Sunday, October 30, 2011

Annual Pumpkin Patch Trip

We packed up our little pumpkin and made the 5 minute drive to the local Lutheran church's pumpkin patch. Although we always have grand intentions to go to a "real" pumpkin patch, it just never seems to be in the cards for us!! So we are happy that we have a mini pumpkin patch so close to home, and it gets the job done to get a few pumpkin pictures. We keep telling ourselves that we really have a couple of more years before Anna really starts remembering these trips so for now, we're enjoying the short drive!!

Here you go - hope everyone is having fun getting ready for Halloween! Got your costumes ready??



Please note how well Banana Bean is wearing her hair bow. I would like to point out that it was not the baby who removed it, but my husband. Everyone please comment on how cute her hair bow is so that he will leave it on in the future.














Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Friday!

A few things that have made me happy this week!

Finally getting my hubby home after a week at Disney World.

Finally finding the perfect pair of brown wedge shoes. At Payless, no less! They are crazy comfortable and I loved them so much I bought them in black, too.

Anna's cozy fleece pajamas, and the fact that it's cool enough now to wear them.

The fact that there is now a Carter's store located outside of the mall within easy driving distance. And right next to Target. Actually this could be dangerous...

My Scentsy pumpkin marshmallow bar. Mmmmm!

What's been making you smile this week?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Bert Show's Big Thank You

One of the big radio stations here in Atlanta, Q100, has a very popular morning show called The Bert Show. And every year for the past several years, they have held a letter collection effort called The Bert Show's "Big Thank You", where they have a goal to get a handwritten thank you letter into the hands of EVERY American soldier serving overseas in time for Thanksgiving. I have sent letters every year except for this one, despite the reminders from my friends Melissa and April (sorry ladies, I suck!). I'm just never in the car in the mornings, and quite frankly...I forgot.

Basic Training Graduation 137

This morning I was in the car on the way to meet Anna's new play group and The Bert Show hosts were talking about the Big Thank You and how they aren't even close to the 400,000 letters that they were hoping to get. They kept playing voice snippets of soldiers saying how thankful they were to get the letters, and how they hung them up in their barracks for months, and how much it saddened them to not receive letters for the holidays. And my emotional sappy hormonal self was sitting there sniffling and feeling guilty and also trying not to smear my mascara all over the damn place before my meeting.

Basic Training Graduation 140

So today and tomorrow, I am ransacking my stationery collection and getting as many letters written as I can. And I encourage any fellow Atlantans to contribute too, if you have the time. Their deadline to get letters in is TOMORROW, so that they can get the letters in the hands of the soldiers by Thanksgiving. You can drop your letters off at any Atlanta Taco Mac location, or if you live close to the radio station you can drop them off there. They are also collecting letters in Nashville and Indianapolis. Taco Macs are open late tomorrow night so make your hubby take you to dinner, drop off your letters, and then have a beer to reward your hard efforts!!

More information can be found here:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Victorian Babies

 I picked up a book at the library on a whim a couple of weeks ago, and couldn't put it down. It's fascinating! It's titled Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England, by Judith Flanders. It's a very lengthy book, and very thoroughly researched. Ms. Flanders follows the timeline of a life from infancy to death, and uses that timeline to go through each room of a Victorian London home. And the thing I love most about this book is that she doesn't limit herself to a simple catalog of items in the rooms - she explains in great detail the "zeitgeist" of the times, including etiquette, social expectations, finances, servant/child/parent/guest relationships, etc. So many things that have been mentioned in passing in other books (Anne of Green Gables, Little Women for examples) now make more sense and have a much more substantial meaning. And it also makes me very happy that I didn't live in Victorian London because quite frankly it sounds filthy!!

Anyway, all nerdiness aside, my favorite parts of the book involve the care of infants and children. It's so interesting seeing how infants were cared for, and how much infant care has evolved from the 1840's to now. Here are some of the tidbits I've learned - I thought other mommas might find this fun to read too!

* The average married woman in the 1870's spent a dozen years of her married life either being pregnant or breastfeeding, with an average of 5.5 births.

* Infants that weren't able to nurse for whatever reason were fed from bottles. In 1860, infants were generally given a gruel made from some combination of bread crumbs, flour, sugar, and cow's milk or water. Prepared infant food had just become available but it was very expensive and many families couldn't afford it.

* Teething was a dreaded ailment for Victorian babies, and was blamed for everything and anything, including fever, convulsions, rolling of the eyes, and labored breathing. If teething was left untreated (by purgatives, warm baths, teething ring, or lancing the gums), it was believed that it would lead to serious problems like brain inflammation, rickets, or water on the brain (no idea what that means).

* Many children and infant medicines at the time contained opium, chloral hydrate, and cannabis.

* The Victorian medical community had concerns about keeping infant bowels in place, so mothers would wrap their infants in a tight belly band underneath their clothes.

* Rich or "superfluous" foods were considered unwholesome, and feeding your child such foods was thought to lead to a corruption of moral character, as well as indigestion. Even at the end of the 19th century, the common advice for children was to only give them vegetables on occasion, and fruits rarely - if ever. Potatoes were not considered to be a vegetable and given at almost every lunch and dinner. Breakfast for children was usually toast, porridge, and milk or water.

* Victorian funerals went through a very elaborate phase, with plenty of pageantry. The "pageant" costumes for adults were all black, but if the funeral was for a child, all of the costumes, drapery, and other fabrics were switched out for white.

(much thanks to for the Victorian images!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

13 Months Old!

Anna Bean is 13 months old now, big girl! I went back and forth on whether or not to keep doing these monthly updates but in the end, I decided to keep them. I like being able to read all of her little updates in one place and this way, you guys will be guaranteed at least one post a month, haha.



This has been a fun month. Funny that it took a year to get here, but this really felt like the first month where I just stopped stressing about things and let Anna take the lead. And it's nice - I should have done this months ago!



Anna's favorite activity right now is holding onto our hands and marching around the house. Up stairs, down stairs, through the baby gates, all over the place...if there's floor under her feet, she wants to walk on it (with Mommy and Daddy's help!). If she can "walk" in the direction of the dog, even better. And she'll even grab my hands and walk up ME while I'm sitting in the rocker with her!!


Speaking of Kingsley, Anna has started saying her first real word apart from Mama and Dada. It's not completely finished yet, but we've noticed that anytime she hears Kingsley bark or anytime that she sees Kingsley, she says "Daw". Obviously she's a genius baby, and I'm thrilled that she has a new word in her little repertoire.



Another new game that she loves to play with us is throwing the ball. We will sit on the floor of her playroom and take one of the many plastic balls bouncing around in there, and roll it to her. She will grab it and throw it vaguely in our direction, and then laughs and laughs when we roll it back to her. Rinse and repeat until all of the balls are under the couch or behind the shelves and then we distract her with a new game.


Banana is also growing opinionated on what books she wants to read with us. Her new favorite is "Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?", and she crawls over to hand it to me to read at least once an hour (seriously). She also likes Curious George, Bedtime Bunny, and any of the other short, colorful board books.


Another cute skill that she has been learning is how to brush her hair. If she happens to spot her hair brush laying around, she'll grab it and start waving it around her hair like she's brushing it.

Bean is still eating wonderfully, and we've also started slowly giving her things on the high-allergy risk list. So far she's had a bit of shrimp, peanut butter, and strawberries. I think the only thing left we have to give her is honey, and so far, no problems!

 Well, that's all for this month folks...hope everyone is having a wonderful October too!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Anna's Birthday Slideshow

For Anna's birthday party, I made a digital scrapbook of some of my favorite pictures since she has been born, and I played it on our TV in the living room. Tonight I realized that my wonderful husband saved the scrapbook images in a Picasa folder, so I thought I'd share it here too for those who couldn't make it to the party. Enjoy!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Give that Clicker Finger a Workout, Please

Ladies and Gentlemen - normally I have a very limited amount of patience for all these online baby contests that seem to be so popular. And normally I get pretty good at tuning them all out and deleting them off my Facebook and Google Reader.

But, today, it seemed like everywhere I turned on my normal online "mommy haunts", I kept seeing the devastating but sweet face of a little boy named Tripp. And when I read his story, I couldn't stop crying. I cannot imagine what that little boy and his mother are going through and it breaks my heart to think of them.

Tripp has a rare genetic skin disease that causes him a lot of pain and blisters. He has already lived one year past his life expectancy and has now lost his eyesight. You can read his story here: I will warn you that the pictures are initially very difficult to look at, but what a fighter, and what a beautiful little boy. God bless that little soul and his determined, loving mother.

They are among the top contenders to win a $25,000 prize, which would help alleviate some of their medical bills. Please please PLEASE click this link today and every day going forward until the end of the contest:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jump Down, Turn Around, Pick a Peck of Apples

Okay, I know those aren't the right lyrics but that's the extent of my creativity tonight in regards to blog post titles!


This weekend we hopped in the car and drove up to North Georgia to visit one of the many apple orchards. We also had plans to stay the night at the lake house, and then spend Sunday visiting Helen...but then we had a sleepless night and we gave up and came home instead. Maybe next year!

Anyway, we went to Hillcrest Orchards on the recommendations of a couple of friends, and we had a great time! We are looking forward to going again next year but I think next time, we're going to try to go on a week day just to help cut down on the crowd size. 

First we got some hamburgers and sodas for lunch - traffic was pretty bad getting up there due to the very poor parking planning of a neighboring apple farm (cough cough BJ Reece cough cough) and by the time we got to Hillcrest, we were starving! Anna got some hamburger too and she wanted to share with Daddy.

Anna's tights were quite a conversation starter. I joked that they were her "Wicked Witch of the West" tights, but I still think they're pretty cute. And great fall colors!

Mmm apples!





Someone was a happy camper!



And Bean even helped us fill up our apple bag!


By the way, this face cracks me up. I used to make the exact same face when I was a baby, and I promise I don't make this face now!! So it's funny to see her doing the exact same thing!






Doing a quick inventory

Hanging out in the store after was way too crowded to buy anything so we came home and made our own apple pie instead! Yum!