Monday, April 30, 2012

Wal-Mart Checkers

Ahh Wal-Mart. I really don't enjoy my shopping experiences there but it is cheaper than other area grocery stores and there are always things besides groceries that I need (on today's list: birdseed, a hairbrush, and a graduation card). So I put up with the craziness to save some money. But, oh, how I dream of doing all my shopping at Publix someday. :D

As anyone who's shopped at Wal-Mart knows, the most interesting part of the experience is always the check-out line. Will it be fast, will it be slow? What delightful story will the checker want to share with you?

Three grocery trips ago I was regaled with a tale about how the checker's daughter-in-law was a (bunch of names I won't repeat on this family blog) and made her wear a dress that made her look like (another word I won't repeat here) to her son's wedding but that's okay, she could wear it again on Halloween if she dressed as a (insert word of your choice). I always try to be polite, but ummm really how was I supposed to respond to this?

Two grocery trips ago I bought whole bean decaf coffee. If you want whole bean decaf, you have to buy it by the pound (you know, where you fill your own bag with fresh beans). The checker didn't know how to ring it up. After I told her how to do it, she blurts out, "Eleven dollars for coffee?! That's crazy!! Who would pay that for COFFEE??!?!" Obviously, I would. There are few things we splurge on around here and good coffee is one of them.

One grocery trip ago I went to lift Annie out of the cart and told the checker, "I'll be right back, I'm just going to grab a coke." She quickly waved me off, "no, no, I will get it for you, what kind would you like?" She was friendly (but not overly so), quick to ring up my purchases, and genuinely acted like she was having the time of her life running the Wal-Mart check-out line. Wow. As I left, I heard her greet the next customer enthusiastically and start all over again.

So I'm going grocery shopping again today . . . wonder what will happen?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Changes around the House

I've been promising these pictures for a while, I know! I decided that a few of our rooms weren't "done" so I've been re-doing them. We also had our chimney re-mortared and a cap put on so rain doesn't come in any more, and the Gent, my Dad, and the neighbors put a new roof on our shared garage. But I didn't download any pictures of that, so you'll have to content yourselves with these.

Master bedroom re-do. I just wasn't happy with the green bedding. I kept the new white duvet cover I bought when we moved in, pulled out my old blue quilt and pillow shams, and added some pops of orange. I'm loving this new color combination, especially for summer. (Mom, thanks for spray-painting the side table for me!)



Kid's room re-do. This was the guest room and had two twin beds. Now it is all set up for foster kiddos. We will be fostering children ages 0-4, so we needed a crib and a big-kid bed. Right now we are only able to take one child, but after we get a bigger vehicle next year we will be able to take two (possibly three? we'll just see how this goes). Crib is a Jenny Lind I bought off Craigslist. The two little white dressers are Craiglist purchases, too. They were red, so the Gent re-painted them. The room is set for a girl now, with the pink crib sheet, pillow, and afghan, but I have blue things to switch them out with if we have a little boy placed with us. Mom made the gingham valances and the crib skirt. I was able to find the sheets and bumper pads. The cross-stitched alphabet hung in mine and Tyler's nursery.





Playroom re-do! We had the floors refinished (they had a couple of layers of paint on them) and they are BEAUTIFUL. Makes me want to have the whole house re-done, but then I'd cry when doggies and baby toys and my favorite pair of heels scratch them. :) The play kitchen and couch were my mom and her sisters when they were growing up. Papaw made them. Mom refurbished them and Annie is having a blast! The rug is from Overstock and I love the round shape. The bins on the bottom shelves of the bookcases hold toys. The monkey and alphabet artwork are from TJ Maxx. I painted the family rules canvas. I love this room now, it is so inviting. Annie and I spend lots of time playing in here. I use the big table for crafts and folding laundry.





The family room bookcases are finally finished!!! Papaw and the Gent built them a couple of months ago. The Gent got them painted a few weeks ago. Last weekend we finally brought them in the house and installed them (ummm quite a job but they are in now and they are not going anywhere). Tuesday Mom put the trim on and I caulked and did one final coat of paint. Today I arranged the books. The bookcases look fantastic, like they were there when the house was built. Hurray, this project turned out so well!


Gardening. We have been doing lots and lots of gardening. We planted knockout roses along the side of the house, candytuft along the fence, and are filling in the side garden and back terraces with perennials. Our yard has lots and lots of little beds divided by concrete pathways, terraces, etc. And nothing had been done with them in about five years. Slowly but surely it is coming together. In a year or two when things have grown in it is going to look fantastic. And it definitely looks better than it did when we first moved in--everything is cleared out and the front yard of red mud has been replaced with a lawn. Much thanks to our families for all their manual labor and to Nana and Papaw for all the transplants from their beautiful gardens.



And the front porch is beautiful but I don't have any pictures and Annie is awake from her nap so you will have to do without. I have boxwoods by the front doors, ferns in hanging baskets, and impatiens in the window boxes. Come by and see it in person sometime!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Annie: Fourteen Months

My baby girl is getting so big! I see glimpses of the toddler to come. She is standing really well and has attempted a step a couple of times, but she still prefers crawling. She has the balance to walk so I think it is just a matter of making up her mind. She loves climbing (especially the stairs and her little couch) and I have to keep a close eye on her! She is having lots of fun with other kids now--she plays in the nursery at church (she finally started going consistently at about eleven months) and she loves toddler storytime at the library. She still loves her books and is enjoying her play kitchen and push toys, too. She has become a more finicky eater this month, refusing all vegetables except sweet potatoes, peas, and lima beans. She is being picky about meat, too. She is eating lots of fruit, whole wheat bread and tortillas, yogurt, cheese, and oatmeal. I guess this is just a phase that we're going through. Overall Annie is a very happy baby and she brings us so much joy!






Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Zion Chandler and Natural Miscarriage

We decided on a name for Munchkin: Zion Chandler. Zion is from the Bible and means "heaven." Chandler is a family name. Every couple has to make their own decisions, but I like having names for all my babies--no matter how long they live all our babies are part of our family. A name is something solid to remember, and to reference. So much more personal than "my third pregnancy" or "it."

A few words about natural miscarriage for those who want to know (if not just stop reading now.) We found out at seven weeks that Zion was not growing; this was confirmed with another ultrasound at eight weeks. My doctor offered us options of surgery (D&C), pills, or waiting it out. I didn't even have to think about it, I knew I would prefer a natural miscarriage. Again, this is something that is different for every woman, but these were my reasons. 1) lower chance of complications (surgery and the pills are generally safe, but in the rare event that things go wrong, they can go really, really wrong, resulting in problems with later pregnancies or even loss of fertility. not to say things can't go wrong naturally, but it typically happens more slowly and there is time for medical intervention if necessary) 2) eliminates any doubt about whether or not the pregnancy was viable and you opted for surgery or pills when the baby would have been okay (again, rare but it does happen and I couldn't live with the what-ifs) 3) waiting it out gave me time to emotionally accept Zion's loss and prepare for it before the physical loss occurred. When I opted to wait I knew I could be in for a wait of several weeks, though miscarriages generally occur by week twelve. I thought at first it would be hard to wait but it really wasn't. At ten weeks I started spotting and miscarried a couple of days later (April 20). I had some cramping and heavy bleeding for about an hour and that was it. It really wasn't bad at all. I've definitely had worse menstrual cramping and compared to natural childbirth it was nothing. I'm still spotting a little and that should taper off in a few days.

About trying again . . . my doctor said whenever we are ready, no medical reason to wait the 1-3 months that used to be the standard recommendation. We aren't at any higher risk in future pregnancies (three miscarriages in a row is when doctors start to get concerned). The statistics keep changing, but the latest study I saw suggested miscarriage rates as high as 40% of all pregnancies (lots of those occur really early, before you even know you're pregnant), and most miscarriages are because of severe genetic defects. Both of our miscarriages are assumed to be in that category, especially since I've carried one pregnancy to term.

Anything I forgot to answer? I tried to be honest but not overwhelm with detail. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What I Know

On Easter Sunday we sang Aaron Shust's "My Savior Lives." Part of the lyrics go like this:

I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior

My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God He's always gonna be

Those words spoke to my heart. It is easy to question God, to be angry, to just want to understand. Why didn't my prayers get answered the way I wanted? Why do I have to go through the loss of a baby again? I could go on and on with the questions, but I wouldn't get anywhere. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that God's ways are not our ways. And His way is better, despite what I can see at the time. I am not skilled to understand the mysteries of God, but I do know that at His right hand is our Savior. Our Savior who loves so greatly that He laid down His life for us, our Savior who never leaves us or forsakes us. So I'm focusing on what I know. God is good. All the time.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Saturday we took the day off. Our weekends have been packed since January. We've either been traveling, had company, or been working on house and landscaping projects (I'll have pictures for you soon). Most of what we've done has been fun, but we (the Gent especially) have not had any down time. So Saturday was our day. We slept till Annie woke us up at 7:45, watched a landscaping show in bed, ate waffles, and relaxed. Uncle Tyler came by for lunch (making pizza and taking a shower were the only productive things I did). I decided since I was showered and dressed we should go somewhere, so we went to the botanical gardens and wandered around. Annie had a blast having our undivided attention all day. Then she napped and the Gent and I read. We had leftover Mexican for dinner, played with Annie, put her to bed and watched a movie and some baseball. Glorious day. On a side note, Annie is so close to walking but she doesn't seem interested. She can stand independently and she has taken one step on two occasions, but she prefers crawling still for now. She has perfected the crawl up the stairs and loves climbing on her little couch in the playroom. IMG_6641 IMG_6642 IMG_6646 IMG_6651 IMG_6653 IMG_6662 IMG_6663 IMG_6664 IMG_6666 IMG_6667 IMG_6672 IMG_6678 IMG_6679

Friday, April 20, 2012

Phriday Phone Photos

Emptying baskets is so much fun! Thankfully, this week she's learned that putting things back into baskets is lots of fun, too. She's actually a little obsessive about this right now--she has two baskets for fruit and vegetables in her play refrigerator, and she can't stand for any of her food to be on the shelf--it has to be in the basket to make her happy. I'm so proud of my little mini-me. I hope this continues for all her life. ;)
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I love a picture of a sleeping baby
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And a smiley one, too
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Kiddo loves her books. Of course her Daddy and I encourage her. She will sit in the floor and entertain herself by "reading" for a good half-hour.
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I think her favorite time of day is when Daddy gets home!
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Mama Rita made us these adorable cupcakes for Easter. They tasted even better than they looked, yum yum!
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I finally got my hair cut, hip hip hooray! Finding a new stylist after a move is always traumatic, ha!
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Playing with Mama's old dance clothes
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Fresh flowers make me happy
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And on that note, happy Friday, y'all. I'm going out for a margarita tonight. :D

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Once Upon a Time Baby Shower

My mom, her sisters, and Nana hosted a baby shower for my cousin and his wife. They are expecting a little boy in July and Annie is excited about having a playmate! The shower was so cute with it's Once Upon a Time theme!

Reading with Papaw before the shower





helping the mama-to-be



Girl loves tissue paper

Admiring baby's cradle