Monday, November 29, 2010

A Griswold Family Christmas Tree

Determined to make this Christmas tree excursion the best yet, Matt had been going back and forth between tree farms for weeks. You guys, I married Clark Griswold.  We debated a hay ride, cut your own, precut, pointy needles, soft needles, dark green, blueish green, etc. He finally settled on one tree farm he had only heard of, and around 11:00 AM we headed off to fetch our tree.

We drove, and we drove...then we got lunch (during which our car got bumped in the parking lot and now has a chipped bumper), and we drove a little more.  But still, no tree farm was in sight.  Finally, around 2:00  (as in THREE HOURS LATER) we gave up and settled on the only tree source we could find...a grocery store 5 minutes from our house.   That'll teach us to forget the GPS.

We walked the aisles with Jack, looking for the perfect tree.  We found it pretty quickly, but turned around to stop Jack from walking under the tree displays.
Note the sweaty head from several hours in the car.
 As we got Jack, two men came, picked up the tree we had chosen, and promptly walked up to pay for it.  It was just too funny in an ironic I can't believe that just happened kind of way. Dudes swiped the tree right out from under our noses!

We quickly found another one...strapped it to the roof of our car before someone else could grab it, and headed home. 
We (and clearly by we I mean Matt) brought the tree inside, and started the decorating process.

Unfortunately, right around this time Jack developed diarrhea, as well as a 101 degree fever.  Ya know...because the day had gone so smoothly up until that point.

He is a trooper though, after a nap, a few minutes of The Wiggles, and a round of Pedialyte, he couldn't help but be awed by the eight foot wonder in his living room.  He helped Daddy string the lights...
 ...and he helped Mommy put out more decorations.
And then?  Then he decorated the tree.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's the Holiday Season

I am rousing myself from my turkey induced slumber to check in, however briefly.  We had a busy but great holiday, and since Matt has off tomorrow for break we are celebrating my birthday a little early with my usual gift.  Every year he asks me what I want, and every year I tell him the same go get our Christmas tree!  The stockings are hung, just waiting patiently for the rest of the decorations to join them.
I just love the feel of picking the perfect tree (even though it usually turns out about 8 inches too tall), strapping it to the roof of the car, hauling it through the front door, and finally decorating it as it's heady scent fills the house.  I am super excited for this year's tree because it is the first time Jack will really notice it.  Last year he was a little...well, little.  I'll admit though, I am still trying to figure out the logistics of keeping a rambunctious toddler away from the most interesting thing in the room.  Any advice?  Please?

Are you starting to decorate for the holidays yet?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


1: the act of giving thanks
2: a prayer expressing gratitude
3: a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness

I have a lot to be thankful for these days.  A wonderful family, a loving husband, a beautiful child, an understanding support system,  a slightly braindead but still cute dog, food on the table, a roof over our heads...the list is unending, really.

And I still struggle to remember this on a daily basis.    I get caught up in the dishes, and the laundry and the oh-my-gosh did you really just spill your juice again? and I forget to say a prayer of thanks.  I don't write about it here, but my childhood had some really rough patches, and I know that I am so blessed to have ended up where I am today. But do I remember to thank God?  Rarely.  (I deleted that sentence twice, because I don't really want to be honest, but I know that I need to be.)

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, I hope that you are remembering your blessings, no matter how small or large they may be. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Rundown

Our weekend was great, but like all weekends do, it went way too fast.  Friday evening we went out to dinner with my family, then headed to the store to fill our shoe boxes for Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child.  It is such a cool idea, and such an easy way to make a child's Christmas just a little brighter.  If you haven't checked it out yet I urge you to follow the link and read all about it.

Saturday we got up bright and early, dropped Jack off with my Dad and Ann, and excitedly headed up to the Imax theater to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Oh yes, we are THAT dorky.  We even got there an hour early to insure a good seat.  But, um...we MAY have overestimated the dorky-ness of other people...because this was the line when we showed up...

In other words - there was no line.  Only my siblings, their other halves, and Matt and I.  Eventually other people did show up and the line made it to the corner, but we probably could have saved ourselves a few frozen toes and come a few minutes later.

Still, it was SO fun, of course we all loved the movie.  Except for maybe Brandon, who kept asking who Valdavore was and why his nose looked like that (He meant Voldemort for all you other Potter nerds).

Sunday was the Thanksgiving service at our church, and you guys, it was amazing.  And so encouraging for me right now.  Our church does something called cardboard testimonies, and their impact is just incredible. Here is the video...

We also dropped of our aforementioned shoebox, and it was amazing to see the generosity as the gifts piled up.  Think about all the smiles those simple boxes will bring this holiday season.
After church we headed out to my Dad's house for lunch, where Jack serenaded us with a beautiful piece on the piano.

It was too cute.  He would stop playing, point to the music until someone turned the page for him, then continue banging away on the keys.

I think he will have his Daddy's musical talent (of which I have NONE by the way, as you may remember from this post, so hopefully he inherited that from Matt!).

How was your weekend?

Friday, November 19, 2010

What a Week

Jack has come down with one of the worst colds he has ever had, so between the runny nose, the fever, and the rattly little cough we have been doing a lot of this.

While snuggling on the couch with my little love is always fun, I gotta say, this week has been long and draining.  I'm looking forward to a weekend (Matt and I are going to a movie! First time since I was seven months pregnant!).

We will be back next week, hopefully healthier and happier! 

Later 'gators.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Village

You know that oft quoted saying 'It takes a village to raise a child'? Well, not only do I think that is very true, but I think it can be taken a step farther to say 'It takes a village to raise a mother'.  And you guys? You are a big part of my 'village'. 

After I published my last post, I immediately felt doubt.  I contemplated just deleting it, because I felt like I was such an anomaly for feeling this way, that other people don't feel like this.  I quickly shut my laptop, because I honestly just felt like if I deleted it, that was letting my feelings take control again, and publishing it was kind of my way of giving anxiety the ol' middle finger. 

About 15 minutes later I folded, I was going to delete it before any 'damage' was done, before you found out I was flawed. I logged in, and you, my village, had already stepped up big time.  I had no idea so many of you would share your stories with me.  I received comments, emails, Facebook messages...and I feel so much better.

Not necessarily anxiety-wise, that is definitely still here.  I mean I feel like I took a step in the right direction there, but I feel like I am not so alone.  I'm still weird, sure, but I've got you, my village.  I have been incredibly blessed with a wonderful real-life support base of women who teach me and share with me, and I feel like I have been doubly blessed to have so many women that I have never even met who are willing to share their stories and their advice with me.

Matt and I are still looking into counseling options through his employer, and are also looking into options through our church (which, duh, somehow I didn't even think of until Flamingo Mama mentioned it).
We decided to hold off on the medication, at least for now.  Years ago, I used to look at medication as a crutch, but then I got to thinking and really, what is a crutch for?  To help you walk until you are healthy enough to do it on your own.  Right now, I feel that, with a some guidance, I can walk on my own.  If I find that I can't, then I will explore that option further. 

I guess this is my way of trying to say thank you for something I really can't even express, and one week from today, when we gather around the table to gorge ourselves on turkey and stuffing, you better believe I will be saying a prayer of thanks this village.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I am a Fake

A Fraud.  A Failure. 

Let me start by saying, I have always been a worrier.  I just have.  I was a nervous kid, and I am a nervous adult, and when I have said on here that I am shy, that is an understatement.  However, in the year since Jack was born, it's been worse.  It started to get better, but then we found out that our house was basically poisoning us, and ever since, I just really have been having some trouble.

I am scared.  All the time.  And I don't mean nervous.  I am straight up terrified that everything is going to fall apart right in front of my face.  I feel like everything I am doing, I am doing it wrong.  I am scared because I don't know what is in the walls, in the air.  I can't protect my son, or my husband, or even myself. 

I didn't write about it, because I didn't want it to be a real problem.  I have been telling myself that this is just a phase, a season of life, that it will resolve itself.   That I will get better, but it has been a year, and I am not getting better.  In fact, if I had to choose, I would say I am getting worse.  I can't really fall asleep, and when I do I wake up sweating because I don't know how we would get Jack out of his room if there was a fire (etc. etc,).

I have written about my struggles with depression in the past, and this?  This is not depression.  It's anxiety or something.  I am incredibly happy, if that makes sense.  So happy that I am afraid it will all be taken away from me in the blink of an eye.  I don't deserve this happiness (and yes, I do realize how flawed my logic is here, but I can't seem to rationalize my way through this one).

I finally worked up the courage to call the doctor, and to be honest, I am incredibly disappointed at how the appointment went.  I tried to explain how I was feeling, but I felt like she thought I was just another crazy person.  Her, with her eyebrows raised as I tried to explain that I get dizzy until I realize that I, inexplicably, have been holding my breath randomly.   She asked me some questions, and I told her that I would rather go to some form of counseling or therapy, with medication being a secondary option.  She seemed fine with this, but then wrote me a prescription she said would be fine with breastfeeding, then left.  No referral to a counselor, no actual diagnosis, and I have no idea where to start. 

I picked up my prescription, and right on the back it says not to take it if you are breastfeeding. I asked the pharmacist, who looked it up and said that according to her information, that drug is potentially toxic in breastmilk. we are.  I am willing to wean Jack if that is the only way I can be the best mom and wife that I can be, but I, with my limited knowledge and resources, have already found two other drugs that are deemed safe for breastfeeding infants and will be calling the doctor back tomorrow, and we will also be calling the counseling services offered through Matt's employer. 

This post is awkward, and jumbled.  And not nearly as eloquent as I would like it to be, but this is where I am.  Sitting at my laptop, staring at a little brown pill bottle, tears running down my face. 

I hate that I can't pull myself out of this on my own. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Skinny Jeans

Please take note of the fact that my son is wearing slim cut jeans (I have been calling them his 'skinny jeans' but Matt isn't a huge fan of that term).  And yes...his legs are rather short in comparison to his big ol' belly!  I could have just stared at his bod in those pants for hours, but unfortunately all he really wanted to do was eat that rock you see him holding.
This isn't much of a post, I know, but I am feeling a bit under the weather.  I am in a bit of a funk today, so unless you want to read a post in which I rant about how angry my hair makes me, I think I will just leave it at a cute picture of my kid.  I'm not sick, I think I am just overwhelmed.  I either need to yank myself out of it, or...something.

Oh P.S. voting ends Monday at midnight, so this is the last time you will have to hear me beg shamelessly for your votes! I promise.

What is your remedy for a funky day?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Attack of the Cousin

I had the pleasure of watching my nephew Emerson for a couple of hours this morning while my sister went to an appt. to hear their new baby's heartbeat...did you catch that? MY SISTER IS PREGNANT! Okay, sorry, I have been waiting and waiting for her to make it public and she just did a few minutes ago. 

Ahem...anyway...I say pleasure because, seriously, when these two are together it is actually easier than just one at a time.  They play together, they wrestle, they read books, it is adorable.

Emerson is nine months older than Jack, so while he has the upper hand in dexterity and attitude, Jack is a bruiser and has the upper hand in brute strength.   The running joke in my family is that when they are older Emerson will get them into trouble, and Jack will get them out.

Today, we built a fort, and the boys had a good old fashioned throw-down with some pillows and a blanket.
 What started out as relatively low key book reading, quickly turned into this:
No babies were harmed in the making of this photo strip.
I had to laugh when I transferred the pictures from my camera to my computer and found this little gem, I think it really does a good job of capturing their relationship.


And that, folks, was our morning! High energy, but lots of fun.

Also, just a little is still open for the Mommy Blog Awards! Hmm..okay well the button below is only going to the main category page, so if you are looking for Country Mouse Tales we are under 'Stay at home Mommy Blogs'.

Thanks to those of you who have already voted!

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I had to laugh at the timing, because just yesterday I wrote about my desire have a tantrum and to bang dishes around until I felt better, and today I learned that my blog made it into the finalists in The Bumps Mommy Blog contest in the Best Stay at Home Mommy Blog category.  I mean, don't get me wrong, that's flippin' awesome, it's just very ironic timing.

So to those who nominated...thank you!  To those who encouraged me yesterday...THANK YOU! Sometimes
all I need is someone to say 'yep, it's tough' and I just feel so much better.

Should you want to go vote, you can click the above button and go straight to the voting (you don't need an account with The Bump to do so), and if you are in the market for any other great mommy blogs, check out my competition, they are smokin' me, but they are awesome so I don't really mind, I'm honored to be there at all!

Also, I am happy to say that yesterday did NOT turn out to be total bust.  I went to my mom's house to pick up my younger brother, and we went back to the farm to visit Nanna.  It was a blast.  Jack got to explore, we got to chat and hang out, and the dogs got to kiss on my baby!
 My Nanna.  She has four kids, she totally gets it.
 Getting kisses from Barbara.  From the state of her nipples (not pictured) I'd hazard a guess that she, too, gets it!
And just for the record, I do brush his hair! He got my hair, and it's very  foofy! I love when the light catches it like this!

Again, you guys, I can't thank you enough for your encouragement yesterday.  Sometimes it is easy to feel like I am living on a little island, and just knowing you are a keyboard away is a huge encouragement!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I'm having one of those "falling off the dog" days again.  I woke up to a huge, um...present from the the dog smack dab in the middle of the living room, Jack seems to want to do nothing but nurse today, and all I really want to do is go bang the dishes around until I feel better.  Not that that ever seems to work, but it always seems to be my go to tantrum.
What I want to do right now.
It is tough, this motherhood thing.  I was going to say 'this SAHM(stay at home mom) thing' but then I realized that no, it's just motherhood in general.  There are different degrees of hard, different kinds of trouble, but we are all in it together.

I don't really have a neat wrap-up for this post, I just felt like I should strive to be more honest in real time for the other mom's out there who may have gotten poop on their hands twice today and are feeling a little like me...whiny. 

I will turn my attitude around, I will.  But I needed you to know that I am not always cheery.   Sorry to disappoint.  I think both Jack and I need a nap.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Simple Moments

This picture might be a little hard to figure out at first, but I had to snap it quickly.  Jack plays independently now for small stretches of time, and just this afternoon he came walking by proudly sporting his Daddy's slipper.
For the record...those are the dog's toys, not the baby's toys.
As often happens when shoes are many sizes to large, he soon tripped and fell.  He hopped right back up and what do you think he did?
Went right over and tried to put on Daddy's other slipper.

I love this simple, ordinary, beautiful life, and it's the little moments like this that make me appreciate it all a little more.

What simple moment are you appreciating this week?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jack's Jamboree

Jack's party was everything I hoped it would be, despite the cooler than anticipated weather.  Our dear friend Trinity gave us the most amazing gift of pictures.  She showed up with all her gear in tow and took a huge weight off my shoulders by not only taking pictures, but doing it so much better than I ever could.  For that reason, I am going to let the pictures do the majority of the talking in this post. So settle in folks, it's a long one!
My family and Matt's family were both huge in pulling off the party we were hoping for, some of them even showing up two hours early to help us set up!  
The birthday boy was a little unsure at first, but he soon warmed up and took on the star role with pride.
 It was a tad too cold to actually bob for apples, but the barrel of apples was still a big hit with the small folk in attendance.
I absolutely love that picture of my dad and brother. So funny and very...them.  On the back of the invitations to his party, we encouraged everyone to dress for a Jamboree, and they did!  It was so cute to see all the plaid, bandannas, and cowboy hats fill the pavilion.

The gourd painting station was a big hit! And I'm happy to report that no one ate any paint!  Although shortly after this picture was taken he attempted just that! 
And the gifts! Holy cow! This kid is set for the next few years I think.  Our families were above and beyond generous with their gifts for Jack, and he has spend the last two days playing non-stop with his new goodies!
And after all that excitement...there is only one thing left to do.  EAT.
In lieu of a large cake, we had cupcakes for the little cowpokes, whoopie pies for the adults, and of course a small cake for Jack to smash!

I'm guessing here, but I would be willing to bet there is no greater reminder of how fast life goes by then the first year of the life of your own child.

What a year it was! Thank you to everyone who came to help us celebrate Jack, and to all of you who have helped me celebrate him throughout this year here on this blog.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Birthday Boy

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

...Kid, you’ll move mountains!
...Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

-Oh! The Places You'll Go
Happy FIRST Birthday my littlest love.  Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cool Under Fire

As I've mention once or twice or thirty times, Jack's party is tomorrow.  I felt the need to go above and beyond a traditional home party and go with a little Jamboree theme, because you know, he is TOTALLY going to remember and cherish this birthday. 

My parents are divorced, and Matt's family lives over two hours away, so getting everyone together is a rare thing, and I want this to be special.  I decided that I would tackle making the majority of the food myself, clearly forgetting that I am a holy terror in the kitchen. 

Good thing I am cool under pressure.  Nothing gets to me.  I don't get frazzled by much, and I haven't needed to make countless trips to the grocery store when I forgot an ingredient.
Nope, nothing gets to me, and I certainly didn't put the milk in the cupboard...twice.

Yep, cooooool as a cucumber.  That's me.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go to the grocery store.

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