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.