Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Survival

Well, I survived the pumpkin patches.  Yep.  I said "patches."  As in, plural.  And by survived, I mean, that I survived the 31,000 pictures taken, the unbearably hot weather, and a gaggle of toddlers and babies in various stages of meltdown at any given moment.

Clearly, I should be given a medal.

(Or at least a nap).

Pumpkin Patch #1:  Berry Patch Farm

We went with Rod, Kristin, and baby Riley.  I decided, it's fall, darn it!  I shall clothe myself in boots and a sweater.

And then, apparently I shall sweat my rear off (unfortunately not literally), while we take pictures that I ultimately look horrible in.  But AG got to ride a pony, and that is what counts.

Or something like that.

Y'all.  No lie, the temp was about 80 that day.
This was 5 seconds before sweat started dripping down my forehead.

Also, love how AG's all like, "EXCUSE ME.  Who are you, and why are you taking our picture?!"

C'mon.  Those cheeks!  Love.

This is her, "PLEASE QUIT ASKING ME TO SMILE" smile.
Works for me.

Pumpkin Patch #2:  Norcross Presbyterian Church

Our small group got together for a 30ish minute window and frantically tried to grab cute pics of the kiddos amidst pumpkins, which is an experience not dissimilar to herding cats.

See what I mean?
(They know they can get away with it because they're so darn cute.)
I have to say, this picture is a great representation of our time at the pumpkin patch:
Almost no one looking at the camera, but lots of laughter.

Clearly overwhelmed with all the choices.  

I am all about an awkward leg grab to hide my car keys. 

I found myself having the following conversation with AG.  Repeatedly.

Me:  Ally Grace, sit down next to this pumpkin for me!

AG:  Where's Caleb?

Me:  No seriously, hug the pumpkin and smile.  

AG:  I wanna go play WITH CALEB.  

Me:  (While gritting my teeth, determined to get a picture if it ENDS me) Just smile one time and then we'll be done.

AG:  (Lips clamped firmly together in determination, while scanning the crowd for Caleb).

Me:  Fine.  I will give you some fruit snacks, if you will JUST SMILE.

No judging people.  I was desperate.

AG:  (Grabs that pumpkin like her little life depends on it, and grins from ear to ear.....for one brief moment in time.)  

Which unfortunately my camera misses.  Although it does capture a great shot of her streaking off to find Caleb.

Apparently, Kerie is a magician and can coerce a smile out of her.
Or maybe she just had some fruit snacks in her pocket.

Seriously, though, it was precious to see these kids running around together, since we have all arranged their marriages and will eventually form our own commune in the country we know they will be life-long friends.

But, I'm not gonna lie.  I put AG down for a nap as soon as we got home, threw myself onto the couch, pounded some mini-Crunch bars, and zoned out watching an episode of Glee.

I earned it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Big Girl Bed

Y'all.  It happened.

My (truthfully too big to still be in a crib) three year-old just started sleeping in a big girl bed!
John and I may or may not have had a weepy moment in her room that first night.

Yes.  I know it's a HUGE bed for a little girl.
However, this girl's ALL ABOUT not having to move heavy beds up and down stairs, so we just borrowed this one from our guest room, conveniently located next door.

(Although, if you plan to be using our guest room anytime soon, I hope you're either less than 3 ft tall, or a member of cirque du soleil.  Because you'll be sleeping in a crib.)

My strategy was simple:  talk this thing up so much she would feel the emotional equivalent of a teenager given a brand-new car.

But even better.

So, during the last week, I heard myself way over-hyping this transition on a near constant basis.  Mainly to mask the fear.  (Mine, obviously).

WOW!  Ally Grace is going to sleep in her very own BIG GIRL BED!! 
(Thank you, Captain Obvious)

(Mommy's kind of freaking the heck out over here, so can you please, please, please stay in your bed and not do anything crazy?)

(Okay, fine.  They do.  But not until they're grown-ups, okay?)

(Right?  RIGHT?)

So, yeah.  I've been kind of nervous.  To put it (very) mildly.  But let me just tell you, sassy polka-dotted sheets are apparently AG's love language, 'cause that girl hasn't stepped a toe out of her bed in the last 4 nights!

YES!  SUCCESS!!  Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go find some wood to knock on.

I'll leave y'all with this video we took of her seeing her bed for the first time.  Thank you to our friend/babysitter, Alek, who entertained AG, while we moved furniture around and fought with sassy polka-dotted sheet sets.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Eight Years

Dear God,

Do you remember how I would sit in my college apartment, just praying that you would "hit me over the head with the guy I was supposed to marry."  You know, so I would "recognize him."

Thank you, Lord.

I recognized him.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21

Monday, October 8, 2012


Dear Ally Grace,

You're three years old today!  I really can't believe how quickly those years have flown by.  I'm sure I'll get all sappy, and say that every year on your birthday, but it's true.

You've grown into such an amazingly sweet, creative, smart, funny, and beautiful little girl.  I am immensely proud to be your mother, and I can't wait to see what the next year of your life holds for us.

This year, it seemed like you would say something new and funny every single day.  Like the time, during potty-training, that you didn't want to sit on the potty and, very seriously, told me that "the poo-poo wants to sleep in my bottom."
(Um, NO. Points for trying though.)

Or the time that you told me that you don't like going to ballet class because "it's too loud."
(I mean, is it heavy metal ballet class or something?  I don't understand.)

Or when you told me that your "bottom just burped."
(As a side note, why do so many of your AG-isms have to do with bodily functions?)

And recently, when you told me that you "want a baby brother," and that we could "name him Elmo." (Because Elmo Dickens wouldn't get beat up on the playground. Not at ALL.)

(And no, I am not pregnant.  Although, clearly, you're anxious to be an only child no longer.)

Another quality I've seen in you this year is your compassion.  Not necessarily when we're trying to share toys at the playground per se, but more so in the times you sweetly hug me, and ask "are you happy, mommy?"  And somehow I know, that already, my answer is important to you.

(My answer is always yes, by the way.  Not necessarily because I'm in a happy mood.  But because even when I'm not, I will always be happy that I'm your mother.)  

You are admittedly becoming a little, um, dramatic. It's not unusual to tell you "no," and have you hang your head and say "that hurts my feelings, mommy."  (To which I usually reply, "it won't be the last time, sweet pea."  Or my personal favorite "just wait til you're a teenager."  To which YOU reply, "what's a preen-ager?"  And I just tell you the truth:  "A teenager is someone who loves God, and always respects and obeys their parents.")

(Bahahahahahahaha.  Here's hoping.)

You told me the other day that you "love Jesus."  You have NO idea what that did to me, little one. I may or may not have had to go cry some happy tears after I left your room.  I love that you already love Him, and I pray every single day that He will deepen that love into a life-long relationship with Him.  And somehow use me and your dad in the process, despite being the total goober-ish sinners that I know we are.

You are a little entertainer, with a BIG personality.  I have NO IDEA where you get that.  A-hem.  You literally made up a song about rain boots the other day.  Granted, most of it was unintelligible, but still.  Hilarious and awesome.

Sassy outfit that inspired the "rain boots song."
See? Hilarious and awesome.

In fact, I think if I had to sum up this year, it would be with those two words:  hilarious and awesome.

(Although I might throw in "tiring" just to keep it real.)

I love you so much, baby girl.  Happy 3rd birthday!!