits in their car next to mine chatting on their phone until I open my door in order to buckle my kid into her seat, at which time they decide they need to open their own door.

The person who parks next to me while I'm loading my car and then, as soon as I'm finished, gets out of their vehicle, walks to the nearest corral, and gets a cart. Um, hello? Offer to take mine! It was RIGHT THERE! No, really, I'm happy to give it to you!

The person who sits in their vehicle in the aisle waiting for me to finish loading groceries in my car, return my cart to a corral, and buckle my kids. Never mind the fact that by the time I'm ready to leave, they could have parked somewhere else and been inside the store already. Heaven forbid that they have to walk an extra few feet by parking two or three spots away. They have to save all of their energy because believe me, it's exhausting dealing with all of those other inconsiderate shoppers.

And that is my rant for the day.

December 3, 2013

Peabody This and Peabody That

We were getting ready to leave the house for a walk.
"Your shoes are on the wrong feet," I told Peabody.
When she sat on the floor to fix them, she hit her back on the bookshelf and started crying. I comforted her and said, "You'll feel better when we go for our walk, but your shoes are still on the wrong feet."
Tearfully she replied, "So fix them."
"Me? I'm not going to fix them. You fix them!" I said.
"But, I have a hurt back ..." she said sadly.
I saw a picture of some friends on Facebook and showed them to Peabody.
"Dose are not your friends," she told me. "You are a grown-up. You don' have any friends."
Thanks a lot, kid.

She is super excited about it being Christmastime. The day after Thanksgiving she told us half a dozen times, "Now we can watch Christmas movies! And listen to Christmas music! And look at Christmas decorations!" She said she wanted to watch Rudolph the Rodent Reindeer.

We were trying to agree on a movie. The Boogie wanted White Christmas, but Peabody kept insisting on, "The one with the man, with two letters, in between." I finally figured out what she meant:

She explained to me about time passing:
"Honey, ri' now it's morning time. After morning time, it's night. After night, it's raining. After raining, it's snowing. And after Thanksgiving, it's Christmas!"

She told me seriously, "Well, Honey, I go'd to the store today."
"You did? Who did you go with?" I asked.
She thought about that for a minute, then said, "I drived myself."
"Oh really? What did you drive?"
"I drived the van."
"You did, huh? And what store did you go to?"
"Well, first I go'd to Walmart. An' then I go'd to Target. An' then I go'd to Petsmart. An' Walmart was all out of toys."

She still prefaces action words with "un" unnecessarily: un-cut, un-glue, etc. "Honey, will you please un-zipper me?" means that she wants me to zip up her coat.

One of my favorite things she says is "hims" instead of "his." She observed a little boy repeatedly disobeying his mother, and told us later that "he was loud, and mean to hims mom."

If I refuse her something she tells me, "Well, Honey, I'm jus' really disappointed." I know she means angry, but I play along. "Why are you disappointed?"
"Because you telled me no," she says.

She and the Boogie still disagree about what 101 Dalmations is really called. Peabody calls it 7 Dalmations, upon which the Boogie corrects her, "No, you mean Ten Thousand Dalmations."

Her favorite article of clothing is this Toy Story shirt that her cousins gave her.
She asks to wear it almost every single day. One day in the car she said, "Honey, when you pack my shirt away up in the attic, I will be so sad." I told her that she can wear it until it gets too small, and then we will save it for Bacon, so that cheered her up a bit. But really I doubt that it will survive her. If it does I think I'll sew all of the openings closed and stuff it to make a pillow!

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Another Thanksgiving Day has come and gone.

In past years we have celebrated at 52, by ourselves at home, and at church with friends and family. This time we offered to cook, and Eric's parents offered to let us converge at their house along with FIL's parents and B&J and their crew. It ended up that we all shared the cooking duties. Eric and I did the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, a broccoli/cauliflower salad, and cranberry mousse.

We did almost all of the cooking and prep work yesterday, which meant that this morning we could be lazy and watch the Macy's parade and the dog show before making our way to 52 where we finished the cooking and warming.

We cooked the turkey all night and took it out of the oven in the early hours of the morning to rest before we pulled it all apart. When the Boogie got up she let us know what she thought about that.
"Honey, while we were sleeping, that turkey," gesturing at it with a look of disgust, "made a stinky smell ALL OVER the house."
"Stinky?" I said, surprised, "I think it smells good! You don't think it smells good?"
"No!" she replied emphatically. "It smells awful."

We had so much yummy food. We ate and ate and chatted and looked at sale ads and ate some dessert and played games. It was a fun day!

We took Mama Dog with us. She happily wandered everywhere searching for any stray crumbs. She pulled used plates out of the the trash can (before we remembered to put it out of reach) and licked them clean. She had her belly rubbed and her back massaged. She snuggled with people on the couch. She picked up wadded up paper during our game of Pictionary and carried it around in her mouth. When we got home she conked out in the middle of the living room floor, exhausted.

We have so much to be thankful for: our family (including the joyfully anticipated addition in just a couple of months!) our extended family, our friends and our church, our home, Eric's job ... the list goes on and on. Ultimately, though, we are thankful to our great, mighty, powerful, loving God.

O give thanks unto the LORD; 
for he is good: 
for his mercy endureth forever.
Psalm 136:1

November 12, 2013

Eleven Twelve Thirteen

I can't let a cool date like this pass by without posting something.

We opened the curtains to snow flurries this morning. The girls were ecstatic. "Honey, now can we watch Christmas movies?" Peabody asked, "'cause it's snowing." I didn't know she even cared about watching Christmas movies. I didn't know she even knew there is such a thing as Christmas movies. And the answer is emphatically NO. No Christmas movies, music, or decorations before Thanksgiving. However, snow is a good reason to do school in pajamas.

A couple of cousins stayed with us over the weekend. Even though we see cousins on a regular basis at church, it's nice for the girls to have some one-on-one time with them. Sometimes weeks and weeks will go by before I realize that it's been a really long time since we had someone over to play!

EK was first. She adores Mama Dog and will play and play and play with her. When we asked her what she would like for dinner she said, "bacon!" She is her father's daughter.

HE stayed over next. She told Peabody all about seeing Buzz Lightyear in costume at Disneyworld. Peabody was dumbfounded. A real Buzz Lightyear as big as a person? Whom you can high-five? And talk to? And hug? Now she asks us periodically throughout the day if we can please go see "da big Buzz Lightyear, wif princesses? Please please please please pleeeeeeeease?"

Mama Dog finally had a much-needed bath and is now permitted on carpeted areas once again. When the weather gets cold and she has to stay inside most of the time, I feel sorry for her being stuck in the kitchen. Plus I figure she stays cleaner this time of year. Cleaner dog = cleaner carpet. Also she isn't shedding nearly as much. We've experimented with leaving her loose in the house when we go somewhere. The first couple of times she did fine. Then we started discovering evidence that she was napping on the couch. So, now we lay something across it if we leave her loose. Aside from the occasional foray onto forbidden furniture, she really does well. She doesn't get into anything or chew things. We even leave the bag of her dog food open and sitting on the floor, and she's never gotten into it. Our trash can is tall enough that she can't see into it so she usually leaves it alone -- the only time I ever caught her taking something out of it when when it was full with an empty salmon can right on top. I guess salmon was just too tempting too resist.

Eric had his yearly review last week and for the first time in 3 years got promoted to the next level of mechanic! He's been repeatedly passed over because of things that were honestly out of his control, which was frustrating. So, while it comes with a raise which is really nice, I'm just so thankful that he finally got promoted. Praise the Lord!

School is still going well and we are staying on track, so far. We've even worked a little bit ahead in a couple of subjects so that when we're taking time off after Bacon comes I won't feel like we're getting too far behind. Peabody is getting better about entertaining herself in another room or at least being kind of quiet when she's in the same room with us. Mama Dog lays under the Boogie's worktable and is long-suffering while Peabody blows in her ears, tickles her feet, or tries to cover her with a blanky. At some point every day Peabody needs some Honey time, so I teach like this:

I don't know how much longer Peabody, Bacon, and the book are going to all fit on my lap.

Peabody is learning things in school too, but I take no credit for this knowledge that she shared with me regarding anatomy and the source of maple syrup. And before you watch it I apologize for the shakiness, I really need to buy myself a tripod or something!

We went to a Fall Fest at the cousins' school. The girls went on a hayride, painted pumpkins, searched for candy in a "haystack" (Peabody took lots of extra turns but since she was the smallest kid there and hardly found any candy on her own no one seemed to mind -- grown-ups kept tossing candy to her, though) and had their faces painted. It was cold and windy but they had fun!

The parent who volunteered to do the face painting was AMAZING. She was so patient and really took her time. Every "mask" was incredibly done! I told her that if she ever wanted to give a class I would be a willing student.
Peabody's is already beginning to smear since she kept swiping hair out of her face
I had to wash off the bottom half of Peabody's after a while
Bacon is growing bigger and bigger. We can feel and see all of the wiggling around. Being pregnant is so weird -- there's another person inside of me. It's just such a strange thing. And cool! But weird. Tomorrow I will be 28 weeks and at the beginning of the third trimester. The next couple of months will fly by with the holidays and all that goes along with that, and then we'll just be a few weeks away from my due date!

I haven't done well with taking belly pictures this time, but here's one from maybe 23 or 24 weeks along.

November 10, 2013

Trip to Kentucky

At the end of September we drove to Kentucky to see my Mamaw, plus Uncle Furry and Auntie A who had flown out to visit as well as attend a wedding.

We've made the drive several times now, and each time it's a little different. Sometimes we go through Pennsylvania and Ohio -- this time we drove through Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia. We've driven Eric's Scion, my Saturn, and a rental car -- this time we took our recently-acquired van (more on that in another post.) It was the most comfortable trip we've made! Traveling in a van is the best way to go, people.

We left here very early in the morning on Friday, September 27.

I expected both girls to go back to sleep in the van, but only Peabody did. I think the Boogie was too excited. Once we got through Baltimore we stopped at a Cracker Barrel for a leisurely breakfast. It was probably a little too leisurely, adding a couple of hours to our day ... oops. The weather was perfect. Eric drove the first many hours, then I drove the rest of the way. We had zero incidents of car sickness, thanks to Dramamine, although immediately after I realized it was time for a second dose Peabody announced, "Honey, you know that medicine you gived me so my tummy wouldn't feel yucky? Well, my tummy feels yucky." When we arrived at Mamaw's apartment (almost 3 hours later than planned!) not only were they waiting outside for us, but so were a couple of my cousins plus my mom's brother! That was such a nice surprise. He lives in Nashville and I had no idea he was going to drive up to see us. We visited for a while then collapsed in our beds.

On Saturday morning we all (minus the two extra cousins) went out for breakfast, then headed to the Kentucky Science Center. My own family went there many times when I was growing up, and I was really excited to take the girls there. I was a little disappointed, though. There weren't as many interactive displays as I remembered, and as Eric pointed out, a lot of them were broken. Many things were just over the girls' heads, too, which I should have anticipated. We also skipped the IMAX theater, knowing that Peabody and the Boogie wouldn't be interested in sitting through a documentary. I think the girls enjoyed what they were able to do, but we went through all of the floors in about 2 hours. I guess we'll wait until everyone is a little older to go again on one of our trips out there.

We walked across the street to get some pictures with the giant bat in front of the Louisville Slugger Museum. That's another place we used to visit a lot when I was growing up, but we didn't go inside this time. Mamaw couldn't do that much walking, and we knew the girls would just be bored, and scared of the noise during the factory tour. Another time!

THEN we went to this awesome ice cream place called The Comfy Cow. We had ice cream for lunch! It was amazingly good. There was a coffee shop next door, so the coffee drinkers among us got lattes and mochas.

After "lunch" it was back to Mamaw's apartment for the rest of the day to visit and look through pictures. We said goodbye to my uncle that night since he was going home the next morning. It was so great to spend some time with him! After he left I realized that I didn't take any real pictures of him with any of us. I am always forgetting to take pictures and it's really frustrating.

Sunday was Eric's birthday. Last year we all, including Mamaw, were in Washington for his birthday. She made his birthday cake last year, too! After the morning service at her church we went to one of our favorite places for lunch, Mike Linnig's. Oh my goodness. We brought home almost half of it, probably! Eric was the bravest among us and ate turtle soup and deep-fried alligator. Sadly it was raining so we didn't get any pictures there either. After church that night we sang to the birthday boy and ate cake.

Uncle Furry and Auntie A left early Monday morning. Their flight was out of Cincinnati, so Eric made the pre-dawn journey to drop them off, then went back to bed! We lazed around for most of Monday. We girls had a tea party, something Mamaw and I used to always do when I was little. Her brother, Uncle Duck, stopped by to see us which was nice. Later in the afternoon we drove to the cemetery to see Papaw's headstone, and drove by Mamaw and Papaw's old house. Then we stopped by Hobby Lobby ... oh my! I've never been in one before. What a neat place!

After the girls were in bed Eric and I drove to a few different stores looking for chewable Dramamine (why is that stuff so hard to find?) and Cheerwine (which I'd been wanting to try for a looong time, and while in general I'm not much of a soda drinker, I'm now a Cheerwine fan. There's something about cherry soda that gets me. And I'm hoarding the last two bottles in my fridge.) After several stops we found both then proceeded to the White Castle drive-thru for sliders. And listen, I'm usually a purist but I must admit that I like my White Castle burgers with cheese. We stayed up way too late eating White Castle and visiting with Mamaw.

We left early Tuesday morning to make the drive back. The first few hours were hard! We were both so sleepy. We traded off driving several times instead of each doing one long shift. We were determined to make it home in fewer hours, and we did -- the trip back took about fourteen hours instead of the almost sixteen it took us to get there. The girls did so great in the car both ways. Thank the Lord for DVD players and "new" movies borrowed from cousins!

Mama Dog stayed at 52 while we were away and had a wonderful time. I think she was happy to see us, though.

It would have been nice to stay a little longer but we're thankful that we got to go! Mamaw suggested that she might consider a trip our way next spring, so we'll look forward to that.