Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall Bucket List Update

Can you believe October is almost over? This month always flies by, probably because I like it so much. The trees in our yard are the most gorgeous in the neighborhood (in my completely biased opinion). I remembered back at the end of August I put together a fall bucket list and I thought I’d give an update at what I’ve checked off of it thus far:

-Visit a Pumpkin Patch with Cooper.
Check! We visited The Barnyard three weeks ago and had a merry ole time.

-Watch House on Haunted Hill at least once.
FAIL. Maybe I’ll find time one night this week. I do this every year and I’ll be disappointed if I don’t!

-Choose Awesome coordinating family costumes for Halloween.
FAIL. We all three got costumes but they SO do not coordinate. I’m Snow White, Cooper is Donald Trump, and Chris is a blow-up luchador. He gets…creative with his costumes. If I had any sense at all I would have made Cooper a dwarf. Sneezy perhaps.

-Visit Trade Days at Tannehill.
Check! Went two weeks ago with Mom, Kaylen and of course Cooper. The best part was the boiled peanuts.

-Try my first Starbucks PSL.
FAIL. I know! BAD basic white girl! But I’m determined to put a check next to this one!

-Go to an Alabama Game.
Double Check! Went to Bama vs Middle Tennessee and the Homecoming game against Arkansas. Cooper enjoyed the homecoming festivities and almost got picked up by a sorority girl.

-Eat lots of Candy Corn.
Check! I’ve kept a steady supply in my stash drawer at work.

4/7. Not bad! And there's still time to check some more off!
Tonight we took Cooper to a Trunk or Treat in town.  He was the cutest little Donald Trump ever!  He shook hands and kissed babies.  Adorable pictures to come later.  Have a safe and happy Halloween, yall!

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

All the Highs and Lows in One Saturday

Parenting is funny.  Not funny haha but funny weird.  Your kid can send you from the happiest high to the ugliest crying low and doesn't need fifteen minutes to do it.

Saturday the three of us had nothing to do but hang out at home.  Cooper has been saying the usual "da da da da" forever.  Chris loves it.  He eats it up.  After giving Cooper his bath I was getting him dried off and he said "mamamama"!  Clear as a bell!  He hasn't said it since but that's good enough for me.  That was high #1.

At lunch time I got him set up in his high chair with baby food, spoon, huge bib, and extra paper towels.  I started feeding him and he promptly started spitting whole mouth fulls out.  He's been doing this for about a week now.  After about three bites and getting butternut squash everywhere BUT in his mouth I got frustrated, gave up and fed him a bottle.  That was low #1.

After a nap, Cooper and I both got tired of being in the house so I loaded him up in his baby wearer and we went for a walk.  It wasn't sunny outside but it was still pretty.  We walked around taking pictures and went all the way to Mom and Dad's house.  I was pretty tired from toting twenty solid pounds all that way.  Mom and Dad weren't home so we sat in the rocker on the porch listening to music on my Spotify.  He fell asleep and we must have sat there for an hour and a half.  It was so quiet and peaceful and there's nothing like a sleeping baby in your arms to give you warm fuzzies.  That was high #2.

At time for dinner we got him buckled into his high chair again for another try.  A few nights ago, he was dropping his pacy out of his rock n play on purpose and I told him in my best, stern mommy voice "NO".  When that didn't work I popped his hand.  He laughed at me...all three times.  This kid is gong to be just like his dang daddy.  After ONE BITE of whatever the orange stuff was he spit it out and got it on his clothes, his hair, my clothes and my glasses.  I popped his hand again, harder this time.  He stopped and his mouth dropped open.  He looked at me like I had just lost every bit of trust I'd gained in the past nine months and those big, beautiful, blue eyes welled up with tears.  He cried and I folded like a chair.  I grabbed him up and held him and told him Mama was sorry.  His crying didn't last long.  Mine did.  He was more tired than hungry so I got in the bed with him and cried and cried until we both fell asleep.  That was low #2.  Very low.

Sometimes, like on the front porch, I think "Motherhood is awesome!  Why didn't I do this sooner?!  This isn't so hard!"  Then other times I feel like the worst mother in the world because he tries my patience and I get frustrated with him and I feel like I shouldn't because he's the best and most beautiful baby in the world ever born and how dare I get mad at this precious gift from God.

This is just real motherhood.  Every mom has highs and lows even if they don't talk about the lows.  At least that's what I tell myself.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bonfires, Pumpkins, and a Ring Box

Sunday night my family had a big bonfire/pumpkin carving party at my parents’ house. The weather was beautiful and crisp with a cool breeze. Dad grilled fifty hot dogs and Mom made hot chocolate and had laid out everything needed to roast marshmallows. It was looking to be perfect, autumn evening. When everyone got there just before sunset all twenty-seven of us lined up to take the obligatory group photo in front of the hay field. Mom set up the tripod and snapped the first picture. She went back to look at it and said “Daniel, you didn’t smile! We have to take it again!”

…and then Daniel dropped to one knee behind Kaylen and took a ring box out of his back pocket.

 She turned and saw him and in his sweet, country way said, “You know I love you. Will do me a favor and marry me?”  Even on his knees he was almost taller than her. She grabbed him by his face, already at eye level, kissed him and said “Well, put it on me!”

My baby sister is getting married!

A few weeks ago I dreamed in detail that Kaylen and Daniel got married. I saw every ridiculous detail; from the flowers still wrapped in plastic that had been picked up at the grocery store, to the pearl encrusted jacket Kaylen wore over her tea length gown. Daniel wore an outfit similar to the one he proposed in: jeans, t-shirt and a ball cap. I walked down the aisle wearing a purple dress holding Cooper in my arms. I had to stop during the ceremony to run to the bathroom which was conveniently located on the alter. In the dream during toast time I said that I had long ago accepted Daniel as a brother-in-law and that I wished them all the happiness in the world. That was the only part of the dream that was realistic.

Let the wedding planning begin!

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall Weekends are the Best Weekends

The past weekend was a very busy one. But a very good one.  Yes, I'm aware a new weekend starts this evening but whatever.

Saturday was Homecoming at Bryant Denny. Dad and I had tickets to the game and Mom and Cooper drove down with us to see all the pregame festivities. He was decked out in his Alabama gear and looking very handsome if I do say so. Kaylen heard a co-ed tell her friend, “OMG look at his eyes! I just wanna smell his head! I bet it smells like Johnsons!” What can I say? College girls love them some Cooper.
In my book the weather could not have been more perfect. It was overcast but never rained a drop. The temperature was around that fine line where everyone is somehow comfortable. The game itself was ugly as sin but whatever. A win’s a win I guess. I didn’t get home until midnight and I crashed as soon as I got my makeup off.

Saturday morning after what felt like very little sleep we got up early to get ready for another full day. First was breakfast at IHop with Mom and Dad. Going against my MO I tried something new: Hazelnut Crepes with Bananas. Not bad. Not my new favorite but not bad. After that it was Party City to look for Coop a costume (we have it narrowed down between a devil or the circus strong man) and then we met Kaylen and Daniel off the beaten path at a little pumpkin patch. It was the cutest little place! There were barnyard animals to feed, a tractor ride, horse and pony rides, and of course pumpkins. Cooper pet the baby goats, rode the horse with me, and picked out a little baby pumpkin all while Mom took a gazillion pictures. And I’m so glad she did.  Plus how awesomely basic do I look in my fall flannel?

That baby makes my heart full and I’m so glad I have a family that loves him to share all these milestones with.
That’s one more thing marked off my Fall Bucket List!
Now that I've covered last weekend time to begin another one!  Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015


It’s funny how after having a baby you acquire a new normal and things that might have seemed strange or inconvenient before are now an everyday occurrence and you don’t notice or mind.

We’ve fallen into a routine in the evening that I’m pretty fond of. I leave work and go pick Cooper up at Mom and Dad’s. When we get home Chris is done or close to done cooking supper. We eat on the couch on our fold-out coffee table (that I hate the sight of but it’s served its purpose well for the past 8 years) and Cooper sits behind/between us. I say “sit” but it’s more of a roll, crawl, stand, climb situation. I try to eat with one hand while simultaneously keeping him from falling over or rolling right off the couch while he pulls himself up and climbs all over me like a spider monkey. Funny thing. He’d rather climb on me than Chris, but only when we’re eating. Most afternoons his Nanny gives him a bath but on days she doesn’t we bathe him in his tub in the kitchen sink after we eat, which is a family affair. I soap him up and when I pour water over his head to rinse him you’d think he was being water boarded...if water boarding was adorable.

When we’re done eating and bathing the three of us just hang out on the couch playing and talking until he gets fussy and it’s time for a bottle and bed. That’s when I take Cooper into our bedroom and give him his nightcap. He’s usually nearly asleep before he even polishes off the last of the bottle and when he’s done I just hold him close to me for a few minutes before I put him in his rock’n play. [Yes, he’s almost nine months old and still hasn’t spent a night in his crib.] When he’s good and asleep I go back and watch TV with Chris or just lie in bed reading next to him.

I used to dread evenings because I didn’t know what kind of mood Cooper would be in, if I was going to get to eat all my dinner, how long it would take him to fall asleep, or if I was going to get any time to relax before I had to go to sleep just to start over the next morning. Now the evening is my favorite time of day. Chris and I both work full-time (which I feel horribly guilty about) so this is our chance to enjoy him and just be together at the end of the day.

Lately every night when I turn off the light and roll over to go to sleep I find myself thinking, “today was a good day” and thanking God for my two boys.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Serena - A Book Review

 Serena by Ron Rash

And the reading slump is over! This is the first book I’ve read in a long time that captivated me and left me eager to get home and in the bed to read some more. I thought I was going to be chomping at the bit to watch the movie afterward but I saw a trailer and I think I’ve changed my mind. I’m not sure I see Jennifer Lawrence as Serena and it looks like they changed the plot so much I’m afraid I’ll be left disappointed.
But let ‘s not put the cart before the horse…

The Good: SO. MUCH. GOOD. The writing is simple and effective without being pretentious, the characters are interesting and the plot keeps moving.  Serena is an intriguing character and you want to keep turning pages to see what she'll say or do next.  She's completely unlikable and she OWNS it.  The author's descriptions make it easy to visualize the rugged setting and the equally rugged supporting characters.  Plus being a Smoky Mountain lover I loved the little reference to places I've actually been to like Cades Cove and Clingmans Dome.
The Bad: The argument could be made that Serena is one-dimensional. But I like the dimension she’s in so I’m not arguing.
Bottom Line: If you haven't figured it out by now, I loved it.  Just a really great novel with memorable characters.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Confessions Big and Small

gold sandals, hardwood, gray comforter, confessions

-I confess that the only thing I’m going to miss about summer is the above pictured pair of sandals that go with everything in my closet.

-I confess that I went the weekend without taking a shower.  #NoShame.

-I confess that I don’t want to have any more babies because I never want to feel the way I felt after having Cooper ever again.

-I confess that someone told me some really great news the other night and I turned green with jealousy and it ate me up the rest of the evening.

-I confess that I cried ALL THROUGH Dancing with the Stars last week.

-I confess I lied through my crooked teeth to somebody Wednesday about something stupid and I'm still debating telling them the truth.

-I confess that I don’t want Planned Parenthood to get a dime of any taxpayer’s money. 

-I confess that I’m not Catholic but if the Pope was within reach I’d throw Cooper at him to get a blessing.

-I confess I really want to learn how to drive a forklift.

-I confess that sometimes I wonder if I was selfish bringing a baby into a world that's going to hell in a hand basket.

Well I feel better.
Have a fabulous FALL weekend.

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