Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Now I understand.

My entire life my dad always preferred to go to bed at the same time as my mom.  He didn't like her staying up late for any reason... including a movie night with me, or girl time, or a girls weekend, etc.  Don't get me wrong, he loves that my mom and I are close, but he always said he couldn't sleep without my mom.

As a kid, I never believed him because I could hear him snoring when mom and I went back to bed... who was he trying to fool?  He could TOTALLY sleep without my mom.

Now I've learned, he was completely right.  Chris and I do not sleep well when the other is not there.  On nights where he works late, or when he's off hunting, or I'm out of town, we both find that we can't sleep, we toss and turn, and the sleep we get is fitful.

I'm sorry for doubting you, Dad.  Now I understand.

One of the best parts of my day is curling up next to my Hubby in bed.  On nights when I can't do that, everything feels wrong.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Song, "Mom"

After I wrote the post a few days ago about Matthew 7:9-11, a friend commented and asked if I had heard the new Garth Brooks song, "Mom."  I hadn't... but wow, it is now one of my favorites.  There is no music video yet, but check out his first performance of the song on Good Morning America a few weeks ago.

Enjoy.


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Tracey Ann - 10 Months

 My precious baby girl is ten months old... my goodness, how is this possible?

Weight:
 Probably a little more than 17.5 pounds, but I'm not sure exactly... I'm just excited to be posting the ten month update ON her ten month birthday, the fact I don't have an updated weight is not something I'm going to worry about.


Length:  
Probably a little longer than 27", which she was at her nine month check up.


Clothing size:
She mostly wears 9 and 12 month clothes, although some six month clothes still fit her.  We have been fortunate to receive some hand-me-downs from a family from our church, but some of the sizes and seasons don't always match.  Luckily, she wears skirts and dresses with pants underneath, and short-sleeve shirts with long-sleeve onesies underneath.  We are all about the layers.


Eating: 
She is such a great eater.  I've said that almost every month... but she really is.  This month she even tasted some of my mom's three-bean salad, which I don't like, and she made a face when she first tasted the vinegar, and then happily ate the beans once she was used to it.  She tried my chili this month, and some of daddy's elk back strap.  We do not have a vegetarian on our hands -- we have to give her veggies before the meat because otherwise she will only eat the meat and ignore her veggies.  She's also still loving breast milk.


Sleeping: 
This month has gone more smoothly with sleeping, with the exception of about ten days following daylight savings time, during which time we traveled to New York for a wedding... the time change with the different time zones with the excitement of traveling, Grammie and Papa, a hotel room, and a wedding took some time to re-create our good sleep schedule.  Now, we're back to normal with Tracey Ann falling asleep between 7-8pm, and sleeping until around 6am.  She often wakes up around 3, and I'm too tired to remember that she will probably go back to sleep on her own -- I often sleepwalk to her room, bring her back to our bed, and start nursing her before I realize the she really doesn't need this and I shouldn't have done this.



New Accomplishments: 

  • Tracey Ann had her first Halloween this month, and dressed up like a little pumpkin -- because she is such a little pumpkin.  No Trick-Or-Treating, but we did visit a corn field and pumpkin patch.

  • I know Tracey Ann isn't "officially" a toddler until she turns one year -- but this month she really became a toddler.  She gets into anything and everything, and moves a mile a minute.
  • She can now lower herself from a standing to a seated position with control rather than plopping down with a thump.
  • She has started raising her hands up above her head... sometimes on cue (like when we say TOUCHDOWN), sometimes not
  • She has waved good-bye a few times and she has clapped her hands, but neither one consistently
  • She has learned to stand in the bathtub... and we are trying to teacher her NOT to stand in the bathtub
  • We've started letting her play with pots and pans and wooden spoons when we're in the kitchen

  • She's begun nodding her head "yes" and shaking her head "No" -- and often it makes complete sense when she does it.  One night, Chris was talking to Tracey Ann and he told her that she was the most beautiful girl in the world.  Then he said, "Most beautiful is a superlative.  Can you say superlative?"  And she looked at him... then he said, "Should superlative be your first word?" and Tracey Ann looked at him and then shook her head "No."  It was adorable and hilarious... and clearly our child is brilliant!
  • She's begun handing her toys or pacifier over to someone while she's playing with it... now she doesn't release the toy from her own grip yet, but she hands it over
  • She loves the taste of her different toys... and now she tries to put them in our mouths as well -- she's sharing the tastiness
  • She has begun getting stuck places... under chairs, in between furniture...

  • She can now hold her toys while crawling, pulling up and standing
  • Unfortunately, she is in the process of catching her first cold.  Yesterday morning she began coughing, and by the end of the day she had a little runny nose too.
  • We tried out a new church this month, which has a nursery for babies age 6-24 months, and so she had her first real experience playing with peers her own age.  She and I both spent time in the nursery to sort of check it out... I'm not sure I'll be leaving her in there by herself yet, but she did so well exploring the new toys and doing parallel and a little interactive play with the other babies.



Likes: 
  •  Cat toys (the little balls with bells inside her the perfect size for her hands)
  • The toilet
  • Pots pans spatulas
  • Pushing doors closed
  • Pulling up on Lloyd
  • Trying to touch Lexie
  • Jumping

Dislikes:
  • Getting her diaper changed... she doesn't like to lay still
  • Being sick

Places She Went:
  •  New York (21st state)
  • Abbie's wedding


  • Pumpkin patch

  • 2nd Airplane trip -- first airplane trip with Daddy along

Special Memories:
  • Daddy went elk hunting in Wyoming for an entire week, and I ran the show at home all by myself... and Tracey Ann and I survived.  We had to have our nanny arrive an hour earlier every morning because usually there is an hour after I've left but before our nanny arrives when Chris is at home... but without Chris, we needed her to adjust her schedule, which she graciously did for us
  • First snow that we could actually go outside and play in -- she has had "first snows" but she was too little to go outside in it... of course, it was only after I had her all bundled up that I realized she doesn't have winter boots...

  • She got to hang out with the bride and bridesmaids the day before Aunt Abbie's wedding, and she had a blast trying to help prepare for the wedding

  • She had fun with Grammie and Papa and Daddy while Mama was a bridesmaid in the New York wedding

  • Grandma and Grandpa Miller came to visit right after our time in New York and got to enjoy some time with Tracey Ann

  • Tracey Ann tried turkey for the first time because we had an early Thanksgiving meal when Grandma and Grandpa Miller were in town
  • Tracey Ann and I had our first experience trying to shoot our Christmas Card photo for the year... I, for some reasons, chose to do this while Hubby was out of town... so I boldly tied Lexie, Lloyd, and Tracey Ann to a chair, and did my best to make them smile


Nicknames:
  • Tracey Ann
  • Tracey
  • Baby Girl
  • Beautiful
  • Pumpkin (pronounced Punkin)
  • Fuss-o (when she's fussy)
  • Pretty Girl
  • Little Climber
  • Squirmy
  • Hard Worker
  • Problem Solver 
Oh my... this little girl is just the best thing in the world.





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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Matthew 7:9-11

This verse is so present on my heart these days:

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, 
how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
 - Matthew 7:9-11

It does not seem possible that God could love Tracey Ann more than I do... and yet, He loved her first.  He CREATED her.  He knows more about her than I do... and He loves her more than I do.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Currently...

Currently...
 
Loving:  The holiday season, and knowing that Hubby and I get to experience the entire season and magic and miracle of Christmas as parents this year, for the first time.

Reading/Watching:  Books and shows by the Duggar family -- the family from 19 Kids and Counting.  I listen to their books on Audible while I drive (there are 3), and I record their tv shows so I can watch them when I have time.  I have really been encouraged and motivated by their story and how they live their lives.

Trying to:   Live in a more joyful, loving, grateful manner.  I have two graduate degrees... but neither one is in being a good wife or mother.  I'm trying to love my husband, and care for my daughter better and better every day.

Wishing:   For all the things on my "grow-up Christmas list"

Excited for:  A lifetime with Hubby and Tracey Ann... I want a beautiful life where Hubby and I have many stories of wisdom developed through trials, and God's faithfulness through struggles.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Solo-parenting


Hubby has been gone for the past week up hunting in Wyoming with his dad and brothers.  This has made me the only parent keeping the home fires burning for the past seven days.  It has not been easy.

I have always had a lot of respect for solo parents, widowed mothers, or the wives of servicemen, and after this week, I can say, despite my respect for them, I really do not want to be one.

My hubby will be the first to tell you that, even when he's here, I am the primary care giver of Tracey Ann -- it wasn't THAT big of a change to be the only one in charge... and yet, it WAS a big change because there is a difference in having backup when you need it and flying solo 24-7.

This year I have really been working on my attitude to focus on joy and gratitude in all situations... so I have been trying to focus this week on the positives of having Hubby out of town.  I came up with the following list:
  • I am grateful that Hubby was able to go hunting and have great time and fellowship with his dad and brothers
  • I am grateful that Hubby has a passion and desire to provide for our family through hunting
  • I am grateful that God saw fit to provide an elk for our family for this winter, and that Chris was able to kill it and bring it home
  • I am grateful that Hubby was not injured when the power plant across the street from where he was standing exploded
  • Around our house, I was grateful for less laundry
  • I was grateful for less dirty dishes
That was it... there weren't a lot of positives in my book for having Hubby gone, which I think is a good sign.

Tracey Ann and I had a blast, Lexie and Lloyd tried to help where they could, and I'm pretty sure I was just getting into my solo-parent routine right as he was coming home, but we are SO excited to get him back!

I hope you had a great time, Babe, because I'd prefer you don't leave for a week again for at least a year.

This is what Tracey Ann did when I told her her daddy got an elk:



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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stuck...

These days Tracey Ann seems to be finding herself a little stuck... literally.



She's wondering, "How did I end up here?"

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