Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thoughts on Blogging

So lately I have caught the reading bug... again.  I catch it from time to time ;).  And I want to do nothing but sit and read.  It's not even just because I have gotten into a really great book.  It's just that I want to read.  These days, that means I stay up far too late (because it's really the only time I get to read, after the little one goes to bed).  Anyway, this has not much to do with my post, except that I decided to finally write about some of my musings after reading this quote from John Adams (from the book John Adams by David McCullough -- a thoroughly enjoyable book, of which I am about 2/3 of the way done!): 

"whether they be old or young, rich or poor, high or low, wise or foolish, ignorant or learned, every individual is seen to be strongly actuated by a desire to be seen, heard, talked of, approved and respected."

Those words really ring true with me.  I've thought often about why blogging was (maybe still is?) so popular.  Why do I have 5 different blogs, with contemplations of starting a new one?  Why is facebook so wildly popular?  Why do I want to publish a book in my lifetime?

And, at least for me, I think a part of it is exactly what John Adams wrote many, many years ago in the late 1700s.  It is a desire to be noticed.

Now, I do not have the desire to be noticed such that I'd be willing to be notorious and do something awful.  I learned long ago (I hope ;)) that bad attention is not good attention!  But for some reason, I've always wanted to be somebody.  I've wanted my writing to impact lives.  I can remember something my 11th grade Physiology teacher wrote in my yearbook.  He wrote that he hoped to see my name in lights some day.  And at age 16, I hoped he would too.  And, though I sit here, 16 years later, I can't say I've seen that happen -- I mean, so few of us really do.  But I can't deny I've still hoped from time to time that I would make an impact on the world.  That I would 'be seen, heard, talked of, approved and respected' as a person. 

And maybe I can't speak for others and the reasons they blog or share stuff on facebook, etc.  I just know that, while it may not be my only reason, I have to be honest and admit that it's definitely a part of the reasons I blog and facebook and still dream of being published one day.  I have to admit that it's why I love the comments and likes and things of that nature that come through social media. 

Does this make me seem shallow?  Oh, I suppose it's possible.  But based on the quote by John Adams, I guess it also makes me pretty darn human.  And I've never claimed to be anything more than that ;)...

And here's a few pictures for your viewing pleasure :). 

This was the very first day she let me put her hair up and she didn't take it out immediately.  We've had one other successful day so far.  We're working on it ;).
So one of Lynnaea's fun pastimes is getting cans out of the can rack and putting them on the counter.  I have no idea why she likes doing this, but she does.  So here she is putting a can of chicken on the counter...
ANd here she is by the can rack -- which is in our room due to space constraints.  So she travels back and forth from our room to the kitchen with canned goods.  Giggling the whole way.  She's pretty determined too.  It's stinkin' cute.
Her other new thing stems from her automatic desire to hit mommy (me) when she's frustrated.  I'm assuming this must be a stage kids go through, because we don't hit in our household.  Like at all.  We don't spank Lynnaea, and we've never hit each other.  And yet, she has somehow determined that hitting mommy is a good response to frustration (when I'm the source of said frustration).  Anyway, we are having none of that, and she goes to time out for hitting.  But always, right after she hits me, I grab her arm (that just hit me) and sternly say "No ma'am, we do not hit Mommy."  And then she goes to time out.  After which, when time out is done, we talk about why she was in time out and why it is not okay to hit Mommy (or Daddy, though she's never tried with him).  Anyway, that's just the back story.  Earlier this week, she started running around the house saying "Don't hit Mommy."  Very emphasized, very clearly, and very well-spaced between words.  So it's like "Don't. Hit. Mommy." 

Yes, she's my little copy-cat.
Ah yes, potty time.  So she gets to use the tablet while she sits on the potty.  We're still at the stage of helping her understand that we go potty in the potty.  So we just pick a random time and sit her on the potty for 10 to 15 minutes.  We've had success a few times, but nothing consistent.  But anyway, Jeremy was trying to make a "table" for her to hold the tablet.  And we put a jacket on her if she's been in footie pajamas, since essentially, when she's in the footies, we have to take them off completely during potty time. And we don't want her to get too cold ;).  It's kind of cute.
I think this was right before book club.  She wanted to take a picture, because I'd just finished doing a pregnant belly picture.
I've started making green smoothies using my THRIVE ingredients, and I love it!  So does this little pretty girl.  She always asks for more and drinks it all up!  And I feel happy to oblige, when I know she's getting extra veggies :).
Sometimes it's tough being a toddler! 

So, we've been working on the transition to one nap a day.  But many days, her one nap is a garbage nap (read: no more than 45 minutes).  But she usually doesn't want to nap again until like 4 p.m. and by then, it's too late.  Because I want her to go to bed at a decent time so I can have some me time (for reading, as mentioned above ;)).  Probably sounds selfish, but most moms get it.  Anyway, she doesn't need to be up super late.  She's 1 1/2.  So anyway, I keep her up.  And usually it works out fine.  But the other night, while I wasn't looking, she plopped down on the bean bag chair and zonked out.  Poor kid.

So there ya go.  The randomness that is my life ;).

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Christmas Chaos -- in Pictures

Well, to keep this brief, I will mostly just post some pictures.  As it is, it takes eons for the pictures to load and blogger has gotten weird with pictures.  So it will take me much longer than I'd like it to, I'm sure. 

But for the record:  I'm 20 weeks pregnant today, so halfway there.  But based on last Monday's ultrasound, Baby is measuring a week ahead.  So I'm hoping to go early, if my choices are going early or having a gigantic baby.  All looks good, though.  We will be having another ultrasound at about 32 weeks (so about 3 months from now) to find out if my placenta has moved up with uterus growth.  Because as of last week, the placenta was a bit lower than they'd like -- which can mean placenta previa.  Which would mean they'd probably do a c-section.  I'm not overly concerned at this point.  My uterus has a lot of growing to do.  And whatever happens happens.  No point in agonizing over it.

So now on to pictures of Christmas.  Brad and his family came and stayed with us for a week.  We live in about 1000 square feet, so it was close quarters.  9 people:  4 adults, 2 toddlers, and 3 kids ages 8 to 13.  The dinner table was packed -- and pulled out as far as it will go!  It was good.  Just crazy around here.
So this was the day they arrived.  Which was also the day we had gone out to Jeremy's parents' and picked out our tree.  And also the day I decorated it :).  Lynnaea was so cute when I flipped the lights on.  She just couldn't believe it!
Because it's fun to be silly with my munchkin :).
This was right after Brad, Angie, and Vivienne arrived.  The tree was the place to be!
Lynnaea loved having so many cousins here.  She was buds with all of them.
We had Christmas Even at Jeremy's parents' house.  Lynnaea learned how to eat stuff off the table.  And her cousins thought it was hilarious.  So she kept doing it.  Turkey girl.
She tried on one of her uncle's hats.  She's so stinkin' cute.  Oh -- and Grandma saved the day with those pajamas (which were her Christmas present)!  On the way down, she had a blow-out.  Like the first in 7 or 8 months.  And I was completely unprepared for that!
Opening her shape sorter present.  She liked the tissue paper a lot.
It was a late night...  She was tired.  But going strong!  I think we could have a pianist on our hands ;).
Christmas morning at our house.  These are mostly the presents for Brad's kids.  They were here for Christmas morning, but they actually let everyone sleep until about 8!
So here we go with Christmas morning.
Here's all the kids plus Brad and Jeremy.
Most of the kids.  Vivienne was opening a present I guess.
Vivienne liked this present of Sam's better than she liked her own.  Lynnaea liked Vivienne's presents better than she liked her own.  Haha.
Angie and Vivienne, and me and Lynnaea.  Did I mention Vivienne was sick most of the time they were here?
Another of me and Lynnaea.  I was a beaut Christmas morning, obviously.
More pictures of the kids.  Samuel, Ben, and Brad.
Lynnaea with her "Big Girl Panties" book that April got her!  She loves this book.  She also got an Elmo Potty and big girl panties from Lea and Chuck.  Yep, it's the beginning of potty training!  It's been going okay.  Mostly we are just getting her used to the potty.  But she'll ask to sit on it -- because she knows she can use the tablet while sitting on the potty.  We have had 2 successful poopies and 2 peepies.  We still have a long way to go though.  Funny story:  before she actually peed in the potty for the first time, she'd been sitting on it for about 5 minutes, playing the tablet.  She told me she was all done and wanted to get up (having done nothing).  I got her up and told her to come to the room to get a new diaper on.  After about a minute I hear her say "uh-oh."  She had peed on the floor in the bathroom.  Hahaha...  It's fun stuff ;).

So anyway, that's all the pictures I took from Christmas.  We had Christmas with my family at my mom's house Christmas afternoon.  But I didn't take any pictures there.  Oh well.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Alabama Trip 2014: Final Installment

So, as I mentioned previously, we actually returned to Birmingham on the 29th of November, which was the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  It also happened to be the day of the Iron Bowl.  Which is why my original plans changed.

See, originally, I was planning to head to Tuscaloosa on the 29th and stay a night there.  But then Annie told me that was the day Auburn and Alabama were playing -- and it was happening in Tuscaloosa.  I quickly modified my plans.  Ain't no way I wanted to be in that mess of traffic!  So we just went to Birmingham and did our day jaunt over to Tuscaloosa later.

So we got back to Julie's early in the evening.  We ate dinner, ran a couple errands.  I started making cinnamon rolls while the big game came on.  Now, here's the thing:  I'm not a super football fan.  It's just never been important to me.  Like ever.  But Julie is a huge fan -- especially of UA.  And so she was watching the game.  Ergo, we all watched the game.  And I learned something:  it's not so bad.  I'll never be an avid fan.  I'll never live and breathe college football.  But it was a pleasant evening watching the game from the comfort of Julie's living room and watching her (and my husband ;)) get super-anxious at various points.  I missed some of it, as I was working on cinnamon rolls.  But I was in there for the end when Alabama walked away the champions.  I learned stuff about the game I didn't know at all.  And I realized I shouldn't have had such a negative attitude about it in the past.  You live, you learn.

After the game, Jeremy went to bed with the munchkin (we weren't super strict with her bed times while on vacation.  After all, it was vacation!) and Julie and I stayed up and had a fun girlie visit.  It's harder to come by those with kids -- so I've learned.  I had brought her birthday present with me on the plane so that it wouldn't take up precious room in the Christmas package I'd be sending later.  So here she is opening her birthday present.
I made her a froggy quillow!  I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.  And it's thanks to Jeremy that it happened.  He helped me design it.  That's definitely a nice perk of his engineering mind:  he can envision things where I really can't until tangibly hold it.  Anyway, so basically it's a fleece blanket that can fold up and tuck into the frog and become a pillow.  when it's unfolded, the frog part is inverted and becomes a place you can put your feet to keep them warm.  Depending on how ambitious I feel this year (which isn't looking good so far...), I may try to make different animals for each of the nieces and nephews.  But that's a big maybe.
Anyway, I stayed up with Julie until Jon got home from work around midnight.  Then I headed to bed.  Sunday morning, Jeremy, Lynnaea, and I went to the Alabaster Ward for church.  I ended up hanging out in nursery the whole time, because I didn't know how Lynnaea would do if I left her.  Which was just as well, since the usual nursery assistant wasn't there.  We took a nice afternoon nap.  And then we went to church with Jon and Julie in the afternoon.  Then we all went back to Julie's and ate pizza. 

Monday was our Tuscaloosa day, and then Monday evening, Julie cooked dinner for us and then we watched Elf (because the Christmas movies were starting to play on the tv!).  We also snapped a couple pictures, because we needed to :).  This was the better of the two.  Hard to believe we've known each other 16 years!
Tuesday was the day we left Julie's.  I woke up early to see Julie off to work.  It was sad.  We weren't leaving until the next day, but we were staying one more night with April and Greg.  Julie texted me later to say she didn't want to go home if I wasn't going to be there :(.  So sad.  We didn't leave until the afternoon, so we relaxed and visited with Jon.  It was nice to sit and chat with Jon for a long while.  And of course, get some pictures with him too.
It's funny...  In recent days I've been going through and organizing old photos.  My oh my how we all have changed!  It's weird that we're in our mid-30s.  With kids!  Yikes!  When did that happen!?!

Anyway, so we said our good-byes.  Headed to April's and then she followed me to turn in the rental car.  Then we mostly just hung out and visited at her house -- and played some old Mario Bros on some system Greg got for his birthday -- until we were meeting up with Greg at Cracker Barrel.  That was good food!  And Jeremy impressed many people with his eating abilities, let's just say that.  I think it took 4 servers to bring all our food out.  It was crazy!  The food just kept on coming!  Back at April's, she and I visited into the night while the men played Super Mario 3 (the best one, I might add...) and had a hilarious time doing so.  We were cracking up watching them.  Then we all turned in for the night.  Oh yeah, I also made cinnamon rolls again, only this time, I was concerned with whether or not they'd rise, since we used self-rising flour. 

Holy cow.  I just had a massive paragraph that I accidentally deleted.  Ack!  Well, forget it.  Basically, April took us to the airport.  Our flight was delayed a bit.  But we made all our connections.  And the last flight of the trip (from San Diego to Seattle) was bomb, because there were only 53 passengers on board, and a ton of empty rows.  Which meant Lynnaea got her own seat.  And that was the best ever
There we are on the airplane -- Lynnaea with the tablet.

We landed in Seattle a little after 9.  I was exhausted.  We got our luggage and took the airporter.  We got home about midnight, and by the time we got everything done that we needed to do (change the baby, give her some milk, brush her teeth, etc), it was 1 in the morning.  We were exhausted.  And so we slept.  And Jeremy took the next day off work too, just so he wouldn't have to go in at 6 in the morning.

So that was the end of the trip.  It was a wonderful two weeks.  Wonderful.  Sometimes I wish vacation was all the time.  But then, it wouldn't be vacation. 

So coming up will be Christmas stuff. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Alabama Trip 2014: Installment 3: A Day in T-Town

One of the reasons I told Jeremy, when he asked if I wanted to take a vacation to Alabama in 2014, that I wanted it to be a long vacation was because there were several "stops" I wanted to be able to make.  Tuscaloosa was one of those.

So once we got back to Birmingham on Saturday, we did some fun stuff.  Which I will chronicle in the next post with my Birmingham and Alabama wrap-up.  But basically, the Monday after we got back to Birmingham, we packed up our little rental for a day trip to T-town! 

We took a leisurely drive over (about an hour total) and talked the whole way.  Lynnaea was quite content and well-behaved.  Because we had plenty of time, I decided to take Jeremy on a little tour of the things I used to know.  So we drove through campus.  And by the place my old graduate student apartment used to be.  I pointed out the library where I worked and attended school.  And we pulled up on front of the stadium and took pictures with the statues.  Of course!  I mean, I have pictures by Bear Bryant from my days in Tuscaloosa.  But I figured Lynnaea needed to be in one too -- you know, for posterity ;).

Then, because he is, after all, the up-and-coming next Bear Bryant -- and because the statue wasn't there when I lived there 6 1/2 years ago -- we took a picture with the Nick Saban statue too :).
And then, just because she is so stinking cute, Lynnaea decided to crawl on the pedestal of this guy who I don't even know.  But it was so cute that she climbed up there, stood there, and waited for us to take a picture, that I just had to :).
Deciding that this little munchkin needed a chance to run, we drove down to the Black Warrior River and walked along the trail.  And watched a barge or tug or something go by a couple times.  Of course, since this child has no fear -- and since there isn't a real fence to keep kids from the water -- we ended up carrying her a lot of the way.  Just to be safe.

We also stopped and took a family picture on the bridge.  Just thought it was too pretty not to.

Turns out, a little play place (which was fenced!) had been built since my days there.  I later learned from Annie that it was really recently built, actually.  It was perfect!  And we were the only ones there, so little missy could have her reign!  Jeremy played with her on it too, but she loved sliding and climbing.  It was just what we needed for her to burn off some energy!

And as I sat there on the park bench watching, I looked up and thought, "These are the types of days that make me think I could live in Alabama again and love it!"  The weather was perfect.

After a bit of play time, it was time for us to head to Swen's for some great Chinese food!  I don't know why, but that's where we always go to meet up with Annie and Virginia when I visit :).  I'm not always a Chinese-food lover...  But Swen's has never disappointed me!

It was a lovely visit.  We enjoyed the meal -- Lynnaea mostly enjoyed the fried wonton pieces -- and we chatted.  I love catching up with these wonderful ladies.  It means the world to me that we've kept in touch over the years.  Because they were a huge part of my time in Tuscaloosa.  They were a bright spot of dear friendship, and I am forever indebted to them for the goodness they brought into my life then -- and continue to bring in now.
We still had time after lunch to just relax.  And we knew we wanted Lynnaea happy for the ride home.  So why not let her play at the park again?  So we went back there, and Annie joined us.  So she and I visited a lot while Jeremy and Lynnaea played.  It was awesome :).

But as it goes...  The time passed, and we knew we didn't want to get stuck in Birmingham traffic.  So we headed out.  But not before stopping by the Nut Shop to pick up some boiled peanuts and roasted peanuts to bring back to Washington! 

We made good time back to Julie's -- but still at a nice pace.  No rush.  And we beat the crazy traffic ;).  It was a wonderful day in Tuscaloosa.  And I'm so glad we had the chance to visit it for more than just an hour this time :).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


So I realize you were probably expecting more Alabama trip pictures.  Because I totally owe them to ya ;). 

But I'm interrupting that regularly-scheduled programming to bring you a pregnancy update before I go get some shut-eye.

Reading that sentence over my shoulder, Jeremy said, "Are you still pregnant?"  Haha.  Funny man.


The answer is yes.  18 weeks today.  I have been feeling the little one move for about 2 weeks now.  Our guess is that it's a boy this time.  Jeremy thinks so because of a dream he had.  I think so because I felt so crummy in the first trimester, which was not the case at all with Lynnaea.  I go for my big ultrasound on Monday -- but we don't plan to find out gender, as with Lynnaea.  We'll have another surprise sometime around June 9th (the due date). 

And though, in this picture (taken tonight), all I look is fat...  I'm ecstatic to report that I have only gained 5 pounds, and I'm almost halfway done!  Woohoo!  My goal is not to exceed 20 pounds of weight gain this pregnancy, as I was already 5 pounds heavier than I'd hoped when I got pregnant.  The less I gain, the less I have to lose later! 

So there's that news :).  And a few pictures.  Because Lynnaea is too cute not to share!  (Also, we spent a week being sick and are just getting over it.  Finally.  That was one crummy cold!)

This was New Year's Eve.  She fell asleep on me earlier than usual.  We thought we were in for a great movie-date-night...  She woke up after an hour.  And that was the end of date night ;).
She has decided it's great fun to put the empty laundry basket over her head and walk around.  And laugh.  It's the cutest thing.
I put away all her 12 to 18 month clothes and got out everything up to 2T.  My baby is growing up.  I was looking at this dress against her to see if I thought she could still wear it.  She decided she wanted to wear it right then.  So I let her...  On top of her pajamas.  She kept it on for about half an hour and refused to have me take it off.  Hilarious.
And then these are from yesterday.  She looked so grown up in this outfit.  All 2T clothes.  Sigh.  I love this little girl.
She says "cheese!" when we take pictures.  And videos.  She's a crack-up.

And we'll return to our regularly-scheduled programming after these messages :).