Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This Weekend

This weekend was a doozy. 

Friday morning we set up for the Pinewood Derby. I was looking forward to attending to see how everything played out, but Grace's fever spiked that afternoon.
 So instead of watching Derby cars race, I took Grace to the doctor and we lounged at home.
Making a brief outing for medicine once Aaron got home, in which Grace desperately wanted to ride the "big truck" and make this face. Aaron, sitting co-pilot of course.
Saturday was another day in while Aaron was at work. Grace partaking in her favorite "things she only gets away with while sick" aka her beebees (pacifiers).
Sunday we had to lug Grace to church because I was speaking and Aaron had to teach Sunday school. There was some crafty child swapping during the second and third hours because the Nursery did not want Grace and all her germs. I don't blame them.

Finally by Monday, our little 2 year old was back in the 98.7 degree range and feeling good. We rewarded ourselves accordingly. Double chocolate chip frappuchino (basically a frozen hot chocolate).
In pregnancy related news, I have come to the conclusion that the second trimester is, as the youngsters would say, "where its at." I am thoroughly enjoying feeling like myself and not being completely governed by food and its ability to make me sick or help me feel better.

The baby moves a lot. I had a serious talk with this little fetus in regards to it being my cuddly child. Grace was not cuddly. Grace was a busy body (and still is). This baby likes to move and roll and kick all throughout the day. I love those little movements. I stop what I'm doing, rest my hand on my belly, and take it all in since, to me, it is one of the most fabulous feelings on the planet. But my hopes of a mellow, snuggly child are getting kicked out the window. Bummer.

Although my cravings are in check, the babe still likes its greasy foods. I keep it curbed during the week with healthy meals at home and once a week I indulge in all things not good for me. My current favorite? Wing Stop. Chicken tenders dipped in mild buffalo wing sauce and ranch. Oh, gooooood night. It's like heaven on a plate.

My exhaustion is starting to creep up on me. I normally don't feel all that tired, but last night I fell asleep fully clothed, on top of a pile of clothes on my bed, with my jewelry and make-up still on. Quite the sight for Aaron I'm sure. But I know he understands, since he also noticed an opened can of mandarin oranges that I emptied half way and then proceeded to put back in the cupboard and leave there.

I am now 18 weeks, and the belly still feels large and relatively in charge.
I've come to the conclusion that taking pictures of your own pregnant belly is a difficult feat, and one that normally leads you to look awkward and feel pretty stupid. But then you can have fun with it and make sarcastically sassy looks in the mirror. Why hello there.
In one week we find out what gender B. Barns the Dos is. Any guesses?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Boomerang Effect

On Monday I held a boomerang in my hand. One that had "Grace's Weekend of Fevers" written across the wood. I stood in a clearing and I chucked it as hard as I could. Good riddance. Cabin fever had set in and I was ready to get out of my apartment and ready to have my babe feeling better.

The funny thing with boomerangs is that they come flying right back. Darn it. On Thursday night as I kissed Grace goodnight, my lips pulled back quickly from the heat pouring off of Grace's forehead. I grabbed the thermometer and took her temperature discovering that her fever was back. That boomerang was in my hands again.

I was hoping for a one time fever. But on Friday when her temperature start flirting with the 104 degree range. I plucked her up and booked it to the doctor. 104 is a bad bad number. To be honest, I was scared, and perhaps I teared up a little thinking on the drive to the doctor's office something scary might be happening. Hormones might have been to blame for that one, although I tend to lean on the side of over-dramatic when it comes to certain situations even when I'm not pregnant.

Her ears, nose, throat, and lungs all check out fine. She passed her "flu test" with flying colors, and it is just a virus. A virus that only causes a fever, apparently.

So we are in jammies, watching movies, reading books, and keeping our distance from all the people who aren't sick.

Next time I stand in that clearing, I'm going to throw a really heavy rock. One that doesn't have the ability to fly back to me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sick Weekend

On Friday we were awakened by a soft whimpering down the hall. Grace was pitifully sitting up in her crib with tears streaking her bright red cheeks. When I scooped her up in my arms I could tell right away that she had a fever. A sick day it was.

A sick day turned into a sick weekend as we battled a fever and a runny nose. It basically looked like this:

By Sunday afternoon the fever had finally given up. I dare say we were victorious in our sick battling efforts. But three days cooped up in an apartment can really mess with you. I think we're both desperate  to feel the sun on our skin, breathe in fresh air, and interact with people again. Bring on a new week!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Holy 16 and a 1/2 Weeks, Batman!

I know I'm not very far along, but by golly, I feel like my belly is out of control. Can you see it this time? And please don't be alarmed. I am not shirtless in this picture. It's a tan colored shirt. (and Yes, I do shower, and yes my bedroom floor is peppered with unfolded clothing.)

Can we pause for a moment and discuss the fact that I'm wearing a maternity shirt? And it fits. 
By week 15 I started feeling the baby move consistently. And boy does this baby like to move.

With my larger belly, and my baby's ability to kick me multiple times a day I'm starting to feel like I'm growing the Hulk.

Each day I will my jeans to fit. Each day I end up in sweatpants. I love my sweatpants.

So in the coming weeks, Baby, be kind to my belly. Please.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A loves K

I'm probably the last person that should be on Pinterest. I have limited abilities when it comes to decorating my apartment, crafting, fashion, gourmet cooking, and entertaining my child in a planned and prepared way. If I pin something, the likelihood that I'll follow through with it is pretty slim to none. So I pretty much stopped pinning things.

But, I did pin one thing. And I fell in love with it. When this little image graced my screen, I knew it had to me mine.
I followed the given link and landed on this etsy shop. I sighed a soft and dreamy sigh as I daydreamed that this necklace would one day be mine. I bookmarked it as "Christmas gift" on my sidebar.

Aaron asked, "What would you like for Christmas this year." I pulled up the picture. "I want this little beauty." By the time I copied and pasted the link into an email and sent it to Aaron, I realized something strange on the etsy shop front page. A short sentence informing potential customers that the etsy shop would be closed from December 5th to January 5th, so that those who already bought items could receive them before Christmas. And then my bubble burst. It was December 7th. Shop closed.

Christmas came and Aaron, as always, pulled through in the gift department, despite me not really asking for anything else. He's a wonderful man. 

Days and weeks went by, and I completely forgot about the necklace.

Yesterday morning I woke up and started getting ready when I noticed a small box on the table with a heartfelt hand written note. And inside the box I saw the necklace.
I love this man I married, and most of the reason why I loved the necklace was because it expressed that sentiment. Metallic proof that we both still dig each other, a lot. He knew I loved the necklace, made sure to place an order when the etsy shop re-opened, checked the mail daily to make sure that I wouldn't find it, and then set it out to surprise me in the morning. He's a definite keeper.

A really does love K. But K loves A a whole lot, too.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Notice Anything?

Do you notice anything strange about the picture below? I mean, aside from the lack of pants, bib, and hairdo my child is sporting. Look really hard. Do you notice anything amiss? Did you notice it the first time I posted this picture? Be honest.
I always thought the Grace letters looked off to me. And honestly, I chalked it up to the fact that the "C" was at more of a downward angle than it should have been.

While on FaceTime with my parents a few days ago, we chatted, Grace read books and showed off in normal FaceTime fashion, and as we were about to say goodbye my Mom says, "You know the letter "A" in Grace on the wall is backwards." I said, "What?" and turned to look behind me only to realize that for 7 months I had never, not once, ever, noticed the letter "A" was backwards. Insert serious forehead slap. I said back, "I had absolutely no idea."

In an instant I thought about the countless people that have been in Grace's room and had personally witnessed my lack of spelling abilities on my child's name, displayed ever so proudly on the wall in her room.

And then I realized that I had posted it for the blogosphere to see.

I felt like a huge moron.

So, now it is fixed, and for obvious reasons looks much better.
So, did you notice it?

Monday, January 16, 2012


In the grand scheme of weekends, it was nothing special. We didn't do anything out of the ordinary. Unless you call going to target to get milk after dinner something out of the ordinary. 

But it was amazing. Aaron was home for dinner every night over the weekend. Our only documentation being this awful out-of-focus picture on my phone. The flash practically blinded all of us, so there were no do-overs.
But we were together. All three of us. Grace was off the walls with giddy excitement. Taking every opportunity to show off or try to make Aaron laugh. We ate together, talked together, sang, danced, and read scriptures together. And somehow it filled my canteen up enough that I'm hoping to feel less needy this week.

Busy season is a kick in the knee, but it has the ability to make the moments we do spend together a little more special.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Memory Box Continued

Well the spirit of the Memory Box lives on. After being ever so sneaky-sneaky-sir about smuggling my old memory boxes onto my sister's moving truck last year, my Mom is now down to the final stages of de-cluttering her house. So she is straight sending me memory box stuff. One such brown box arrived a few days ago.

I took time during lunch while Grace was napping to sift through a few of the items. Mostly Senior year graduation stuff, seminary graduation, and, very unfortunately, my senior picture proofs. Proofs, meaning they take a bizillion pictures, let you see them all, and then you choose which pictures to spend your parents money on. I'm pretty sure, back then, I disliked most of the pictures. But now, years down the road, they seem 25 times more awful. Don't believe me?

I'm my personal opinion, no teenage girl should ever be asked to pose like this. I am not AC Slater from Saved by the Bell, I never ever sat like this. But the head tilt is in full force my friends,
I'm lousy at the "Serious Face" pictures, still. I normally just look angry so I try desperately to not look angry and end up looking like I'm listening to Marvin Gaye and trying to seduce the photographer. Case and point. And yes, my eyebrow is slightly raised.
"How you doin'?"
I laughed with Aaron and my sisters about these pictures for a good hour or so. Totally made my day.

Nestled snugly between graduation programs and senior proofs was a picture that knocked me off my rocker. When Grace and I are out and about I get a lot of comments about how much Grace and I look a like. "She's like your little clone, isn't she?" and "There is no mistake as to who your Mom is!" I get asked a lot if I think we look alike, and to be honest, I don't think we do. Grace has so much of Aaron's personality and body shape that I see a lot of him when I look at her. Then I saw this picture and thought for the very first time, "Oh my gosh. I'm brown haired Grace."
I think that is the last of my Memory Box items (right Mom?). So I might just go ahead and seal that sucker off. Cat journals and picture proofs can only be handled every so often. It is now time for Grace to start making her own memories that will embarrass or make her laugh years down the road. I've already had my fun, time to pass the torch.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One Word New Year's Resolution

Tonight I got home from a friends house. A fellow accountant wife, whom I love, who knows the void of a missing husband in the evenings. I brought Grace home in a different pair of pants. Not the pair she wore originally. Since our vacation Grace has been slipping up in the potty department. Peeing her pants a little and not telling me she needs to go, whether by distraction or otherwise, until I notice or physically take her to the bathroom. It happened at my friend's house.

I got home and went to get her jammies and left her in the bathroom with her toothbrush to brush her teeth. I walked back in and she was standing in a puddle. "Gracie did you pee your pants?" She looked down at her feet in the puddle and looked back at me. Normally I'd try to say something calmly, but tonight, I lost it and I yelled. "Why?! Why did you pee your pants? You are standing right next to the potty!" I was frustrated and annoyed and wondering why (oh why?!) had she started peeing her pants when she never did it before. Her sweet brown eyes filled with tears and she cried. I could tell she felt awful.

We cleaned the mess, hugged it out, got in jammies, and called Aaron to say goodnight. But through it all, I was still annoyed. I knew she knew better.

After I laid her down in bed, I thought about what I said, how she cried, and how I could see in her eyes how hurt she was by my reaction. I started to cry. I made her feel awful. And to be honest it's not even her fault.

I wasn't yelling because she peed, or that she came home in different pants, I wasn't upset because she had been reverting. I was yelling because there is so much going on: home from vacation, busy season, new calling, old calling, dirty house, piles of laundry, doctor's appointments, meetings, new goals, new budget, and the now sprayed on look my jeans have.

All of those things have been churning and swirling through my mind. I feel like I'm not living in the present but living on a mental to do list constantly keeping tabs on my status. Grace has been such a trooper through everything. I've had so many phone calls with Aaron telling him, "Grace has done so well. She has been amazing." Surviving hour long waits at the doctor's office and a 3 and a half hour meeting at the church. Days where I'm constantly on the phone or emailing to set up meetings or help with events. She has been unreal in the best possible way.

But I haven't been as stellar. She'll take my hand to go play with her in her room and I sit as long as I can thinking about all of the other things I could be doing to get stuff done. I am not mentally with her giving her the time and attention she needs, and to be quite honest, deserves.

It took her peeing her pants for me to really look her in the eyes and be right there in the moment. And instead of thinking of how amazing she has been with a pretty absent parent for so many days, and using a soothing understanding voice, I yelled. I yelled a lot and made her cry hard. I didn't offer her the same patience and understanding she has offered me the past two weeks.

Life will always ebb and flow. There will be rainbows and unicorns followed by storm clouds and Eeyores. Life won't ever make sense or be predictable. But for Grace I want one thing to always be predictable, that I love her. Not just loving her in general but having her know, without a doubt, through the crappy and the good, that I love her and care for her. No amount of peed pants, or meetings, or emails, or tantrums will ever change that.

So I have finally settled on my "One Word" New Year's resolution: Love.

Not the general kind, but the specific kind. Showing the people who mean the most to me that I love them regardless of what goes on around me, or what stresses I might be having. I don't want to be governed by stress and take it out on those I love, I want to be governed by love and push aside the stress and focus on what really matters most in the moment.

You can read about the One Word resolution at 71toes and Our Hatchlings

Monday, January 9, 2012

Busy Season

'Tis the season. Busy season. Most accountants and accounting spouses know what I'm talking about, but if you don't fall under either of those categories I'll shed some light. Busy season is exactly as it sounds. I'm sure all professions have them during the year. For accountants, tax and audit specifically, it is a time that normally falls (yet is not limited to) the first few months of the year. With looming hard deadlines hours are normally early morning to the wee hours of the next morning, seven days out of the week.

This is the start of Aaron's fourth year so we are no strangers to busy season. It is something that is inevitable, and despite the insanity of it all, is quite doable. A wise person once told me that when your husband works a lot you learn to live without him until he comes back. So that became my mantra. I tell myself that at the beginning of each busy season and find myself in the middle of things without any complaints.

But the beginning of busy season? It's a hard transition. It's hard going from Christmas break with a husband around all the time to busy season when you start to forget what he looks like. I blame my hormones, or the government, or Enron (remember them?) for causing my severe neediness this go around. But we're one week in and I miss my husband. I know it will get easier. But right now I'm needy. Poor Aaron is having to deal with a boat load of text messages from me throughout the day.

"Grace fought her nap for 2 hours. When she finally woke up she had no pants on, peed everywhere, and somehow managed to get her baby doll's bib on."
 "But she sure cleans up nice."
 "Bubbles in the bath tub. This girl is in heaven."
 "Lunch time. Wish you were here to eat with us."
 "Grace says: Good Morning Dada!"
 "Grace is starting to make fashion statements. This bib has become a serious fashion accessory."

I guess it's my way of staying connected when it feels like we're constantly apart. Last time he was away this much I basically lived at my sister's house. Now that she is gone I have to cowboy up and just deal with it. I know the texts will get fewer and farther between as Grace and I fill our days with playdates, activities, and responsibilities. But until then, I'll cling to as much of Aaron as I can. (You don't mind, right hun?)

Friday, January 6, 2012

14 Weeks

The story is a familiar one. I was twelve weeks pregnant with Grace when I really started to notice my "belly" sticking out. It looked so obvious to me. My skirt hugged tightly around my hips giving way to my stomach which required a little more room. "You can totally tell I'm pregnant now," I told Aaron "Don't you notice it?" I'm pretty positive his answer was, "Ummmmm, sure." Which meant he saw absolutely no difference at all.

In my mind, since everyone could tell I was pregnant now, I begged Aaron to get the camera to document the occasion. Like the loving husband that he is, despite his lack of seeing what the heck I was talking about, he snapped a few pictures, solidifying that moment in time.

There were plenty of times later in my pregnancy, and after my pregnancy, that I looked at that picture and thought, "What was I thinking? I can't tell a difference in the slightest." I vowed for subsequent pregnancies, not to take a picture unless someone could really tell that there was a bump. Meaning you wouldn't have to squint your eyes or turn your head just to make it out.

The other day, I felt like it was time. So I took a picture with my phone and sent it to Aaron. 14 weeks.
And then I laughed at myself, because you really can't tell in this picture either. Maybe one day I'll just wait until I'm 20 weeks along. Until then, here is the first documentation of the "bump," if you can call it that.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Year in Recap

2011 was quite the year for our Family

We trekked to San Antonio where my brother got engaged
 And my sister got married
 We all got sick a ridiculous amount of times

 Aaron turned 27
 Mema made many a vist
 We experienced some Texas storms
 We moved down the street (best move ever)
We trekked to Portland where my brother got married
 We celebrated our 5th Anniversary
 We trekked to Virginia to say a final goodbye to my Grandfather
I turned 25
 We boated. A lot.
 I did a 30 day photo challenge
 We made our annual Virginia Beach beach trip
 I cut Grace's hair accidentally making her look like Justin Beiber
 Jillian and Lucas came to visit
 I cut my hair, and since wished I hadn't
 Grandee and Papa came for a visit
 And Gracie turned 2!
 We Halloweened ladybug style
 And found out that B. Barns the Dos would be coming in July
 We Thanksgiving'd in Texas
Reluctantly sent Stacey to Houston
And celebrated Christmas Barnard style in Utah. 

Eventful doesn't even seem to cut it. We had a blast this past year and are really looking forward to 2012 (especially July).