Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Friends

Yesterday Addison had a lunch date with her buddy Zac, my friend Kristen's little boy who is 3 weeks older than her. They sat across the table from each other, and Addison showed Zac her toes while Zac showed her how to drink from a straw. The mommies enjoyed time with their friends, Jenny, Kelly, Lia, and Andrea.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mommy Moment of the Day: Teething Hickeys

But first, a little fun with this website:
Wanna know who your child favors the most? Upload some pictures and let My Heritage settle the score for you once and for all. I seriously did about 8 combinations of pictures to see if we'd keep getting the same "equal" result--and we did. Of course, that's what we usually hear from *most* people anyway. I really like that she's a combo. I like that she looks like an Addison person.

So, we had a full day today--the library, the mall, Chick Fil-A, Jaydee's house. It was fun although rainy. We were having a pretty low-key, drama free day until we were getting in the car to go to my mom's house. I noticed a red raised spot on Addison's wrist which had a speck of what looked to be blood, and I called Mom over to examine it. No stranger to spider bites--even of the brown recluse family--my mind went into overdrive. Mom said I should call the doc, and on my way to her house I made the call. Of course I had to leave a message with the phone nurse.

Me: "formal information about Addy's b-day, etc, blah, blah... Uh, hey Ann Marie, it's Kristy {I feel like the phone nurse and I are friends at this point--like I should get her a Christmas present kind of friend}... So, Addison has a really knotty and red raised wrist. I'm totally thinking it's a spider bite. She is sucking at it, and it's got this bloody, bite-from-a-tentacle spot on it, and it looks really bad, and I mean she is acting ok, but what should I do? I'm close to you guys, so call me if I should bring her in..." Click.

After getting to Mom's, calming down, reassessing the spot, and feeling like an IDIOT, AM calls back... "Alright, so when did she get the bite, and where was she?"

Me: "Uh, well, I think this might be one of those times that I might have just overreacted a little bit... I remembered that she had scratched her arm last night after her bath, and I think that her teeth have been bothering her. She dropped her pacie on the ground at the mall, so she was sucking on her arm to relieve her pain. I'm thinking it's just a teething hickey... Sorry."

AM: "Laugh Laugh Laugh. No problem. If it gets redder or warmer or more raised, give her some benadryl and bring her in. Glad she's ok."

So, my daughter gives herself teething hickeys. 10 months old and toothless. Bless her.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Couponing 101 {need help} and other current thoughts...

So, I am following the trend. Aside from "couponing" being the "it" thing to do in our evolving struggling-economy culture, I want to "get good" at this phenomenon to help our family save some money and help Patrick and me reach some of our financial goals.

But, right now, I STINK at it...

Sure, I always use my Ann Taylor Loft coupons, take advantage of the Bed Bath & Beyond coupons for housewares and wedding gifts, hit the big sales, etc... because it is in my blood to cringe at the idea of paying full-price for anything. I clip the restaurant coupons from our local "Clipper" magazine, and we plan our date nights and eating out adventures accordingly.

However, when it comes to grocery shopping, I am a fish out of water--or a fish that is drowning {Can fish even drown?}--because I get overwhelmed. Aside from the penny item at Publix and the occasional formula/diaper coupon, I wander the aisles wondering what I am supposed to be looking for.

I have rotten summer cold right now, so I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon clipping coupons from the Sunday newspaper, skimming over some of the couponing sites I have listed on my Daily Perusal's sidebar, but I quickly got lost in the maze... At one point I had 8 windows open on my computer, and I had no idea how I had gotten to the page I was currently one. Two bottomless pit hours were spent, and a total of 6 coupons were printed... HELP!

Then, I went to Super Target to get some grocery items for the week, and I think that my coupons that I used resulted in me spending even MORE money--I think... The items that I had coupons for were already on sale, and when I presented the coupon, the register discounted the item from its original price... Can that even happen?

I hoped to come home feeling satisfied--proudly projecting to Patrick how much I had saved, but instead I felt defeated. HELP!

So, these are my questions... Where do you start? What are the best resources out there? How do you decide which to clip and which to pitch? Do you do comparative/price match shopping? Do you plan your menus/grocery lists based on your coupons? How much time do you spend weekly?

Hey, and if you are like me, a beginning/aspiring couponer, feel free to share your struggles and frustrations as well, so I don't feel like the lone ranger!

In other news, I read this article this weekend that I want to recommend from my parenting magazine about the 6 friends that every mom needs to keep her well-rounded, and it made me so thankful for my friends. It also made me want to BE a better friend.

I have received several kind emails regarding my "Memory Lane" post which I have really appreciated. I really loved going through all of that stuff and remembering more what my life was like as a child. It also got me wondering what all of my childhood friends are up to now... and then I realized that my elementary school contacts were a demographic that I had not tapped into on the trusty Facebook. What was I thinking? Ha! I have enjoyed making contact with so many of them this weekend, and I think it would be so much fun to reunite and see what our adult lives are like.

I was refreshed to see, in the snapshot of their lives that is ascertainable on Facebook, that we would likely still be friends...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

From Trash to Treasure--Need Help!!!

Happy Weekend, bloggin' buddies. I need some help. Seriously. Even if you do not normally feel comfortable commenting, this bargain hunting momma needs some tips... I'm begging for it!

Look at this loot that I racked up for Addypillar today at the Encore consignment sale in Franklin:

Sadly, I left off her emergency vehicle bus from the picture... she was riding on it!

Mom and I headed out this morning for the "first time mom's" admission to this great consignment sale. I've never seen so many women on a mission--it was take or be taken, and I had to get more aggressive than I am comfortable with. I feel like I came away with some good buys and useful items, many of which I plan to move from the guest bedroom to our attic closet to store until her birthday.

I realized, however, that I am a true consignment novice. I didn't have much of a plan. I didn't know where to start, what to look for, how to compare. Thank goodness I had Mom to help! Today's sale marks the beginning of consignment season for me, and before I hit my next one next Friday, I need some tips from you savvy shoppers out there. What do you look for at a sale like this? How far ahead do you buy? How do you decide what quality, price, amount is acceptable.

I really felt overwhelmed in the clothing department. I only came away with some things to take to the Eagle's Nest at school with me this fall for "accident back ups." The one on Friday in Westhaven, I have heard, is geared toward fancier clothes of the smocked variety, and that even overwhelms me. What should I look for? Comment away...

After we left Encore, Mom and I headed to The Hill Center and into the open arms of my beloved Anthropologie to help Lindsay find some 10-year-reunion attire. Eye-popping, mouth-watering me immediately began pulling items from the rack, begrudgingly handing them over to my cute sis since dear Anthro didn't make it into my summer budget. Oh, how I miss you, sweet friend... Seriously. I walked past this piece of eye candy and thought of "O the Places I Could Go" in a dress like this:A date, a show, a party... you know the normal events that fill my social calendar! Ha! But, alas, Patrick and I are home doing some much-delayed baby-proofing thanks to some recent wake-up calls. It's been a good day, and I think we are going to end it by cozying up to a movie.

Can't wait to hear your great advice, friends!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just because he loves me...

and he knows I've had a heck of a week, P brought these pretty flowers home with him today. What a sweetie!

And, I know most of y'all have seen this video by now, but if not, enjoy! It is truly one of the greatest wedding spectacles I've seen.

My Walk Down Memory Lane

I believe that it is human nature, when reminiscing on our pasts, to either glamorize our meager accomplishments or minimize our journeys to self-realization.

I fall on both ends of this pendulum. It is with self-deprecating wit that I recall my braces-wearing, thick-waisted, frizzy-haired days filled with adolescent angst; however, each point scored in a basketball game, each runner gunned down at second base, forever lives on, every detail of the lay up, 3-point shot, perfectly executed throw {no matter how rare the event} etched in my memory.

A couple of weekends ago, my parents brought over boxes of memorabilia they found while cleaning out their attic. Rummaging through them has consumed my time this week while Addison has been napping. I discovered schoolwork, report cards, calendars, all star and championship softball and basketball trophies, ball jerseys, patchwork quilt pieces, homemade dolls, yearbooks, news clippings, all the news articles I investigated as a journalist for The Pony Express, and all of the stories, books, and poems that I wrote.

It nearly astonished me as I watched the confident, imaginative child transform into a timid, awkward adolescent. As I regained some courage in high school, I followed passions and developed talents, and in college I tried my hand at everything in my attempts to find my true self.

Looking back through my yearbooks, I laughed until I cried remembering the inside jokes in the entries. I smirked at all of my silly preoccupations with boys and homecoming and arguments with friends. I cherished the references to my accomplishments in various activities and sports, but I also found myself somewhat disappointed, thinking "Why did I not try out for that play? I would have loved doing that." "Why was I so worried about what so-and-so thought that I didn't involve myself in ______ activity?" "Man, I really missed out on ______."

When I caught myself playing the "could'a, would'a, should'a" game, I stopped and wondered why. I'm not usually the kind of person who is impressed by flashy accomplishments, and I certainly don't aspire to be the kind of mother who puts so much pressure on her child to be involved in each and every thing. While I am driven to be an ambitious and successful individual, I firmly believe that every person using his/her unique skill set and field of interests is what achieves true success--that knowing ourselves fully is what authentic success "looks like." More than one path can lead to the same result, and each path must be specific to each individual.

I summarized my thoughts as this: we begin our lives with limitless opportunities. Every choice we make along the way eliminates millions of other things we *might* do {have done}... It narrows our field. Sure, being in a play, participating in X,Y, or Z could have benefited me in some way; however, what if right now, based on the decisions I did make, I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

From as early as I knew my letters and could hold a pen, I have been writing stories and keeping journals. It consumed me so completely that my mother asked my pediatrician if there was something wrong with me not wanting to play with dolls... She told him, "She only wants paper and pens." "Well, then give the girl paper and pens," he replied. And, that, my mom did. My dad even said that he would provide me with a lifetime's supply of paper, a promise he's always kept.

In the pile of papers, I found my ruminations of the 1988 presidential election and my almost 10-year-old self's political opinions on Michael Dukakis, George Bush, Dan Quayle. I uncovered my 5-year-old's pennings of "The Boy who Made Friends," my 7-year-old's "How the Elephant Got Its Trunk," and my ongoing series of Peanut Land and Mystery Kids. I analyzed my 13-year-old's perspective on how confusing and contradictory our feelings are, poured over my college admission essay to Vanderbilt, and I smiled.

While reading anything I could get my hands on as a child introduced me to a world of imagination, endless possibility, and the freedom to make-believe, while it fascinated me through the lives and eyes of historical figures who walked before me, it is through writing that I have created my own world while also observing the world around me.

I now am a teacher; I teach teenagers how to read and write, to analyze and relfect, to choose vivid verbs and precise adjectives. I am also a writer; I write to inform, to entertain, to remember--looking for true sentences, unique ways of expressing myself, and words for encouraging and inspiring.

Although I reduced my boxes of memories into one, the experience inspired me to fill many more.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Daytrippin' Part 2: Mansion Reunion

Circa 2000: Chi Omega Bid Day {Top--Mary Cook, Kelley Brown, Amy Kyle, Kimper Cannon, Christi Ikerd; Bottom: Rebekah Wright, Melissa Jackson, Kristy Dean, Sarah Stone}
Present Day Momma Hoots: {Back Row: Amy Kyle Stapler, Kristy Dean Crawford, Kelley Brown Brown, Christi Ikerd Green, Sarah Stone Armstrong; Front Row: Eli Stapler, Addison Crawford, Carter Brown, Bennett Green, Braden Green, Turner Armstrong}Yesterday, Addison and I roadtripped to Kelley's house in Birmingham to meet up with my old college roommates. It's been 8 years since we moved out of the Chi Omega mansion, but it was refreshing to pick up so effortlessly with these girls and their kiddos. Missing from this picture is Caroline who was napping. Missing roommates from our gathering were Melissa and her two, Rebekah and her two, and Kimper and Mary. Hopefully we can do this again this fall on the plains. I'm so thankful for my friends. Thanks for the picture, Sarah!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The teething beast and my little gummy worm

I should have known that when my daughter started sleeping through the night at 10 days old that "it was too good to be true," and that something would end up biting us in the butt. When I discovered her intolerance to the protein found in dairy and milk products at 4 weeks old, I thought that might be the universe's way of balancing things out, but it turned out that the diet change really only affected me as I was still nursing.

The average first tooth comes in at around 7 months. Not for my poor sweetie. She's days away from 10 months and she still has no teeth. The funny thing is--she's been "teething" since she was 4 months old. Seriously. I can't even tell you how many well-meaning, although IKE-ish people have said, "Oh that girl is drooling something fierce--I bet she'll pop a tooth out tomorrow." or "Oh, her low-grade fever, loss of appetite, diarhea, runny nose, restless sleep, etc, etc, is just her teething..." No, sweet IKEs, it was an ear infection(s), hand-foot-mouth, stomach virus, etc, etc... every.single.time.

To all of you mommies who's babies' first teeth just "popped through" one night while they were just a "tad" bit fussier that usual, I have this to say to you, "Weellllll, ISN'T THAT SPECIAL!?!?"

Ha! Seriously, I don't care when she gets teeth. I absolutely adore her gummy smiles--even though lately it just exposes her inflamed gums. I just want to put my sweet baby out of her misery. She is gnawing on my coffee table; she puts her entire fist into her mouth while she screams; she bears down on her spoon while eating and then wails in pain. Oh, I have given her tylenol when she is especially miserable while running a low grade fever, but I don't want to over-medicate her... I have given her her frozen teething toys, her pacie, her other various chew toys. I have pulled out all the stops. She's FINALLY down for her nap, and I just hope that she can get some peaceful rest. I'm going to go read read read about teething woes and mommy helps... There is nothing like learning with on-the-job training!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Book Thoughts and Mental Toughness

A couple of weeks ago I finally finished Same Kind of Different As Me, and just yesterday I read The Traveler's Gift. Both were touching stories, spiritually encouraging, and motivational tools. If I had to recommend the one that hit me the hardest, I would definitely recommend The Traveler's Gift.

Patrick and I try to live our lives with the "Glass Half Full" mentality, but there are definite times where it is more difficult to intentionally choose that avenue. I know that I have alluded to the fact that life has taken us down roads that haven't even been on our radar during the past 7 months, and we have dealt with each curve as we have rounded it. Now, things are leveling out somewhat, and we are having to adjust to our new reality. We are grateful about so many aspects of it, but we still miss each other during the first few days of the week terribly--so much so that we are consistently having to pray that the Lord grant us, strengthen us, with some extra doses of mental toughness.

My mom was reading this book last week and told me about it, and on my way home, I felt like it might be something that could offer Patrick and me some extra encouragement, so I stopped at the local Books-A-Million and picked it up. I breezed through it yesterday because I wanted P to be able to take it with him this week, and I probably stopped several times and said, "Patrick, this is SO GOOD."

I am usually very skeptical about "self-help" books, but this one carries the reader and the narrator through history and uses various figures from Anne Frank to Christopher Columbus to Harry Truman to present its points. The premise is that we have to take responsibility of our choices, our success, and our happiness. We are not slaves or victims of our past choices but pioneers of our future. It was not a "health and wealth" type of presentation; rather it focused on God's gift of free will to us. One of my favorite points was when the narrator realized that life isn't always about making the right decisions but rather making each decision right.

You know how sometimes a book has to hit you at the right time to make an impression? Well, the timing of this one and our current situations couldn't have been more perfect. We had some special prayer time together and prepared ourselves to be mentally tough this week.

Then, this morning, Patrick called to tell me that his sweet Dad is in ICU in Louisville. He is going to have a pacemaker procedure in the morning. We sure would appreciate your prayers for him--and for us.

I also have a few new posts with recipes, updates, and thoughts below for your reading pleasure.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The perfect kind of summer Saturday morning...

for me, anyway. Can y'all believe how pleasant the weather has been lately? I can't remember another July where I have truly wanted to be outdoors...

This morning, as soon as Addison woke up and had her bottle, we loaded the car and went out for breakfast at one of our favorite local places, Henpeck Market. We enjoyed a good country breakfast, and I savored what I consider to be their specialty, a blueberry scone! We chatted with some of the regulars and Addison tried to charm everyone while eating her cereal.
From there, we drove to the Factory in Franklin and gathered some fresh goods--Williamson County homegrown. I've never been much of a Farmer's Market fanatic until this summer, but I've been craving fresh summer squash and zucchini, tomatoes, berries, and herbs and spices, and it feels so much more fun and authentic to purchase them from neighboring vendors. Both my hairstylist and a Bunco friend have booths there, and I like to buy from them. Plus, you never know who you are going to run into!We love getting a good Cup of Joe from the Frisky Berry and meandering through the booths. We strolled through, took inventory, enjoyed our coffee beverages, and then went back to select our purchases. I didn't need many veggies this week thanks to Kelly stocking me up with produce from her garden, so this is what we came away with today: Looks like Blackberry Cobbler is going to be on the menu tonight! We're also trying out some local honey for the first time--Patrick is convinced that the one teaspoon he tried is going to clear up his allergies! HA! Enjoy your beautiful Saturdays.

Friday, July 17, 2009

What's for dinner?

We love Friday Night pizza night--whether it is going out for pizza with friends, ordering in, or making our own. Like I mentioned in my previous post, Mindy made us a loaded potato pizza for lunch, and I tried it out tonight. Here is a picture:Ingredients:
1 pizza crust (use either a Pillsbury can dough or make your own)
2 potatoes
1 stick butter (melted)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese
7-8 slices bacon

Directions: Mix melted butter with sour cream and coat the pizza dough. Bake at dough temperature (~400) for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook bacon, and microwave potatoes for 10-12 minutes. Chop potatoes into bite size pieces and spread on partially cooked dough. (Salt and pepper to taste.) Cover potato pieces with cheddar chesse and crumbled bacon. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve with ranch dipping sauce! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Yesterday, I traveled with some of my lifelong girlfriends to see Mindy and her boys in Kentucky. Austin is 3, and Peyton was born at the end of April. We needed to meet the little man and see our dear friend, so we headed northwest for the day.

She welcomed us with homemade pizza and greek salad. Her homemade pizza was to die for--stuffed crust pepperoni and LOADED POTATO pizza. Have you ever heard of the like? It was to die for, and I'm planning to make one for Patrick this weekend, so I'll try to post pics and the recipe.

Anyway, we enjoyed our day trip with full conversation, lots of laughter, and celebration. Our friendship has evolved in such unique ways over the years, and I'm just as refeshed and inspired by this group of women as ever. There's something about having a history with friends, and the safety you feel with a group who knows your good, bad, and ugly and loves you regardless. Here's a picture of the gang below: Kelly, Austin, Andrea (pregnant with baby Knox), Mindy, Lia (pregnant with Reese and Rylee (sp?)), Peyton, me, Addison.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Take your BEAR to lunch day...

It's something Lindsay and I do each summer to rescue Dad from the office for a little bit and to pay our sweet dad back for all the times he came to eat lunch with us at school when we were growing up. Now, we take our girls with us.
We began our morning at the library like we did last week, and the girls were raring to go once we got to Bear's office. We had fun at Chili's!A couple of days ago I tried to set Addison in the boppy for her "I am 9-month-old" picture, and I wasn't so successful. She was totally playing me, and would smile as she looked AWAY from the camera. While this picture isn't great, it serves its purpose for me in keeping up with her growth. Anyway, she's doing all the 9-month things, and her dr's appointment a couple of weeks ago confirmed what we already knew--she's a long and lean little girl. We're still waiting on teeth and that silly tear duct to clear itself up, but all-in-all she is growing into a healthy, happy little person.

Lastly, we had a fun weekend getting together with friends and family, and we took a few pictures. I like this one.
In other news, AP scores have been mailed out, and I am anxiously awaiting reports from my first batch of AP kiddos. So far, so good! I've hardly thought about school and work this summer, but this anticipation has begun the stirrings of excitement for a new school year. Don't get me wrong, though, I fully plan to soak up these last few weeks of summer!

{Afterthought EDIT: In rereading this post, I realized I had some follow-ups to include. Remember Thursday's Project? Well, the dress in the 9-month photos is the finished product of that. And, we dressed our girls in matching pillowcase dresses that I made from that leftover fabric for "Take your Bear to lunch day." It may seem silly, but those are some of my big summer accomplishments.}

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Things that I am currently SO OVER

I'm a bit BLAH today... and maybe a little bit hormonally charged too, but seriously?

1. Facebook Status Whores--the people who change their facebook status every 3 hours and flood our homepages with their idle occurrences... What's next? Will you tell us the next time you feel the urge to go to the bathroom? {Come on, you know you feel me on this one...? I could almost write a separate post about it and ask everybody to submit the most obnoxious facebook status you've ever read... My anti-favorite is "So-and-so is sick of backstabbing jerks. Y'all know who y'all are." SERIOUSLY? What is yours?}

2. IKEs--you know the, "I KNOW EVERYTHING" types. They come in all forms, but I am especially annoyed by the "young mommy" IKEs. There's not a manual, people. Every child is different. Every parent is different. We're all just doing the best we can. I ask for help and advice any time I can--from my pediatrician, my mother and sister, my closest girlfriends, and mothers I respect, but don't give *me* condescending, unsolicited advice and act like you are the one who invented it. There's nothing new under the sun, girlfriend! {On the flip side, I am always so inspired by the refreshing humility that some of my mommy friends possess, the kind of humility that reflects a prayerful, searching spirit.}

3. MJ and Steve McNair being immoralized in their tragic deaths--dare I say it? Don't get me wrong, I boo-hooed during MJ's memorial service, have listened to his #1's album repeatedly, and am choosing to try to believe the best of him; McNair's tragedy put a sad damper on our 4th of July party. I hurt for the families, mourn their untimely deaths, but I also recognize their humanity, and I wish the media would let them rest in peace.

4. How FAST time goes by--I've been over this since I was a little girl, praying to Jesus every night for time to go slow so that I could be a little girl forever. Now, as a mommy to a little girl, I find myself saying that same prayer...

5. Missed opportunities--there's a separate post coming about this, but it's something that's been on my mind a lot lately.

Nursery Woes

Separation Anxiety is a beast, don't ya think? I know some kids get it worse than others, for some it lasts longer that others, but to whatever degree it exists, it is a rough rite of passage.

Addison, for the most part, has been so laid back during the first months of her life--smiling at everyone, going to anyone, but this summer, it has been a bit of a different story. With me being home, she has become quite the Mama's girl; as constant companions, we are mutually attached to each other. For awhile there, I didn't know if she'd ever like the nursery, if she'd ever NOT scream the entire time I "abandoned" her there. And that makes Sundays HARD.

Sundays have been hard since I was in college. Then, they were my homesick days. After I graduated and was in full-time ministry, they were my longest work days. Then I married a youth minister, and they were HIS longest work days. Now, I have a baby, and the timing thing makes it difficult.

First it was nursing. We'd try timing my mornings so we could make it through service, but then I'd have to nurse the first part of class... or visa versa... or we'd just not go to avoid the hassle of it all... It stressed me out.

Now it's morning naps--She's wakes up, take a bottle, eats cereal 45 minutes-1 hour later, and then takes her morning nap an hour later. If we go to early church, that puts nap time right at class time. If we go to late church, we end up skipping class so she can get her nap in. We've tried both ways.

Throw in some separation/exhaustion induced screaming, and sometimes you begin to wonder if it is even worth it?

Thankfully, last Sunday, we had our first completely successful experience. For one thing, she has moved up to the 9-12 month class that some friends of mine teach. They are calming, and they put her at ease. That put ME at ease, and I was actually able to participate and glean some spiritual encouragement from our adult class.

The first time someone tried to put her in a bucket seat to sing songs and pat the Bible, you'd have though that all Hell had broken loose. Last Sunday she clapped and sang along with them. It was such a relief, but who knows what next time will bring. We'll just take it week by week!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Are monkeys ticklish?

"Fun-loving monkeys swing through the trees, but can you answer this one question, please? Are monkeys ticklish? Yes, monkeys are ticklish."

This comes from Addison's favorite book. And I read it to her every night. EVERY night. On nights that I try to skip it, she closes the one I am reading and pulls herself to where she is hanging over her rocking chair, peering into her book basket, and reaching for the ticklish book. Who can resist that? Once I pick it up, she claps for me and reaches for it. It's touch and feel, and she loves to turn the pages. She also loves to be tickled at the end of it when it reads, "Are YOU ticklish???"

Needless to say, I have the book memorized, word for word, line by line, and my skills came in handy yesterday when we went to the ZOO. There was a rhyme for all of the "major" animals! It was my first time to visit Nashville's zoo because it wasn't around when I was a child. We had so much fun, and we took a few pictures for memories.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sit N' Spins and Library Loves

Remember this toy from when we were kids?

Well, this is my little person's new nickname as well as her new trademark move. I really need to video it to document, but she'll just pivot around on her bootie and squeal with delight. And the girl moves FAST. Sometimes she's looking for a specific toy; sometimes she's pivoting to change direction; mostly she just goes round and round. It is hilarious--especially when she shows off her especially fast moves on hardwoods. She's also constantly flipping her pacie in her mouth--twirling it with her fingers while she's playing, while we're trying to rock her to sleep, any time is is in her mouth. We can't tell if it has something to do with teething, if she's fidgeting, or if she just likes to flip that pacie. It's adorable, and I need to try to video it as well. I did video her whistling today, and if I can figure out how to post it on here, I will.

Today, we enjoyed a trip to the library with Lindsay and Savannah. I almost didn't go because I wondered if she was too young to get into it, but Lindsay assured me that any time a child can be read to is an opportunity to take advantage of. She loves reading like I do, and she was right. Addison loved the theme for today, MUSIC, and she bounced and clapped, squealed and whistled as Ms. Kristin read all of the books aloud. She also tried to engage all of the other little people with her social skills. :) Afterwards we got a couple of pictures of the girls. In this one, they are both intently absorbed with Dora and Boots. Savannah soon became entranced with her dictionary, and Addison tried to take over Dora. It was fun, and we enjoyed our outing!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The beach picture that never was...some recent Addy-isms...and a little bit of lately...

I think that I've mentioned in a previous post that I've come to the realization and acceptance that the days of doing the beach like I've always done it are over... Recently, I also experienced the harsh reality that so are the days of taking the perfect beach picture--at least for this year.

I blogged a little bit about my Destin trip with my college roommate/sorority sister/bf Amy and our girls. Two young mommies, two young babies, beach gear in tow (which far surpasses the tanning oil, towel, book, water bottle bag from previous trips and is replaced with diapers, wipes, swimmie diapers, 50 spf sunscreen, bottles, puffs, sun shades, floats, towels, blankets, hats, toys, etc), and sleep/energy deprivation are hardly the elements required for a successful photo shoot. Even when we would "dress up" to go out for dinner, the hassle of stopping at the beach on our way with our babies on one hip, our picture props, cameras, and overstuffed diaper bags on the other was too much. We sat down for dinner one night, sweating after an exhausting and futile attempt at capturing a good picture, looked at each other, and laughingly said, "Well, that was miserable..." Our trip itself was a blast--in a way that the conditions I described above can be a blast. It was so much fun to celebrate our history of friendship with a girls' trip introducing our little daughters to their future roommates and best friends--no pressure, girls! We sure did miss our husbands, though, and the help/escape that they would have provided... Here is a recap of our trip and some photos that she posted on her blog here. (My favorites of her shots are the ones of the two girls on the beach with their sun hats and matching bathing suits and the "prom picture" of Eli and Addison... so sweet!)

Addison and I spent the last days of June visiting Patrick where he is currently working in North Carolina. We spent Saturday in the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area, and we loved seeing the beautiful town where Dawson's Creek, One Tree Hill, Nights in Rodanthe, Cape Fear, etc. were filmed and where Woodrow Wilson and Michael Jordan grew up. In planning this day trip, I thought to myself, "YAY! I'll pack some white clothes and my camera, and we can get that family beach picture there!" So we did. We got out to the beach area, changed our clothes, primped a little, and start making our way out to the beach, and the bottom DROPPED OUT. We're not talking a few drops, a summer shower, a passing annoyance. It was a storm to be reckoned with--complete with lightning, thunder, and hard rain. Addison loved it. She squealed and clapped with every boom. Luckily, we found a gazebo to seek shelter under, and we were joined by a wedding party as well. This picture is the best we got... Well, here's to next year!

We spent Sunday of our NC vacay in Durham at Duke's campus where we were entertained by another close friend/Chi O/and summer roommate, Jenn Moody. She is a professor there in the Physical Therapy program and works with a new business they are developing working with college and professional teams and athletes doing preventative PT. It was so interesting to hear about--as were her wild stories about clients. Michael Jordan even invited her to the Derby, making her a celebrity herself these days! We got a few good family shots here that I put on Facebook, but here is a picture of my Mecca of Basketball--Cameron. I felt the energy and intimidation just standing in this arena!

Addison was a great travel companion, and she loved the airplane experience. She engaged other passengers by clapping for them as they walked past us, peering through the seats and laughing at the passengers behind us, and pulling up over the seats in front of us to "talk" to her new friends. Thankfully, she catnapped on both flights, and I'm just thankful it was a positive venture for us all. Lately, she's keeping us laughing with the "new" things she is doing. Besides her crawling, pulling up, and cruising stunts, she is also learning a lot about herself. She has become fascinated with her pointer finger. She examines it, points at everything, saying "Ooooohhhh," and makes everyone around her point as well. She's also snapping her fingers and whistling all the time. She's become obsessed with practicing these new tricks and she laughs and claps for herself each time. I love this stage in her developmental self-discovery.

This weekend we enjoyed celebrating our red, white, and blue with a gathering at our house. We had the Crawford/Hatfield bunch here and enjoyed a day filled with swimming, fireworks, grilling out, homemade ice cream, and ladder ball. We missed Steven and Bern, but we are hoping to see them before the school year starts back. Sadly, this is the only picture I took, and it's of a dessert I made to be a festive compliment to the ice cream. I saw a recipe years ago in Real Simple that I always wanted to try, but I didn't keep it, and so I made this up. It's basically the ingredients from Spring Break cake that we used to make every year. This wasn't the prettiest one of the bunch, but you get the idea. I layered Angel Food cake and vanilla pudding with strawberries and blue berries in mason jars. The topping was cool whip mixed with marshmallow cream. It was so tasty and even pretty healthy!

As an addendum to my post below, on the reading front, I have found some good chick lit to share. I breezed through The Beach House, and while it was plagued with point of view and verb tense inconsistencies, the plot was captivating, and I enjoyed myself. Then, last week, my girl Becky brought over two of Emily Giffen's books--Something Borrowed and Something Blue. I read them both in two days (Addison was taking some hearty naps! :)). The protagonists were refreshingly flawed, the plot not too predictable, and the storyline just complicated enough to keep your heartstrings involved. Nothing earth-shattering or awe-inspiring--just light-hearted summer fun. Now, I am getting pretty into one of the ones that's been hanging out on my bedside table--Same Kind of Different as Me.