Tuesday, August 17, 2010

11 months old...

Oops. I wrote this post last week, but got delayed in publishing it. I spilled water on my laptop and it was out of commission for a few days. Now if I could get my keyboard to stop spitting out gggggggggggggggg's.

I love her. And I love the cute GT dress too! Thanks Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Daniel!! I only got a couple pictures because she was standing up on the chair, rocking it, and trying to pull the lamp down.

I really don't know where this face comes from, but we get it a lot. We call it her "whooooo" face. So we say "Whooooo's the cutest?" Just look at this one from back in October:

Wow, she's grown so much. Right now we are going through some serious teething. Inconsolable crying, fussiness throughout the day, not napping well, waking up in the middle of the night (unheard of from her), and just "general unpleasantness" as Joe would say. I wish those teeth would just go ahead and come in already. Poor thing is drooling all over the house. The tears mix with the drool, which as of today mixes with her runny nose. It's fun. She leaves trails with her eyes, nose and mouth! I relish the times when she is happy and her usual playful self. One of those times was when Riley and Mommy Lauren came over to play.

They were learning how to share. Of course they always wanted the toy that the other was gnawing on at the time, but that's the way it goes...

"Oooooh that one lights up!"

"Now I've got the light up toy, but what I really want is my starfish back."

"Ok Riley, you can play with my pan too."

"Actually, what I meant was: this is MY pan."

And this one, I called "Riley!!!" and the second one I said "Smile!!!!!!!!" How cute is she?!

The other night we went to dinner over at the Swingle's. Here's a sweet picture of Hannah with Uncle John:

And a new thing that just cracks me up: Hannah will blow against the glass like I do to her tummy. It is awesome.

She's also started crawling with her knees off the ground - the bear crawl as we call it. I'll have to upload a video on that at some point. She's doing much better with stage 3 foods. She's eating crackers and cheerios (not just Puffs!). She even ate some chicken today off my plate. She spends almost all of the day on her feet hanging on to something - anything! She's making new sounds. She's said "Da-da" and pointed to Joe. This week I was scolding Mollie with Hannah in my arms saying "Bad doggie! Bad doggie!" She responded by pointing to Mollie and declaring "Dog!" My goodness, she's changing so much so fast, it's all I can do to keep up. I know I say it every month, but I just can't believe she's this old. It's almost birthday time! Let the planning begin - er, continue. You know I've already started planning.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fernandina Beach TRI

...with Erin and her friend, Carly.

...with Miss Anna and Mr. Wade

This past weekend we were in Fernandina Beach for another triathlon. This time, I did it too. While I don't really race to compete per se, I set goals and try to accomplish those. I hadn't raced since the Peachtree City Tri in 2006 - the month before Joe and I got married. I do a good amount of running with Hannah in the stroller, but as for swimming and biking - not so much. I swam a few times and actually went out riding only twice. Joe set up the bike on the trainer inside so once I put Hannah down for her morning nap, I would occasionally do a bike workout while watching the Tour (Now, that is inspiration!). While I didn't feel "ready" Joe (my coach) had lots of confidence in me. It was my first ocean swim in a race. Almost all the women started at one time. It was frantic. The water was a little rough. The weather was VERY hot and humid, despite it being 7:30 in the morning. I was exhausted, but I didn't walk. All in all, I did well. I was happy with my performance. Joe did great! He finished third in his age group, which is probably the most competitive age group among triathletes. He qualified for Nationals next month and we are very excited. Tuscaloosa, here we come!

Our friend Wade took the pictures of us in action. Too bad I didn't get one of our cheering section. Thank you Wade, Anna, Erin, Kristen, and Carly...and Hannah!

Running from the beach to transition...

Joe on the run...

Racking my bike, ready to run!

Joe finishing!

Hannah in another world - but she is wearing her "Daddy's little triathlete" onesie.

Hannah is just happy to have something new to chew on, and Daddy is happy to oblige.

After the race we went with our friends to the farmers market in downtown Fernandina, and then out to lunch. I love this picture. If you're happy and you know it...

And finally...home. In her new favorite place. She's bumped Mollie... Notice the slobber on the window?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

pulling up and other things

Lately I've looked around the kitchen table to find this:

That's right. The pulling up thing has been going on for several weeks now, but not to this extent. For a while it was just the crib. Then it was furniture like the sofa and chairs. Then she realized that - heck -she could pull up on all sorts of things: bookshelves, laundry baskets, her toys, her high chair, cabinet door knobs. But when I found her like this I had to snap a picture. Use the glass on the back door to pull up - how innovative.

A picture of us after church on Sunday. I kind of annoyed Joe with this one. (What? Me? Nooooooo.) Putting it on the timer and trying to get a good shot. He thinks I'm a little obsessed with my camera. I think he's probably right. But it is my favorite pastime. And I was shocked to realize when I went back through the last few months there were NO pictures of our family. Lots of Joe and Hannah, and many of Hannah and me, and hundreds of just Hannah, but not all three of us. So here it is. Not the best, but the best we got.

...And a picture of the naked frog.

the help

I love to read, but I have struggled to find the time since having Hannah. I feel like any free time I have should be spent productively - like doing laundry, ironing, cleaning, or going through mail that seems to back up at an incredible pace.

I saw something recently on the news about the decrease in book sales due to the e-readers that have become so popular. (My mom has one she loves. Though she also reads LOTS of books and this makes it easier while she travels during the week.) There was a prediction of the gradual decrease of books produced over time. Like they would phase out like video tapes and CDs. This made me sad. I stare at the computer screen enough. I can't imagine reading all my books on a screen too. Besides, is there anything better than curling up in a comfy chair with a great book, or reading at the beach with your toes in the sand? I am sorry. Call me old-fashioned, but I want things to stay the same in some regards.

Several months ago I read about a book on Amy's blog by Kathryn Stockett called The Help. I didn't need recommendations from anyone else, though I did get them. Simply from what she said, I knew I had to read it. It was about the South - the segregated South - set in Jackson, Mississippi. Help refers to the black maids that worked for the white families in the 1960's. You can read the synopsis here.

So I finally made the time. I couldn't put it down. I read it mostly late at night when Hannah (and Joe) were sleeping. And that is when I finished it, a Thursday night not too long ago. I hated when it ended. It is a book that I will never forget.

My favorite character was Aibileen. The storyline that impacted me the most was the relationship between Aibileen and the white child she took care of, Mae Mobley. The girl's mother paid no attention to her daughter, much less show her love. Aibileen loved her though...

I kept thinking of Hannah. I cherish every moment I get to hold my baby in my arms. I was overcome with emotion imagining a mother not loving her own child, not wanting to take any part in raising them. After I finished reading I found myself standing over Hannah's crib late into the night, crying because I love her so much, and praying because I am so blessed to have her.

The Help opened my eyes to events that shaped the South. Of course I knew these things happened from other books, from movies, etc. But to read it in the pages of this book was just different. It reminded me of the importance of being true to my beliefs and raising my children to be color-blind. Thank you Amy, Karen, Juliana, and everyone else that led me to read this book.

Monday, August 2, 2010

home sweet home

So the last few days of our trip were filled with activity. Here are some pictures so you'll feel like you were there.

A late night bath after Hannah threw up all over herself. She never seemed like she felt bad...and she quite liked the sink bath.

Our last night in Kentucky we had dinner with a few friends of Joe's from the doctoral program. We went to Red Robin (Yummmmm!).

On a walk our last morning in Wilmore.

From Kentucky, we drove to Atlanta. We got to meet Leah Rose!!! She is so beautiful and sweet. I am in love.
Jennifer and Leah

A present for Hannah - a GT yellow and white striped tennis dress. Adorable!

Saturday morning we left Atlanta and headed for Savannah. After a belated-birthday lunch with Will (my younger brother, 28) and Mama/Grandma we went to Graci Dare's 1st birthday party! She is such a cutie and we don't get to see her (or her mom and dad) near enough!

I love this picture of all the cameras...

When we got home in the huge stack of mail was a box for Hannah from her Poppy (Joe's dad). Her first pair of Crocs. Poppy wears them all the time. They don't fit quite yet, but they do make a great teether!

I like to travel. I like to go places, visit friends, and do new things. But I like to come home too. And, after sixteen days for Joe and ten days for Hannah and me, we are back home and sleeping in our own beds. As a welcome home surprise our hot water heater went out and Joe woke up to a cold shower yesterday morning (I showered across the street at Ms. Ida's.) before going to work/church. It's fixed now, Hannah is back on her normal routine (and happy), a busy Sunday is over, and bags are (almost) unpacked. I do need to get started on that mountain of laundry...

All things considered, Hannah did well while we were away. Many hours in the car, sleeping in the pack-n-play for a week and a half in 5 different places....it could have been a lot worse. We are happy to be back home.