Monday, September 27, 2010

What a hoot!

The celebration is officially over. Ansley is a whole year old!

We celebrated 3 times! Three times I sang happy birthday, and three times Ansley looked at us like we were stupid.
The first celebration came a few days before her birthday. As we celebrated with close family friends, Ansley enjoyed her very first Twinkee (and, if Daddy has anything to say about it, that will also be her last!)

On September 21, we worked our way into her room at 7:20 in the morning, and woke her up singing "Happy Birthday." I discovered that Ansley is just like her momma in one way: if she's sleeping, don't wake her up unless you are ready to deal with the ensuing wrath.

Not the best picture, but she's obviously not very happy. But, I came offering gifts of chocolate chip muffins, so that should have made the early wake up worth it. I guess the mind of the 1-year-old couldn't quite grasp that.

But, we celebrated. We celebrated that evening with a trip to Nana and Poppa's. Not too exciting, because the real celebration was to come.

We have not had rain in nearly a month. But as we got closer to the day of the party, the chances of rain increased. And increased. And continued to increase. We had a special fundraiser that morning for work, and we were rained on periodically. I debated changing the date.

And the sky was dark. And her party was planned for 3:30 in the afternoon, right smack dab in the middle of the rain cloud. But, I stood strong. We were having her party OUTSIDE, and it was going to be perfect.

I had debated for several weeks on what the theme should be. Princess, out. FOREVER. Hopefully, Ansley will appreciate the fact that she's not a princess, and that doesn't mean we love her any less. She can enjoy princess movies, but the moment she is seen in a shirt that says "I'm a princess," call the authorities and report a kidnapping.

I also knew I didn't want to simply do a theme of the number "1." Though she's not a princess, Ansley deserves more than just that. After much deliberation, and fighting the urge to go against the grain with something completely obscure, I decided to go with owls. Because it was so.stinkin'.cute.

I mean, look at that! Absolutely adorable. And, those big blue eyes reminded me of Ansley's, so I had to go with it.

So, I had the decorations, including a pinata. (Yes, I bought a pinata for a 1-year-old's birthday party. And I filled it with candy. And little party favors that my mom yelled at me for giving to Ansley.) I couldn't just make other plans. It wouldn't work. No one had RSVPed, so, if I moved it, I had no idea who to contact to let them know. So, we finished up our cake, packed up the car, and headed to our destination. And, by cake, I mean totally awesome, homemade and decorated piece of brilliance.

I know it isn't professional quality or anything, but it was so outside of my comfort zone to even attempt this. Normally, I solve problems by throwing money at them, not by picking up a tube of frosting (though, honestly, that could make for some very interesting debates.).

We kinda took the "K.I.S.S." method when it came to her party. I knew I wanted it to be something special, because, honestly, I feel as though I've dropped the ball a lot as a first time mother. But, I knew anything too extravagant was just a waste of resources, since she wouldn't enjoy being outside at one park anymore than outside at another. But, I have dropped the ball a few times. I don't have her feet prints in her baby book. I don't remember exactly what day she started crawling, or even when she started standing on her own. I don't know the date of the first time she said "momma." Though she wouldn't remember, I wanted something fun for my memory bank.

So, we kept it simple, but made some great memories. We had family and friends there to help celebrate, and I'm pretty sure Ansley got more gifts than she really knew what to do with.

And, there was cake. Rather, cupcakes. And, Ansley devoured it.

Yes, Ansley had a matching bib, thanks to my bestie and one of Ansley's "Aunts." She also had a matching shirt that I managed to save until her birthday, and now she can wear it whenever! Hoot!

All in all, it was a very special day, despite the fact that some very important people were unable to share in the celebration. And, at the end of the day, when Ansley was tired and finally curled up in bed, I was able to sigh a big sigh of relief. The rain held off, people showed up, and my little girl enjoyed her first birthday party.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Little Lady.

My beautiful little Ansley,
I don't know how we've gotten this far. But, we have. And we'll keep moving forward.
This is where I'm supposed to write all that sappy stuff about you no longer being an infant and becoming your own little person. About how you've said goodbye to your bottle, developed your own personality, and have even taken a few steps. But despite your increasing independence, I know you are still my baby girl.
You don't stop moving very long. You aren't very cuddly. But tonight, right in the middle of play time, you crawled over to me and snuggled. It was just a few seconds before that need to explore kicked back in, but it was just long enough for me to catch that now familiar scent of Johnson's Baby Shampoo, mixed with the sweet smell of clean pjs. My heart leapt, and I remembered that day a year ago.
I remember that first cry, especially because it didn't come right away. I remember that first kiss, though, I'll honestly admit, you hadn't been cleaned off yet and it grossed me out to kiss you still covered in mommy's baby juice. But, I did it. Because you were my baby.
The next few hours left mommy so weak and disoriented that she couldn't get down to the nursery right away. But daddy had pictures.
And then we brought you home. And you grew. And you are still growing. Each day reveals a little more of who you are, and what you are becoming. You are happy. Despite the fear and anxiety that often surround you, you laugh. You smile. And, most of the time, it's at the UPS men.
You love your puppies. You share your kisses with them almost more willingly than you do with us. But that's ok, little girl. Because Mommy knows that at the end of the day, when the house is getting dark and sleep is closing in, we retreat to your room and cozy up in the big chair, without the puppies, and I get all the kisses.
We rock. I don't mean that we are cool, though that's true, but I mean in your chair. Sometimes we'll rock a little longer than other times. And you'll cuddle in, for just a moment. And, in that moment, I know that no matter how old you are, and how big you get, you'll always be my little girl.
I love you little girl. Happy Birthday to you!


I'm not ready for this.

I just put my little baby girl to bed for the night. A little early because she skipped her afternoon nap.

When I get up in the morning, I'll have a 1-year-old.

And I can say that, because she was born at 6:20 a.m.

Goodnight baby girl, and good morning little lady.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh my.

My child likes to shake her booty.

More specifically, she likes to shake her booty to rap music.

And the theme song for "Bones."

What a cute little weirdo.


I love my husband. I love that he frequently brings me fresh flowers.

I love my dogs. I love that they know when I'm upset, and need a furry cuddle.

I love that even though Jillian Michaels is kicking my butt, I feel good. Because I'm doing something about my fat jeans not fitting.

I love that Ansley is generally a happy baby, and loves to wave at people.

I love her birthday decor.

I love my house, though am not at all opposed to getting rid of the old carpet.

I love that as I read more of the Bible, I feel closer to the Lord.

I love that even though our babysitting situation didn't work out, we've been able to find the best possible replacement.

I love polka-dots.

I love that a dear friend who just had a baby is able to strengthen my faith.

I love that the hubs got a much needed raise.

I love crunchy leaves.

I love reading books in a bubble bath.

I love watching Ansley nervously take a few steps, only to drop to her knees and crawl at lightening speed.

I love the feeling of satisfaction and comfort that comes with writing.

I love my life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In the blink of an eye.

Last weekend? Super crazy. And now, it's over.

Friday: Trip to town to look at some cars in hopes of solving single-car frustration.
Car lot closed. Settle for a great dinner at O'Charlie's. All in all, not a bad day. Except upon arriving home and noticing a huge hole in the center of our guest bed's mattress. Luckily, it's just a foam mattress, so we weren't out too much.

Saturday: The hubs wakes up with a scratch in his throat. Progresses through the day. Fantasy football draft, which found Peyton Manning on my team. Score. Oh, and, we traveled to visit the in-laws, during which time my wonderful dog had 6 puppies. Probably explains the mattress.

Sunday: Hubs worse than the day before, and Ansley really is a little booger. Skip church to nurse my family back to health, all while fighting it silently myself. One puppy dies. Cried a bit, which didn't help the sore throat or congestion. Day ends with a trip to my parents for dinner. Solid.

Monday: Early trip to car dealership, only after having discovered a bestie was in labor... on labor day! Laughed at the irony for a bit (ok, honestly, still laughing about that). Leave dealership after about 3 hours to think about the proposed deal. Visit friend in hospital, meet new baby. Glorious gift of life. Return to dealership to sign papers, only to discover after 2 more hours that they had prepared them wrong and the original amount they quoted us would have to increase by about $50 a month. Turned around and walked out. Bummed. Dinner out with hilarious little girl (Ansley), followed by some emotional shopping. After trying on my normal size of jeans, bought the next size up. That's never good.

Tuesday: Got up for work. Those pants that I bought a size up? Yup. Still too small. Yikes. Had a friend over to help with decorating for fall (blessed season). Had my rear end kicked by Jillian Michaels. In fact, I couldn't even finish the workout. And she said she'd see me tomorrow. We'll see about that.

And, here we are. Catching up on all the latest social networking going on, listening to the workout DVD music playing over and over, and enjoying the miracle of life that's just 5 feet away in a box, 20 feet away in a nursery, and 50 miles away in a hospital.

Life is beautiful. Even when it seems to be colored gray.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Brand New Day

Despite sleeping in the recliner last night with a stuffy baby (and, subsequently her sliding off in the middle of the night...oops), today has been a much brighter day than yesterday.

After a rough night, I put Ansley in the bed with Paul while I got ready for work. When I came in to tell him bye, this is what I caught:

Can it get much better than that?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Deep breaths.

I'm frustrated. And it's getting the better of me.

I'm frustrated that we are a one-car family again, with no end in sight. I'm frustrated that the hubs will be working 6 days a week until sometime next year. I'm frustrated that we see more of our coworkers than we do of each other.

I'm frustrated that my dog is knocked up, and despite being medicated, is covered in fleas. I'm frustrated that I brought Rufus home in the first place. I'm frustrated that Bunker ate two of my favorite pairs of shoes in two days.

I'm frustrated that the only decent channel we get has changed it's signal and we don't get it anymore. And I'm frustrated that it's the channel that shows baseball, football and Glee.

I'm frustrated that as I work my way off this medicine, I feel like my head is spinning, making me want to keep taking it. I'm frustrated that I'm tired all the time, and leave work with a headache almost every day.

I'm frustrated that the neighbor's don't have a stronger internet signal. I'm frustrated Ansley's room is the wrong color, and I can't find the time to repaint. I'm frustrated that the new curtain rods I bought don't fit. I'm frustrated that I can't squeeze the staple gun to finish recovering the recliner in Ansley's room.

I'm frustrated I can't blog more. I'm frustrated that I'm not as funny or have as many followers as other blogs I read.

I'm frustrated that Ansley has learned how to dump a bucket full of water out of the tub during her bath. I'm frustrated that she hasn't been sleeping well.

I'm frustrated that I'm jealous of an unborn baby. I'm frustrated that as we toss around the idea of a second child, I can't help but think it won't work, and we should just stop here.

I'm frustrated that I've gained weight, and my fat jeans are too small. And I'm frustrated that all I want to do is eat half baked ice cream and chocolate chip pancakes.

I'm frustrated that I have a college degree that I'm not using. I'm frustrated that despite being a 2-income family, I feel like we're barely keeping our heads above water.

And, I'm frustrated that I'm frustrated.