Thursday, May 28, 2009

a whole lot of pictures

We had such a great time in St. Louis and I did my best to have the camera out to capture the fun times. So here are a whole lot of pictures from the weekend...better ones will be posted on Jodie's blog but here are my favorites.

One of Sam's lovely faces!I love the face that Sam is giving to Bailey in this photo..."hey off the water!"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

sprinkler time gone terribly wrong!

Sprinkler time in my parents front yard started out very cute and peaceful. Sam was timidly putting her fingers in the water and freaking out if someone accidentally splashed her in the face.

And then an adult water fight began...which ended in disaster (or a really funny prank!)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

We made it!

We arrived safely to my parents house about 10:30 last night. Sam was such a trooper. I was terrified pretty much all week that she was going to be a crabby, screaming mess the whole time but she wasn't, she did great. Which had very little to do with the portable DVD player that I broke down and bought yesterday thinking that it would be the perfect distraction for her in the car. It works great for my sister and her girls when they travel so I was just convinced that it would be the perfect fix. Now don't get me wrong it probably did help, she watched a little and was certainly distracted by it at times. But I thought she would just stare at it and be quiet the WHOLE time, which was not the case. She isn't much of a TV watcher normally so I am not sure why I thought she would suddenly be interested, but I did.
I have been convinced for years as we drove past vans filled with the glow of colorful tvs that MY children would not travel like that. They would travel the way that I did; looking out the window, playing stupid license plate games, reading, coloring, and of course fighting and whining with siblings. I don't know why but I have just had an aversion to using the TV as a distraction mode in the car; they miss all the scenery if they are staring at a screen. But my fear of eight hours of screaming Sam took over and forced me to forget my convinctions (clearly it was not that strong of a convinction!). So I went and bought a DVD player, it is even PINK! HA!
The funniest part of the whole thing is that I LOVED having it in the car!! I watched the baby Eisnstein movies and Robots and it was great. Totally made the time go faster. So, my conclusion from the whole thing is 1) don't have convictions about silly things that don't matter, and 2) for anyone out there that has long trips in their future with kids in the car BUY A DVD PLAYER...doesn't even have to be for them, just make your spouse drive, sit back and enjoy a movie!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I hate the F word

No I am not talking about the one that rhymes with duck, although I really do hate that word too.
I hate the word FINE!
It serves no purpose but to allow people to hide their true feelings, wants, needs or reactions. Whenever I use the word FINE it is not actually what I want to say.
Someone asks you how they look in some outfit, you say FINE. But what you really want to say is Sorry, sweety but you are not in college anymore and CANNOT pull that off OR oh my gosh I am so jealous that you look that good, I could never pull that off.
Someone asks if they can miss a meeting, blow off a phone call or somehow otherwise inconvenience you at work, you say FINE. But what you really want to say is No, my time is valuable too and if I have to be there/do it/whatever so should you.
Your husband/wife asks if they can take a whole Saturday and go (oh I don't know play golf! HA!) somewhere to do something and you say FINE. What you really want to say is there is laundry to do, a house to clean, a yard to tend to and a family that needs you, no you can't go OR no, you stay here and let ME leave for the whole day.
But no one ever says what they are really thinking, they say FINE. And then that anger, frustration, resentment just sits inside of them stewing and growing. It is ridiculous.
Yes I understand that if everyone stopped saying FINE and started actually saying what they truly felt there would be hurt feelings, damaged relationships and probably a lot of people no longer speaking to each other. But in the end wouldn't we all be happier, healthier, less stressed out people? I mean the people in our lives that truly love us are not going to cut us out just because we are honest with them (right?). I truly think the word FINE should be removed from the dictionary and all of our vocabularies because it just doesn't do anyone any good.

So, maybe this is just me and maybe you think I am nuts for going on such a rant about a small, virtually meaningless word but for whatever reason today I am not FINE with the word FINE!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

puddle, pine cone and a bucket

It doesn't take much to entertain my daughter. A while ago we went to have dinner at our friends Nick and Stephanie's house. It was getting late and Sam was reaching her breaking point but Chris and I were not ready to leave. I handed her a deck of cards and I think she could have sat there sorting, holding, dropping and picking up the cards for an hour. It was hilarious!
The other afternoon we went outside after a small rain shower and she had SO much fun playing in a puddle. She found some pine cones and I gave her a bucket and she was good to go.
She loved the feeling of the water, loved throwing the pine cones into the water and watching the splash, and would collect all the pine cones in the bucket and then dump them out in the water. It was really fun watching her play in the puddle as if she had never experienced water before.

I love watching her discover new things outside and I can't wait for her to be little older so I can really start doing outdoor activities with her. But for now I really think we may have to buck up and buy this kid a water table!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

a challenged failed

My sister challenged moms (anyone really) to be in the pictures with their kids more often. She took some very cute pictures of her with the kids; you know the kinds where you hold the camera out with one arm and take a picture of two people squeezed into the frame. So, I decided to give it a try. If she can take cute photos like that, why can't I!

Okay, this one did not turn out so good. Second try...clearly flash was not a good idea! But without it didn't seem to work very well either...
This is the best one and good grief is it out of focus and not centered!
Sorry, I don't think I will be trying to get myself in the photos anymore. I failed this challenge. I think I will stick with taking pictures of Sam, those can sometimes turn out pretty cute!

quick update

Just wanted to let you all know that Chris got home on Monday and felt pretty good. He thought the exam went well and that he felt pretty confident in his answers to almost all of the questions. This is GREAT news.
We won't find out the results until mid-July but I am so happy that he is at least feeling good about how it went.
Not many people can understand just exactly what studying over the course of 3-4 months for one test feels like, how stressful it is or just how hard these exams truly are. I only understand because I see how stressed he is the months leading up to an exam and I see the pure exhaustion and relief on his face when the exam day is over. I am so proud of him for going through this process and even though there have been tough times he has never given up!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Exam Day!

Chris left just a few minutes ago to head to work. He will do is regular morning routine but then at 8:30 he will head into a room with just a few other people and sit for five hours taking actuarial exam number 7. This is a big day for us. If he passes this exam he officially becomes an Associate Actuary, keeps his job at Sentry, gets a raise, we get paid back for the sitting fee for the exam, and with the new title he gets job security that no matter how long it takes him to pass the last two exams he cannot be fired for failure to pass anymore. This is huge. If he doesn't pass...well it terrifies me to even think about that scenario. I don't want him to lose his job, I don't want to have to try and find another job somewhere in the country and move in a hurry. I don't want to have to rush to find another house for us to live in. This scenario is not fun to think about.
We won't actually find out the results until mid-July but I am hoping he is going to come home from this exam the same way he came home from number three, by saying "If I didn't pass that I don't belong in this field".
This whole process is very stressful for Chris; all the studying, all the pressure, and not feeling confident in your job unless you pass. I know that this is so hard on him.

So, if you read this and could please think good thoughts, cross your fingers and/or pray for Chris this morning that would be wonderful.

Happy Exam Monday!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

weird night

I went to bed about 10:00pm, nothing weird there. About 1:00am I woke up to a very loud toy singing to me. Chris had stepped on some singing turtle thing and couldn't get it to stop singing. Awesome. Unable to find the off switch in the dark he put a sweatshirt over it and threw it in the closet. I tossed and turned for awhile trying to fall back to sleep. Then sometime before 5:00am Chris's alarm turned on. I sat up in bed to find him trying to turn the alarm off. He said that he realized it was going to go off like it was a week day and in the dark he was trying to turn the alarm off, but accidentally turned it on. About five minutes later I heard Sam. Before 5:00am she was awake a talking. I got up. Seriously how many loud mishaps can one man have in a night? Good grief.

But the day is going well so far. Chris is at work studying, Sam and I took to the streets to do some serious garage sale shopping and now we are back at home napping, well Sam is napping.

I thoroughly enjoyed driving around looking at other people's junk. I don't know why I find it so much fun but I do. We got lucky on some kids clothes; good brands, good condition and super cheap. If we didn't already have all the baby gear (swings, excersaucers, swings, baby toys, etc.) I would have hit the jackpot today. There was some great stuff out there. The one thing that I would have LOVED to bring home was one of those bouncing rocking horses. You know the old fashioned plastic horse sitting on four large springs attached to a metal frame. Bounces like crazy and you can lose a finger in the springs but they are AWESOME! If I could have figured out how to put it in my car the thing would have been mine. I actually saw TWO of them today; crazy. The second time I truly felt that God was telling me the horse needed to come home with me, but I had no way to get it home and no room in the house for the giant horse. Damn small cars.

Okay, I better get some laundry done. I would like to be working in the garden but since it is rainy and cold that is a no go.

Enjoy some cute videos and pictures!
She says MA! That is me, I finally have a name in Sam language!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

bored with blogging

Do other bloggers suffer from just being bored with their blog? Right now I am really struggling to find anything to blog about that seems worth anyone's reading time. I am not brave enough to lay it all out there like my sister (and many other bloggers) does, I don't know that I can be that honest with myself let alone with the whole rest of the world. I don't think I have a very interesting job that is worthy of writing about and I truly believe that even my closest family HAS to be sick of the stupid stories/facts/pictures of just Sam.
I still read other people's blogs and find wonderful comfort, strength and humor in their writing but I don't comment as much any more; I don't really feel like I have much to contribute right now.
I must be in some kind of blogging funk right now? Again, does this happen to other bloggers? Is there a point when I should just give up and quit the blogging thing all together?

Anyway, it is Thursday night and after a long day of teaching 2nd graders I am ready for some Applebees to go (THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!) and some great Thursday Night TV! Boring and lame I know, but whatever it is all about the comfort tonight.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

she is perfect to strangers

I think we have a pretty bizarre child. Is that mean to say? I don't know, but there are just some things about her that are too funny. So, I give you...

She is just over 13 months old.
She is wearing 24 month/2T clothes. This is one thing that I think is weird...why put months to the sizes if no kid actually wears the size that corresponds to the age that they are? Or is my child just HUGE?
She has had seven haircuts; four that were her whole head and three just trimming her bangs. The girl has more hair than I do.
She loves books. Doesn't have much interest in sitting in my lap, or letting me read a book to her, but put a stack of books in front of her and she is content to sit and "read" for well over an hour. Too weird.
Next favorite toy - Easter eggs. She loves emptying out baskets of them, pulling them apart and attempting to put them back together, and throwing them all over the room is also fun.
New favorite thing to do - climb ON EVERYTHING. There is not a room in our house that doesn't have something that she will attempt to climb on; couches, windows, tables, stairs, beds, chairs, the list is endless. She has only had a few major falls and has recently mastered getting down out of our bay window which was a huge reflief. This is the window where Polly spends most of her time and Sam now loves hanging out up there with Polly but kept falling down whenever she wanted to get down. I think going to the playground where she can climb a lot increased her love of this type of play.
Most of the time she would much rather play by herself than with me. Does my child not like me? HA! She will sit and play with pretty much any toy on her own, chatting with herself, making herself laugh and just having a great time with no direction or guidance from me. If I try to join her she will easily get bored and move on to something else. Maybe I am just not a good playmate; I don't know.
She chews her blanket. This is her comforting mechanism. She doesn't suck her thumb, need a bottle or a pacifier but she has to have that blanket in her mouth. Recently with the addition of several new teeth she has begun to leave evidence of her chewing on her fingers. Her thumb looks like it has been through a shredder. We think she is wrapping the blanket around her fingers and then shoving those fingers in her mouth. All I know is that she will most likely have scars on her thumb because I cannot get the cuts to heal and each morning they are bleeding again. She doesn't seem to mind it. Weird.
She throws silent tantrums. Right now when she gets really mad at me she will throw herself to the floor, put her head down and lay there. She doesn't say a word or make a noise. She just lays there. After a few seconds she looks up at me with this "Are you watching me? Do you see how mad I am at you?" kind of look on her face. I know that very soon screaming will probably be added to this display so right now I am enjoying the silent version. But this is weird; very weird.
Okay, I am sure there is more to tell but I think that is enough for now.

Sam and I are enjoying a lazy morning at home while Chris is at work studying. His exam number seven is a week from tomorrow and so we are in full stress/anxious/ready to get it over with mode. This is a HUGE exam for us because it is Chris's third attempt at this exam and if he doesn't pass he will lose his job at Sentry. We are praying that he passes but have the job recruiter looking for positions for him in other parts of the country just in case! We won't actually know the results of the exam until mid-July but if he doesn't think it went well our job hunt may seriously increase late next week. I really think he is going to do great and we will be fine. Keep those fingers crossed.

Hope you all are having a happy Sunday.