Friday, January 30, 2009

Getting Older

Here is a video from Bennett at dinner last night. And she's not really one yet, she's 11 months, but it's easier to teach her to say that she's one than 11 months.

And like the bath pictures below, here's a video of her at 3 weeks to contrast this recent one. I am still in shock at how fast it goes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why my husband rocks

Because he leaves the house at 9:00pm to get a milkshake for his wife. Even though he has a sinus headache. And even though it is 2 degrees outside. And snowing. And he doesn't complain once. I told you that he rocks. Now as for why I wanted a milkshake in freezing temperatures after a huge dinner? Well, that's why my pants don't fit.

Monday, January 26, 2009

11 months old

11 months old. I can hardly believe it. What happened to the pink and warm bundle I brought home that cold day in February? Who is this giggling baby that replaced her? It really does go by fast. I'm afraid everyone was right. I now have this adorable little thing that waves bye-bye, loves to clap, blows kisses, pumps her fist in the air when she likes her food, crawls everywhere, walks if you're holding her hands, laughs when you laugh, repeats sounds after you, loves to be tickled, and loves to read books snuggled with you. I love her more and more every day. As her first birthday is approaching I am going to post pictures of Bennett then and now. I think I look pretty much the same as a year ago. Maybe I'm a few pounds (okay quite a few) heavier, the hair's a little shorter, and the nerves are a little more frayed, but I think I look and act basically the same. But that's why you won't be seeing pictures of me from then and now. Just the little one who is doing all of the changing.

Bennett having her bath 11 months ago

Bennett having her bath a few days ago. Can you see those adorable bottom teeth? You can click on the picture to see them better. I need the next 11 months to go a lot more slowly!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Sometimes I don't know I survive day to day. We decided to check out the traditional service today at our new church. I also thought that I might meet my new pastor, Adam, so I wanted to look nice in case I got to meet him or any of Rob's co-workers.

Picking out an outfit was a little tricky. I never lost the weight from Bennett completely and so really this pregnancy worked out pretty well. Why lose it all just to gain it back, right? That's what I tell myself anyway when the carton of carton of Blue Bell calls my name. So, clothes are not my friends right now. Actually, clothes are never my friends, but that's why I don't mind being pregnant again. Great excuse for sloppiness. That being said I pick out a pair of pants for church that don't quite fit. But my regular pants don't fit, maternity pants don't fit, and apparently caftans don't go over well here. So I put on the pair that

a. aren't jeans
b. don't have holes in them
c. aren't in a wad on the floor
d. don't have baby food all over them
e. and look somewhat decent for going to church.

I knew they were too big when I put them on, but they were my best shot. So, we get to church and I am walking in the parking lot holding Bennett. And I fall. On my knees. In front of so many people. The good thing is that I didn't drop my sweet little B. I don't want to think about me dropping her on the pavement in front of the church. So I won't. Instead I will think about the fact that when I stood up I had a big hole in my pants and two scraped up knees like a 5 year old that were bleeding.

But on I went. Into the very nice and formal service where I was sure I would meet all of Rob's co-workers for the first time. And I did so with my head held high, an aching back, two bloody knees, and a big hole in my pants, and a few people walking in behind me who were still trying not to burst out laughing.

Again, how do I make it through each day? At least my scarf looked fabulous. People were so taken with how perfectly it was tied that they didn't notice the massive gaping hole in my pants. I'm sure of it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I am slowly but surely getting into the swing of things around here. I had my second week of our Esther bible study today. I am enjoying it more than I can say. I was never really able to take advantage of the studies at Frazer because I worked full time, so I have loved being a part of that here.

I also joined a group called Building Better Moms. I went yesterday to their luncheon. I was terrified walking in. Yes, me. My Mom said that she had never seen me so shy, but I was definitely intimidated. This was a well established group who had been friends for years, and it was still hard, but I made myself do it. And I had a great time.

We have had dinner with some co-workers of Robs, hung out with our friend Mary, and I had lunch with a dear friend from high school who lives in the area. So, things are falling into place.

I will say though that my hair is a mess. Even though life is calming down, my hair is acting up. All of this dry weather has made it more "static-clingy" than ever. I walk around KC like I just stuck my finger in a socket. I read online to use some leave-in conditioner, but we have a water heater the size of a can of soup, so getting the shampoo out is all I have time for. Conditioner is a luxury. Then I read to use a dryer sheet on your hair. Really? Can't be. But it is, and so I tried it. It actually works. But then I was in the bathroom of the church yesterday about to walk in to meet a bunch of girls for the first time and I was busted by a very elegant woman who witnessed me trying to rub a dryer sheet all over my head.

I hope I'm invited back next week.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some KC shots

I haven't posted pictures of life here in KC yet. But I'm feeling a little crazy tonight and my husband actually unpacked our office boxes. So now you have a little crazy mixed up with a little organization and that equals USB cables. And those lead to some oh so exciting pictures. Hang on to your hats.

The (rental) homestead

The family downtown in the city

The father playing with the daughter. She's happy because she's not in the nursery.

Enjoying our first snow day. Well, I am. I think she's a little too cold to really enjoy it.

Okay, so now she is enjoying her first snow. From the warmth of the living room.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another Lesson

I said I would add more to the things I am learning about living in Kansas as they occurred. I have another one. But this isn't because I live in Kansas. This happened because I haven't lived in a cold climate for a long time and because I am rather slow.

-Do not leave cases of diet Dr. Pepper in your car over night. During freezing temperatures. They will explode. All 12 of them. And they will explode all over your baby stroller. And your car will be a sticky slushy mess for days.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You guys are awesome!!

Thanks for all the scarving tips! I watched Big Mommas blog and I think I am going to go with number 4. It's the easiest and I can be a fashion wreck at any given moment so I need easy. Also a big thanks to my friend Emily who I had lunch with yesterday. She had read my blog and brought a scarf with her to lunch and demonstrated personally. Hooray! Now if anyone knows anything about wearing your boots on the inside or outside of your jeans, I'm all ears.

So, I went to a Bible Study the other day on Esther. It is Beth Moore's new study so I am sure a lot of you have either done it, are doing it now, or might do it in the future. But she said the funniest thing that I have to share. If you have already heard this, bear with me. She asked 400 women, "What's the hardest thing about being a woman?" She got hysterical responses but I am going to share my two favorites with you.

1. We spend so much time looking for the right underwear and then even more time trying not to let people think we're wearing any.

2. We spend so much time hating our family members and then we cry over people in commercials.

Too funny. I hear the wee one stirring now so I better go get the waffles and applesauce ready. I'll decide what Bennett's having when Rob is finished. :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm Learning

I have lived in Kansas for 11 days now and so I know this list will grow tremendously over the next few months, but here are a few things I have learned these past 11 days about living in Kansas that I did not know before.

1. I don't know how to wear a scarf. I thought you just threw it around your neck, but no, there's a system. Everyone has these great knots and loops and look stylish. I look like I have fabric thrown around my neck.

2. Not only do girls not wear smocked dresses, their mothers don't even know what that is. Seriously.

3. People don't hold open doors for you. And I look like an idiot when I am entering or exiting a store behind someone and I stand there expectantly until the door shuts in my face. Likewise when I hold the door open for the person behind me, they look completely shocked.

4. Chick-fil-A and some restaurant named Ted's are the only places to get legit sweet tea.

5. When loading groceries into your car you have to hold onto your cart or the wind will sweep it down the road. I finally got this after my third trip.

6. Alabama sounds like an exotic locale. And so do Tennessee and Virginia which are the other two states I have lived in for a long period of time. I am therefore "unique." I make up for it though by explaining my brief stints in New York and Montana. Now people can relate.

7. People are sick of "Wizard of Oz" references. Don't attempt at humor by using them.

8. The KC Chiefs will rise again.

I am sure I will learn more as time goes on, but for now, I am taking notes and going from there. And if anyone knows how to tie a scarf properly, please let me know before I go out in public again.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Travel and Teeth

As Bennett approaches her first birthday (sniff sniff) I am thinking back a lot on her first year. It hit me this morning as I was journaling that she has traveled quite a bit in her first 10 months of life. I noted that appropriately, she has been to 11 states in 11 months. And she has spent the night in 7 of them. We realized that she had spent the night in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, and Kansas. And she has passed through Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, and Missouri. Since her father and I both love to travel we thought that we should get her off to a good start, and it looks as if we have.

Also, we found her first tooth today! Hooray! I was starting to get a little worried, but this morning I thought I noticed something when she smiled at me and there it was! It's a big day in our house.

And finally on a completely random and side note, did anyone watch American Idol last night? I don't usually blog about TV shows, but I was so disgusted by bikini girl. All I kept thinking was that my little nieces are watching this. Doesn't Simon usually throw out people in costumes as being gimmicky? Why didn't that qualify as a costume? And all the shots from behind? Sorry. I have no idea why I included that in a post about Bennett's first tooth, but it really annoyed me. Not to the point that I would stop watching mind you, but to the point where I would interrupt a perfectly harmless blog post and vent about it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Update Time

I haven't been very good about keeping up with Bennett's milestones lately. It's funny. When she was 2 months old and not doing anything I blogged every day about her achievements. Now she is 10 1/2 months old and learning new things every day, but I can't find the time to write it down. But, as I am thinking about her tonight and praying for her, I thought I would jot down a few of her new things. Maybe this will inspire me to actually write them down in her baby book.

She can walk! Not by herself, but holding on to furniture and if you hold her hands up she can walk across a room. She eats whatever we are eating. Her days of baby food are very close to being over. She absolutely loved it the other night when I made a roast, potatoes, and carrots. She was in gravy heaven. She can say 4 words- Mama, Dada, bye-bye, and duck. She waves and calls out "bye bye" constantly and she loves her bath time duck and will call out for him (or her.)

The funniest thing about Bennett is that she is so curious. She is not a snuggly child at all. If you try to hold her she pushes your arm away and tries to crawl. In fact she pushes you away if she doesn't want her bottle, if she doesn't like you touching her place mat, and pretty much anytime she wants to be independent which is constantly. We laugh all the time at her pushing our hands away. She would crawl and explore all day if you would let her. And she doesn't care a thing about her toys. She wants to explore anything in the house- an outlet, a vent, a knob... We could have saved a fortune and not bought her one toy. She is perfectly content with an RCA cable.

And today, she saw her FIRST SNOW!! It was just flurries, but we were all pretty excited. Of course she just waved at it and said, "Bye-Bye." Smart girl. And of course I have no pictures because, well I just don't. Bad Mommy.

How to Break a Mother's Heart

Bennett has been through a lot of changes recently. It started with us boxing up her nursery for a few days before we moved and it has gone on and on for about 2 weeks now. I think she has been a trooper, but yesterday was just a little too much.

If any of you reading this know Bennett, you know that she is a very laid back kid. She rarely fusses, adapts easily, and is generally just so easy going. At Frazer she was in the nursery every Sunday for 6 hours since both Rob and I worked and we never once had a problem. In fact when we picked her up after being in there all day, the workers would always say that they wished every baby could be like her.

So, I didn't expect any problems yesterday for her first day at her new church. Let me start by saying that it's huge! And I'm used to huge, but this is really really huge. Not only was Bennett having a hard time, but I was as well. I was walking through the atrium and I knew nobody. That is to be expected of course, but it made me homesick. I missed Frazer and my relationships there. I can't walk 5 feet at Frazer without seeing a familiar face.

But anyway, we make it though the incredibly crowded nursery and take her to her new room. Let me say that she was the only kid there in a smocked dress. My little southern girl may need a new wardrobe soon. At Frazer she is their Bennett and they love on her and hold her and know exactly what to do with her. At COR, a very nice but busy teenager just took her and she was gone. No instructions, no good-bye hug, no reminder that she loves her paci, she's just gone.

I am in the service (which I loved by the way!) for approximately 15 minutes when the nursery called. Bennett was inconsolable. Not just sniffing for Mom, but uncontrollable racking sobs. I fly to the nursery and find her in someones lap barely able to breathe because her whole body is shaking. If anyone knows my daughter, this is not Bennett.

I thought about it all day. I wondered what happened. I held her for the longest time. She was absolutely fine once she saw me, but her body kept shuddering for about half an hour. We concluded maybe the change had finally gotten to her. Maybe she missed Mrs. Diane at Frazer. Maybe she was tired, but it broke my heart. It made me even more homesick. But we'll try again next week.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Hard Part

I will post pics of our new house and us getting settled in here as soon as I take the time to take pictures, but here are a few from our journey here. Leaving the house we built was so hard, but saying good-bye to my nieces was even harder. One of them cried and cried until we were all just crying. I miss them all so much already, but home is just a plane ride away.

Saying good-bye to the home I adored.

Loading up for a 14 hour car ride. We were stocked up with books, toys, pacis, and snacks. Bennett was a trooper.

The dogs were not. They needed to stop more than we did.

We stopped at a McDonalds right off the interstate in Birmingham to say good-bye to my sister and her family. Everyone handled it okay....

..except for my sweet E. Here she is with Uncle Rob who has known her since the day she was born. They have a very special relationship. They took a trip to the zoo together- just the two of them, he takes her on walks with the dogs, sings her special "E" songs, has stayed up with her all night when she had a horrible cough, and sat through American Girl movies that he never ever would have watched otherwise. Here is a pic of them a few years ago at their trip to the zoo.

And here is a pic from their "see you later" last week. You can see her brave face here, but can tell that she has been crying. That was a very hard good-bye.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

We're here!!

I will write more later when I am not surrounded by a mound of boxes, clothes that need to be washed but can't because we don't have a dryer, and a baby who has discovered stairs but her parents have not discovered baby gates. But, we are here and I will post pictures as soon as I can find a USB cable in one of the 500 boxes.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A New Adventure

We leave in about 5 hours for Kansas City. I am not really emotional, just ready to go. Well, I am emotional but that's just because Alabama was slaughtered in the sugar bowl last night.

I had a long visit with my Grandmom yesterday and she and I reminisced over the past 6 years. She said that when I moved away from Montgomery when I was 12, she never thought that we would live in the same city again, so in a way these past 7 years have been a gift. And that's true. As a theatre major who wanted to travel the world I never would have believed it if you told me I would settle back down in Montgomery, Alabama. Who wants to move back to their hometown that they left as a kid? But I did, and I have loved it.

My Grandmom and I talked about how we used to meet for lunch twice a week when I started my first job here in 2003. We talked about watching every night of the '04 Olympics at her house. We talked about how she got to be at the hospital when Bennett was born and see her every week for the first year of her life.

Then I thought about how close I am to my nieces. Because I lived here I feel as though I have a relationship with them I never would have had otherwise. Before Rob and I got married they stayed with me constantly. I probably had them at least one weekend a month and if they weren't here, I would go to Birmingham to see them. We have had so many night watching "Sleeping Beauty," eating ice cream and brownies, and having story time. I have never missed a birthday party in 8 years and have seen countless dance recitals, soccer games, basketball games, church plays, and more. Leaving them is by far one of the hardest things about this move.

I have gotten to live in the same town as my parents and so in turn they really got to know Rob when we were dating. In fact I think we went on just as many double dates with them as dates alone. They know all of my friends, we have gotten to be in church plays together, and they have gotten to see Bennett so much and enjoy every milestone with us.

Because I lived here, I got to minister with some amazing people at my church. I have gotten to learn things in the technical field that I didn't think possible. My relationship with the Lord has grown deeper every day. I have gotten to work with some of the most talented kids I have ever known. I had the honor of writing, directing, and editing a television show alongside the most creative people I have ever met. I have made life long friends that can never be replaced. I have had an amazing 7 years.

Maybe moving back to your hometown isn't so bad after all.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bad Parenting

Did you know?

Did you know that toothpaste doesn't really fill in holes in the wall that well?

And did you know that touch up paint that has been sitting in the can for two years doesn't really match your walls anymore?

And did you know that boxes get extremely heavy when they are about 1/4th full?

Have you discovered that when you move furniture you find things you lost years ago?

Were you aware that you shouldn't grocery shop the week you move?

Have you heard that boxes make dogs unsettled and want to mark their territory?

And did you know that the more you have to do, the more reasons you find for procrastinating?

Just somethings I have discovered this week and thought I should share. But you probably knew all of this already.