The Bright Side

If you read my blog on Wednesday or if you follow my tweets, you might already know that Emily is having a bad week. She had two awful days in which she just whined and wanted to be held all of the time. She has also had a few terrible nights and has had a lot of trouble sleeping, which in turn has caused me to have a lot of trouble sleeping.

And then today, when once again she wanted nothing but for me to hold her, I realized something. It could be so, so much worse than it is. So I tweeted this:


I've been doing a lot of thinking the past few days about just how good I have it. And then there was this post by my Aunt Becky and this post by the Thrifty Decor Chick that made me realize that I'm right: I have it good. Really, really good. 

I might not have had a chance to eat lunch until 4:00, but at least I have food to eat. I might not be able to afford to buy a miniature white Christmas tree and all the bells and whistles to put in Emily's room (keep in mind that we already have 2 other trees going up) but at least I can afford to buy her Christmas presents. I might not be able to decorate my house for Halloween and Thanksgiving this year, but at least I have a somewhere to live. Emily might have a branchial cleft cyst in her neck which will have to be surgically removed shortly after her first birthday, but at least it is not life-threatening. And I might be up all night with a crying baby but at least I have a baby.

I know several people, both in real life and through blogs that I read, who want nothing more than a baby of their own. A healthy, normal baby. Some of them have had babies that have passed away, and some people are not able to even get pregnant. So I should quit complaining and be thankful for my daughter, and be glad that it's only a benign tumor.

Because it could be so, so much worse.

Have you looked at the bright side lately?

*Also, please go vote for Aunt Becky, from the blog Mommy Wants Vodka. It will only take a minute of your time and if when she wins she will be donating the money to the March of Dimes in honor of her daughter Amelia who, like Emily, also was born with a birth defect that had to be removed. (And by the way, she kicked her surgery's butt.) If she can go through brain surgery, then surely you can go vote!

You Capture: Autumn

In my opinion, this week's challenge wasn't challenging at all. When I think of Autumn, many things come to mind. For a lot of people, autumn probably means leaves changing from vibrant green to blazing oranges and reds. But not here; we won't see those beautiful colors for another month or two. But what we do see is this:

Pecans that have fallen from the trees and are ready to be eaten - either straight out of the shell or straight out of a pie shell.

Fields full of cotton that is ready to be picked. This is the closest we will get to having anything white on the ground.

Acorns falling from the oak trees, just in time for squirrels to stock up for the winter and the bucks to bulk up in preparation for the rut.

And speaking of deer, autumn is the time to hunt.

And my favorite Autumn sight of all - beautiful mums.

What does Autumn mean to you? Go dust off your camera, snap some pictures and link up to Beth's blog. And don't forget to check out all of the other entries!

A Bad Mother

I can't do this. Not right now, not today. I can't be a good mother today.

I tried and I failed. Same story as yesterday. I feel helpless. There is nothing I can do to make her happy, and unfortunately, the only one she wants is me. She wants to be in my arms and nowhere else.

If I put her down, she cries. If Denny holds her, she cries. Up next to me is all that will do.

If I pull my nipple out of her mouth, she wakes. If I lay her down, she wakes. And cries.

Where is the baby from last week? The independent baby who played alone while I got things done. The sweet baby who would let her Daddy, her Granny, her Nana hold her while I got some time to myself - what happened to her?

Something isn't right. I think she must be teething. How long will this last? I don't think I can take much more.

The Great CoRnundrum of '09

If you know either me or my mom IRL then you will know that when we get together, hilarity (and a few wrong turns) ensues. What I'm trying to say is, WE GET LOST. Denny was along for the ride too, but he put me in charge of the driving and he took the opportunity to get to know his BlackBerry a bit better.

Before I go any further, let me give you Exhibit A: A map of Georgia with our starting location and our pumpkin patch destination marked in red. 

You can see that we are starting in Statesboro and plan to end up at the dot just to the Northeast of there in a town named Louisville which is not large enough or significant enough to be pointed out to us on this map. 

So, do you think that either of us bothered to look at this map (or any other map) before we left the house? Nope. Did my mom think to ask her husband if he knew how to get where we were going (and let me just say that he actually does know exactly how to get there)? Noooo. That would have been way too easy. All we had with us was the directions from the pumpkin patch's website, which in our defense, they made it seem like their farm was right outside of Augusta. Let me go ahead and make this crystal clear for you. The pumpkin patch is most definitely NOT right outside of Augusta. The pumpkin patch is about 50 MILES from Augusta. Now here is a pop quiz for you: Take one more look at that map. Which way do you think we went? If you guessed that we took Highway 25 all the way to Augusta, you'd be right! (Sorry, there are no prizes being awarded at this time.)  

Their site also said NOT to use a GPS or Mapquest or any other map besides theirs because we would end up on another farm about 10 miles from there. In hindsight, I could have looked up the town on Mapquest to find the shortest way there and then followed their directions. Oh well, just another lesson learned.

We were having a hard time finding the road we were supposed to take and we almost went the right way, but I wasn't sure about it so we kept going straight ahead. We just kept going and going and the next thing we knew, we were being welcomed into South Carolina! At that point, we were about 65 miles from where we were supposed to be and it was almost 4:00. My whole reason for ever wanting to go to this God-forsaken pumpkin patch was so I could take Halloween pictures of Emily, and I could not take pictures in the dark!

There was one thing that made all of that driving a little bit better. I found my own Redundancy FAIL!

Please tell me that you get what is wrong with this sign.

So finally after stopping and asking for directions, we were on the right road to Kackleberry farm and we finally got there around 5:00. There were lots of things to do at the farm, like.......

jumping on the World's Largest Pillow, which was not in fact, full of feathers or cotton, but instead full of air. 

We saw how tall Emily is this fall, and I found out that it takes more to be a photographer than being able to press a button because Denny could not get the entire sign in the picture. (Psst. Back up honey!) 

We swung on a sewer pipe swing, and we had to beg not to be swung off by the big kids.


We played in a "corn"box.

We took pictures with some teeny-tiny, Emily-sized pumpkins. 

And we rode on the Cow Train!


We walked through the corn "maize" and I realized that Denny is just as good at looking at the camera as Emily is. By the way, if you've never walked through a corn maze, you haven't missed anything. 


Emily drove a tractor,


posed as a chicken, 


and was a sweet little flower with Makayla and I.

I also went down a slide made out of none other than another sewer pipe, and the warning sign about how fast the slide was, was a HUGE understatement. People were getting hurt coming off of that slide. I almost fell down! See?

It really was a lot of fun. My sister rode a zip-line and I wanted to too, but it was getting darker by the minute and we still hadn't taken pumpkin patch pictures!

But where were all of the pumpkins? The patch had run out and they had to buy more pumpkins, and they almost ran out of those too! We had to round up pumpkins from all over to be able to take pictures.

Now normally, Emily would be excited about taking pictures and would smile her cheesiest smile for the camera. But not this time. She was just not having it. 

She wasn't even happy when we presented her with a pumpkin of her very own. I knew I didn't have much longer so we quickly changed her into her costume for some ghost pictures. Are you ready to see one of her meltdowns?


So I picked her up and took a few pictures with her, and it was clear that she just wanted to be held.


 See how happy she is in Mama's lap? I assumed she was settled down enough to give solo pictures one more try.....

....but I was wrong. She just looked up at all of us like, "Why? What did I ever do to you?" It was so sad! Picture time was officially over, and after a hayride, so was our trip to Kackleberry Farm. 

IF we had known the shortest way to get there, and IF we had gotten there earlier in the day, it would have been so much better. But now we know what it's all about and we can make better some plans the next time we go. 

You Capture

I found out about You Capture weeks ago, and I still don't have any idea why it took me so long to grab my camera and join in. I LOVE this idea and I wish I'd known about it when it first started. This week's theme was "technology" and I won't lie; it was hard. Really, really hard. I wanted to capture things that you wouldn't normally think of (like tv's, phones and computers) and I think I did ok. These might not be your idea of technology, but when I think of technology, I think of convenience and these aren't things that have always been around. 

A lamp. Electric light. And although there is nothing wrong with candlelight, sometimes a candle just doesn't cut it.

Running water. My Grandma didn't have this in her house when she was a little girl.

My pretty watch, although I only wear it when I'm teaching, which is never.

I seriously do not know what I'd do without this toaster oven.

And finally, an almost dead technology - the land line. We will probably be getting rid of ours soon.

I hope I did alright with this one. I'm even more excited for next week's theme - it's Autumn!

What Have I Done?

So I'm trying to make a few extra bucks without actually working, and I've decided to send in some old jewelry to Cash 4 Gold (please don't be a scam, please, please don't be a scam). I've got an old bracelet from a high school boyfriend that I haven't worn in years, and there are a few other pieces that I'm gonna send in, including an earring mounting with no stone in it (the stone was taken out to make the necklace that Denny had custom made for me for my college graduation). So I've been looking all over the house today for that stupid earring, and guess what? I can't find it.

I looked in every place that jewelry lives at in our house. I even looked in all of the empty jewelry boxes that we kept for some reason even though none of my jewelry is still in them. I did however find a bunch of $2 bills that Denny put in one of the boxes years ago and had forgotten about. I swear, one day I am going to find money hidden in the toilet or a shoebox or somewhere else like that.

Anyway, I called Denny to ask him if he remembered with the earring, and do you know what I did with it? I threw it away. Like, in the trash.

Last winter when I was nesting like a mad woman, I decided that I had no use for such a thing and I THREW IT AWAY. I threw gold away. I know it was probably worth next to nothing anyway, but seriously, who throws gold away?

Apparently, I do.

Work At Home Mommy

I think I've finally come to terms with the fact that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing - staying at home with Emily. I've figured out the only reason that I want to work is so that I can have some extra money, but then i realize that money can't buy happiness, so if that's all I'm working for, it's really not worth it. If I'm going to work, it should be because I love doing that particular job. And there is no job in this whole entire universe that I would love to do more than what I'm currently doing. (Ok, so I can think of a few jobs I'd love to have, but Lord knows I'm never gonna get them.)

My mom, because she is my mom and she thinks I'm great when I am really not great, found a perfect job for me. A blogging job. A blogging job that I can do here at home. A blogging job that I can do here at home and make major money doing it. I think I like the sound of that. It's just about as close to perfect as I think a job can be. The problem is, I need votes to get this job. Lots of votes. The current leader has 2811 votes. I have 8. 

You have until October 30th to help make me a winner, and you can vote once a day. So go vote here! Please. Pretty please. Pretty please with a cherry on top. And whipped cream!

Better Late Than Never

Summer is long gone, but I couldn't help myself. I had to post these pictures. I took them last summer and have never done anything with them (except for the first one shown, you will probably recognize it) until now. I know it's the wrong season for some of the colors here, but I hope you like what I had growing in my garden!









Tutu Cute

For Halloween this year, I wanted two things. I wanted Emily to have an original costume, something that wasn't store bought and boring, and I also wanted something cheap. Because if you know me, then you know how much I love cheap (did you see my tweet about the 44 cent Christmas pajamas I got for Emily? Yeah, I'm full of the frugal).

So I combined those two criteria, and although half of her costume is store bought, it is super cute and original. I made the other half myself, which is not too bad, considering how un-crafty I am.

And so for Halloween 2009, Emily will be dressed as...................

A ghost! An adorable little ghost!

I so badly want to get these BabyLegs to go with her ensemble, but unfortunately they are sold out. Oh, well. I think her costume will be just perfect the way it is!

And it only cost me $7. Only 19 days 'til Halloween! What are your children (and you, if you dress up) going to be this year?                                                                     

Getting My Girl

It was exactly one year ago that I found out that my baby

would be my daughter.


I remember it all so very well. The night before, I was so nervous. I was scared that something would be wrong with our baby, but at the same time I was thrilled that I would be finding out if our baby was a boy or a girl in just a few more hours. I remember the weather being just right for having the windows open in our house, and I kept hearing a strange noise, like a cat's meow. Strange, because we didn't have a cat. Denny was in the office on the computer and I asked him to look outside for the noise.

Sure enough, there she was. A black kitten on our porch. We had no idea where she came from or how she got to our house. We only have two neighbors and neither of them have cats. The closest homes that might possibly have cats living there were at least a mile away. But somehow she found us and I found myself in a fit. 

Black cats mean bad luck, right? Well, if you happen to be superstitious, which I certainly am not. But still, I couldn't help but think that this cat showing up on our doorstep meant something. She was a girl - did that mean that our baby was a girl? The baby which I was sure was a boy?

I found it hard to sleep that night. It was like the night before a vacation - I was so excited and I couldn't wait for morning, but I could not get my thoughts to settle down and let me get to sleep. When morning finally came I was ready to go in record time. Denny and I had planned to leave early so we could get breakfast. We ate at Sunrise restaurant, and when we got there we were disappointed to find out that they only had the breakfast buffet on the weekends, and that day was a Tuesday. Denny got an omelet, I got pancakes. I tasted his omelet, and normally I don't eat eggs, but there was so much filling that I could barely taste the egg and I actually liked it.

We finished our food and still had 30 minutes until our appointment which was only 2 miles away. So we sat. And we waited. And we finally left. I was driving. I knew the minute we walked in the door that we would be waiting a while. There were two other women ahead of me and the minutes just crept by like inchworms. One of the couples from our class came out of the ultrasound room with black and white pictures and the biggest smiles you have ever seen on their faces. They chose not to find out what they were having - they wanted it to be a surprise (they later found out they were having a boy). 

Finally there was only one person ahead of me and I figured I had about 20 more minutes to wait, but she was finished in 5. It was our turn. The ultrasound technician asked if we wanted to know the sex and we told her that we definitely did, and she informed us that she would save that part for last, after looking at everything else. She asked if we thought we knew and I told her that I had a feeling it was a boy.

I have always been able to look at an ultrasound picture and know exactly what I was looking at. So when the first image popped up onto the screen, I instantly knew what I was seeing: girl parts. The ultrasound technician immediately moved away from that area of my belly to find the baby's head. She didn't know that I had seen the good stuff. I tried to focus on the ultrasound, on all of the arms and legs and tiny toes, but my excitement was about to burst out of my being and I could barely stop myself from blurting out my secret. But I did stop myself. I could tell that she loved her job and loved giving expecting couples the big news, so I didn't want to steal her sunshine. Nor did I want Denny to know either - I let him keep on thinking that he might be getting a boy for a few more minutes. 

Finally - it was time! And then she couldn't get a decent look between the legs. I wanted to tell her that I already knew, but she persevered and pushed on my belly and the baby moved. Then our baby gave us a perfectly wide open view of her anatomy and it was unmistakable. At that moment, I lost it. I was a hysterical, crying mess. We were having a girl. I was going to have a daughter. I wanted a daughter so badly, but I didn't think that I'd be getting her this time around. Maybe it would be the next time, or the time after that, but no! I was getting her now.

She's Mommy's girl, and I'm completely wrapped around her teeny-tiny finger. 
I love my Emily Willow. 

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