Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Annie: Nine Months

At nine months, Annie is curious. About everything. She loves to explore and be on the go. She isn't doing the classic crawl yet, but she can get where she wants to go. She gets on her tummy and pushes with her toes to go forward, like a little snake. Makes Mama laugh! She loves to pull up on anything she can grab hold of, and she's starting to practice walking holding our hands. So cute. She loves books right now, and playing the piano. We've been listening to lots of Christmas music, too. If possible, she is even worse in the church nursery than before. We've just given up on it for now. We are still visiting churches and it is too hard on her going to different places and having people she doesn't know care for her. Once we decide on a church then we will go back to the nursery so Mama and Daddy can both listen to a sermon uninterrupted. :)

Annie is teeny-tiny. 15 pounds, 3 1/2 ounces and 26 1/2 inches long. That would be the fifth percentile for weight and the tenth for height. But she already weighs almost as much as I did on my first birthday and I turned out pretty normal, so I'm not concerned. I really don't understand it, because this baby LOVES to eat! She is still nursing about six times a day, and eats at least two servings of grains, two of fruit, two of veggies, two of dairy, and one of protein a day. We started cheese and yogurt this month and Annie is a huge fan. She has also gotten very good at feeding herself, yay! We spoon-feed her cereal and yogurt, but she does everything else on her own.

This month Annie has learned to wave, give kisses, and high-five (thanks to Aunt Tessie for teaching her that one). She is wearing 6-9 month clothes and size three diapers.

I love this sweet baby girl!







Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

A few photos from our week . . .

Thankful for this wonderful meal, hosted by Mama Rita and Papa Gene

Annie and her great-grandpa

Opening her first Christmas present, a "dance and play" puppy. She loves it and mama is glad it isn't a real one. We have enough of those. ;)



My blessings

Monday, November 21, 2011

Last Week

The past few weeks I've gotten to the end of the day and thought to myself, "What did I do today? I know I was busy all day long, but how did I actually spend my time?" So last week I kept a list. If you really want to know what a stay-at-home mom does,read on. I warn you it is not very glamorous. But I love it. :)

Monday: Whew, a Monday.
6:20am Annie wakes up, nurses, goes back to sleep. I get up.
Do Bible reading and have prayer time.
Straighten up the house, put away dishes.
Check email, read blogs, quick post on my blog.
Feed dogs, eat a bowl of cereal.
Shop online for box springs.
Start yoga.
8:30am Annie wakes up.
Stop yoga, get baby up, nurse.
Put baby on blanket on floor with toys while I finish yoga.
Feed baby breakfast.
Start laundry, get Annie dressed.
Talk to Mom on phone.
Take dogs and baby for a walk.
10:15am nurse Annie, put her down for a nap.
Swap laundry (I’ll be doing lots of laundry today – five loads).
Make self a snack, sit and read for 30 minutes.
Answer emails, scan the news.
Research how to repair squeaky box springs.
Read Better Business Bureau reviews of chimney sweeps and brick masons.
Call a chimney sweep.
Call a brick mason.
Swap and fold laundry.
Sand white cabinet for bathroom.
Get dressed in real clothes.
12:15pm Annie wakes up, nurses.
Swap and fold laundry.
Feed Annie lunch.
Make self a sandwich.
Spend time with Mom and play with Annie.
Swap and fold laundry.
2:45pm Annie goes down for a nap.
Plan menus and make grocery list.
Go grocery shopping at Aldi and Walmart while Honey babysits.
Unload car and put away groceries.
Nurse baby.
Feed dogs.
Make dinner (penne pasta with spinach and tomatoes, salad).
Wash dishes.
Put clean sheets on bed, finish laundry.
Iron two of the Gent’s shirts and a dress for Annie.
6:30pm Eat dinner with Annie, Mom (she's spending the night 'cause Dad is out of town), and the Gent.
Play with Annie.
Get Annie’s food for tomorrow out of freezer.
Sort mail, answer email, file receipts, clean off desk.
7:45pm Nurse Annie and tuck into bed.
Put on pjs and relax with the Gent and Mom.
Drink a glass of wine.
10:15pm Off to bed.

Tuesday: A rainy, busy day.
5:30am Annie wakes up, I go in and rub her back for a minute, she goes back to sleep till . . .
5:45am Annie wakes up, nurses.
6:45am I get up. Hard time getting going this morning, for no good reason.
Do Bible reading and prayer time.
Mail Tyler’s birthday card.
Check email and read blogs.
Register for storytime at the library.
Start yoga.
Huck throws up.
Three times. On yoga mat. On rug. On hardwood floor.
Stop yoga.
Clean up after Huck.
Finish yoga.
Feed dogs.
Put away dishes and empty dishwasher.
Eat breakfast. Splurge on a half cup of regular coffee.
Shop online for rugs.
8:30am Annie wakes up, nurses.
Feed Annie breakfast.
Help baby practice drinking from regular cup.
Raining today, so no walk. Poor puppies.
Sing “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” and “Singing in the Rain” while making faces in the mirror with Annie.
Brush dogs.
Vacuum downstairs while Annie plays in the jumperoo.
Mop kitchen with baby on hip.
Wash sheets for guest room.
Play with baby, help practice walking.
10:15am Nurse Annie, put down for a nap.
Check email again.
Make self a snack, sit and read for half an hour. Mama needs 30 minutes of alone time!
Make apple pie.
Get out of paint clothes since it is too wet to paint the cabinet that goes in the bathroom.
Lunch with Mom.
Order rug for entry way.
1:00pm Annie wakes up, nurses.
I go to dentist, Mom babysits.
3:15pm Annie goes down for a nap.
Check mail, pay bills.
Shop for box springs. Again.
Schedule haircut.
Work on Christmas present project.
Fix broken window blind.
4:45pm Annie wakes up, nurses.
Feed dogs.
Make dinner (herb-crusted pork loin, green beans, sweet potatoes).
Straighten house.
Have neighbors over for dinner.
8:00pm Nurse Annie, put down for night.
Relax with hubby.
Get some sleep.

Wednesday: A lazy, rainy day at home, with lots of time to spend with my baby girl.
5:00am Annie wakes up. I rub her back for a few minutes and tell her to go back to sleep. Like that works.
6:00am Annie gets up, nurses.
6:45am I get up.
Check email and read blogs.
Have quiet time.
Feed dogs.
8:05am Annie wakes up, nurses.
Play with Annie and eat breakfast.
Feed baby breakfast.
Talk to Mom on phone.
Dust upstairs.
Clean bathrooms.
Floor playtime with baby.
Start laundry.
10:00am Nurse baby and put down for a nap.
Swap laundry.
Mama’s snack and reading time.
Fold and put away laundry.
Blog post.
Answer email.
11:45am Annie wakes up, nurses.
Play with Annie, practice pulling up.
Feed Annie lunch.
Mix up bread dough.
Heat up leftovers for lunch.
Read to baby.
More playtime.
2:30pm Nurse Annie and put her down for a nap.
Shape bread dough into loaves, let rise again.
Relax and read.
Bake bread.
4:30pm Annie wakes up, nurses.
Feed dogs.
Sort mail.
Playtime till Daddy gets home.
Family dinner of leftovers, yum.
Change sheets on guest bed.
7:45pm Nurse Annie and tuck into bed.
Friends from out of town arrive to stay the night.
Catch up with friends, then get some sleep.

Thursday: A fun mama-daughter outing day. I blew off yoga, ‘cause Annie woke up early, and walking, ‘cause it was cold. And windy. And it wouldn’t be good for the baby to be out in that now, would it? ;)
5:15am Annie wakes up and nurses.
6:00am I get up, have coffee with friends and see them off to the airport.
Bible study.
Check email and blogs.
Eat breakfast.
Feed dogs.
Christmas shopping online.
7:45am Annie wakes up, nurses, plays for a while.
Feed Annie breakfast.
Get us both dressed.
Story time at the library!
10:30am Annie nurses and goes down for a nap.
Call Shutterfly about Christmas cards. Not happy with the way they turned out. Get refund.
Make shopping list.
Have an early lunch and read.
Call about dresser on Craigslist.
1:00pm Annie wakes up (YAY another long nap!!)
Nurse baby, feed her lunch.
Run errands.
Do some Christmas shopping.
Call brother to wish him happy birthday!
3:30pm Put baby down for a nap.
Put away shopping expedition purchases.
Straighten house.
Wrap hostess gift.
Check email, read the news.
4:45pm Annie wakes up, nurses.
Get freshened up for dinner.
Dinner with the Gent’s coworkers.
8:00pm Baby goes to bed.
Relax and get a good night’s sleep.

Friday: Getting ready for company and a tailgate.
5:55am Annie wakes up to nurse (baby, please go back to sleeping till 6 every morning!!)
6:15am I get up.
Make a cup of tea and have my quiet time.
Blog post.
Check email and read blogs.
Balance checkbook.
Check online financial accounts.
Write thank you note.
Feed dogs.
Glue oven latch.
Eat breakfast.
Talk to Mom.
Read news.
Make another phone call about Craigslist furniture.
9:00pm Annie wakes up and nurses.
Start laundry (three loads today).
Feed baby breakfast.
Play with baby.
Brush dogs.
Vacuum and swiffer floors.
Move rug from entry way to play room.
Take photos of play room rug for Craigslist.
Swap laundry.
Get Annie dressed.
Move rug from play room to garage.
Put flowerpots in garage.
11:00am Nurse Annie and put down for a nap.
Read and eat an early lunch.
Make chicken chili and redneck caviar for tailgate.
Make pizza pasta casserole for lunch Sunday.
Swap laundry.
1:00pm Annie wakes up, nurses.
Feed Annie lunch.
Fold and put away laundry.
Change sheets on guest bed.
Playtime with Annie.
Take dogs and baby for a walk.
Sort mail.
Check email.
3:30pm Put Annie down for a nap.
Paint cabinet for bathroom. Have been meaning to do this since Tuesday.
Bake cookies.
Bake cheesecake bars.
Lay out clothes for football game.
5:00pm Annie wakes up, nurses.
Feed dogs.
Set up new rug in entry way.
Set up new box spring in guest room.
Make a quesadilla for dinner.
8:00pm Annie nurses and goes to bed.
Papa Rick and Bebe arrive.
Visit and get some sleep.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Last Weekend

Last weekend we went to Honey and Poppa's house to watch a very sad football game. Annie was happy, at least. And the food was good. And the company was great.


Aunt Ne'

She loves this book from Bebe and Papa Rick. She likes to pet the puppy.

Practicing crawling with Daddy

Making sad faces at the game with Honey

Snuggling with Mama

Our little family

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Here are some adorable Annie photos for her attentive public. We did a Christmas card photo shoot this weekend and these were too cute not to share. I need to learn how to really use my camera . . . but these turned out pretty well with the portrait setting and natural lighting!





She kept trying to grab the swing chains:

And if she couldn't grab them, at least look up at them:

Practicing her "surprise" face:


Look at those sweet baby cheeks!

Saying "hi"

Oooooooh grass! In her mouth as soon as I snapped this photo.

She's got her Daddy's long and thick eyelashes.

Really? You need more pictures?!


Baby blues

Okay, I've had about enough

Monday, November 14, 2011

Baby Food

I've been making most of Annie's baby food, for several reasons:
- I like to cook
- I like knowing exactly what is in Annie's food
- I can expose her to a wider variety of foods (mango, anyone?)
- I can easily create different textures

If you're at all interested in making your own baby food, I have found this website to be very helpful:

Now, I've heard some other moms claim that making your own baby food is cheaper. I haven't found that to be the case, but that's probably because I feed Annie mostly organic foods. I'm sure she will fill up on pesticides at some point in her life, but I'm trying to hold off for at least the first year. :)

It is easy, though. You pretty much just steam or bake everything, then puree or cut it into chunks, whatever consistency you want. Then you freeze it and pull out what you need a day at a time. I usually cook enough for two to three weeks.

It works for us - if you are interested then give it a try!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Phriday Phone Photos and a Foster Parent Update

Here are the phone photos from our week. I am trying to remind myself to use all the fancy features on my iphone. I'll try to remember to post pictures a couple of times a month.

This little sweater, hat, and booties belonged to the Gent when he was a baby. One of his aunts made it for him. I love it and it is adorable on Annie with her little pink leggings. I bet the Gent didn't wear it with pink leggings. ;)


We've really enjoyed our walks this week because fall color has arrived at last! Our street is beautiful.


This is what the doggies look like after we walk:

I am already re-doing rooms. I was never quite happy with the family room. So we rearranged furniture and I've ordered a couple more chairs. Here's a grainy preview:

We had lunch at Chick-fil-A with the Gent. Annie had fun playing with her favorite toy: Daddy's sunglasses.

Annie has learned to pick up her food and feed herself, and she is so proud. Probably because the Gent and I applaud and cheer every time she does it. Sometimes she starts laughing at us and then the food falls out of her mouth, which kind of defeats the purpose! We are doing a combination of spoon feeding and self-feeding, and I am looking forward to the day when it is all self-feeding!


And now for a quick foster parenting update, 'cause there's not much to report yet. I talked with the social worker last week about next steps. We'll have orientation sometime in December, and start our training classes in January. They run for ten weeks. Then we'll start on paperwork. I'm not sure what all is required as far as a home study goes. We'll find out more as we go. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nine Months On, Eight Months Off

Eight months. That's how long it took me to finally get my body back after baby! For the record, it was definitely worth it. I loved being pregnant, I love having Annie, and I love fitting back into my clothes. :) At three months I had lost about 2/3 of the weight but had a long way to go in toning. At six months I was close to where I wanted to be and confident enough to wear my new bikini at the beach. And at eight months I'm there, other than a couple of extra pounds hanging on for nursing. I'll enjoy the cleavage while it lasts, ha!

I am not a super healthy eater, but I do pretty well. I try to restrict sweets to the weekend and we eat very little processed food around here. But it is football season which means lots of tailgating parties . . .

I got my body back mostly through exercise. Walking for the first three months, then Jillian's 30 Day Shred for three months, and the past six weeks or so I have just been walking 30 minutes (the dogs need it and Annie loves to be outside) and doing yoga five days a week. I like to walk and I love yoga, so I think this is what I will stick with for a while. Eventually I'll have to change up my routine because I get bored with the same thing. But right now I am enjoying the flexibility and balance I'm developing through yoga practice, and I feel relaxed and energized when I'm finished.

And I am writing all this so when the next baby comes along I will remember eventually a new normal re-emerges!

Monday, November 7, 2011

House Work

The Gent and a crew of friends and family, headed by my Uncle Richard, started the electrical rewiring project this weekend. We are so glad to have an electrician in the family! The house was a wreck but the new electrical panels are in so the Gent and Uncle Richard can start rewiring a room at a time now. This will be a months long process, I think, but it will be so worth it when it is finished!

The painters are almost finished with the outside of the house. They are just finishing up the fence now. They've done a fantastic job. And I'm so glad the Gent agreed to pay a crew to do it instead of us trying to do it ourselves. :) It has taken the professionals seven days to do the job, with a crew of 3 or 4. I can't imagine how long it would have taken us!

Papaw is coming in a few weeks to install a larger hot water heater so we won't have to take lukewarm showers anymore. Very excited about that.

I have been re-caulking and weatherproofing windows, touching up interior trim paint, researching the history of the house for our historic designation, and a few million other small projects.

It is looking pretty good around here!

Friday, November 4, 2011


This week the Gent and I celebrated the eighth anniversary of our first date. We've had a lot of fun together these past eight years. ;)

(ignore the wonky shadows)

In other news, Annie has her first ever cold. Poor baby. She stayed in her jammies all day yesterday and just snuggled with Mama and Honey (who babysat while I went to the library and researched the history of our house). Hoping she will start to feel better soon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Annie's First Halloween

Every year I have visions of pumpkin carving as this sweet family experience, where we will work on the pumpkin together, drink hot chocolate, and enjoy a cozy evening at home. Every year this turns out not to be true.

At eight months old, Annie could care less about pumpkin carving. She hung out in the jumperoo while I scooped out the insides of the pumpkin. The Gent was doing yard work outside.

I put Annie down for a nap, the Gent came in and got started on the designing and carving, and I made a grocery list. Woohoo.

Isn't he cute?

We do name our pumpkins every year, though. The first year was Alfred, then Fred, then a tribute to our alma mater, then Willifred. This year we moved on to a new name: Alex.

Annie was a very adorable ballerina for Halloween. We went to a neighborhood dinner and then came home to welcome trick or treaters.

Our little family