Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Facts and Photos

Last weekend was a blast...we spent the majority of our time (again) outdoors, in two different pumpkin patches and at a harvest party.

The craziness began on Friday afternoon when we headed to Richmond to celebrate my dad's birthday (a tad early) by meeting at Red Lobster for dinner.  In attendance were my mom, dad, Linds, Jared, Jason, Connor, the Jessops (Bo, CN, Leila, and Luke), and me.  We had a delicious dinner of (mostly) shrimpy goodness and lots of cheddar biscuits (for me at least).

Afterward, we spent the night with the Jessops, as we were spending Saturday with them.  After breakfast on Saturday, CN, Luke, and I made a quick jaunt to Lexington to shop the Columbus Day sales at Once Upon a Child and Clothes Mentor (two fantastic consignment stores).  Everything in both stores was an extra 30% off, which meant that I came away with 5 pieces for Connor and 3 pieces for me for a little under $50.  Connor ended up with one pair of fleece pjs (top and bottom), one fleece outfit (vest and pants), and Ralph Lauren distressed jeans.  I came away in even better shape, with a black blazer (something I neede desperately in my work wardrobe, but am hoping to dress it down with jeans and a tee, too), a Talbots peach and cream metallic damask pencil skirt (new with tags!), and the best find of all, a J. Crew peachy-colored velvet blazer, also new with tags (Thanks to CN for finding it!).  I love fashion, but what I love even more is cute fashion that comes in the form of a good deal.  I hope I can hit up Clothes Mentor again soon.

After a lunch on the road, we headed back to pick up the guys and kids, and headed to a local farm where the kids ran through a hay maze, sat (and jumped and ran) in a field of pumpkins, rode a pony, and played in the hay.  Connor, as always, is in his element outdoors.  He ran with reckless abadon, falling several times in his excitement, wearing himself out completely.  He slept the entire ride home.

We went straight from Richmond back to RC, where some of Jason's extended family have a farmhouse. They were hosting a harvest party, complete with carving pumpkins, food, music, and a hayride.  Connor ran up to every single pumpkin and inspected it, rode the hayride (twice), was doted on by the older girls, especially Audrey, and again, wore himself completely out with fun.  He spent most of the night dragging Jordan and Pacau (Jason's dad) around.

Sunday after church was our last pumpkin patch trip for the season.  We went with Mom, Dad, and Linds to Bearwallow, where, not surprisingly, Connor was in awe.  This time, he ran through a corn maze with Jason, played on a playset just his size, ran through a hay bale tunnel, petted baby goats, took another tractor ride, and most of all, was fascinated by the farm's contraption that shot a pumpkin into a neighboring field every 30 minutes or so.

Sunday night was spent with our small group, and although the ladies didn't get to talk too much about our book study, we enjoyed time outside watching the kids play, a delicious potluck meal, and fellowship.  I am so thankful for my small group friends and the support they give.

Thankfully, this week has been a short one, schoolwise.  We were in school on Monday and Tuesday, but the rest of the week has been our fall break.  We finished up our literary nonfiction mini-unit by reading "Once More to the Lake" by E.B. White, and are ready after break to move on to informational nonfiction.  Exciting stuff.  :)

Jason has been busy with meetings for his new curriculum, and recording ads at the radio station, but we got to spend both Monday and Tuesday home as a family.  I love days when I can be home all afternoon, cook, clean up, play with Connor, and still have time to prep everything for the next day with no rushing to meetings or appointments.

On Wednesday, Jason and I left for our first alone overnight trip in nearly a year and a half.  Seeing as how our anniversary this year was so close to our Alaska trip, we did not celebrate, but Jason surprised me for my birthday by letting me know that he'd found a great deal through AAA for us to go to Asheville (we had been once before and loved it) for a couple of nights during fall break.  There will be a post to come soon full of photos, since we just got home.  In short, the trip was amazing, the time away was relaxing, Asheville is gorgeous, the food was delicious, and I want to go back.  :)  (Thanks to Mom, Dad, Linds, Randy, and Veronica for watching C while we were gone.)

Random facts for the week:

- A dear friend of mine, Natalie, and her husband are embarking on a journey to adopt their second child, and Mom and I just received our shirts. Not only are they cute shirts with a great message, the proceeds go toward funding the adoption.  Natalie is also selling precious handmade ornaments.  Check out her blog here, and if you feel so inclined, help them bring another child home.

- Connor, my usually-wonderful sleeper (despite getting up every morning before 6), decided on Monday night that he wasn't tired and would stay up, screaming every 30 minutes, until 2 a.m.  At first, I thought something was wrong, and it may have been a bad dream the first time, but once Jason went up there to check on him at 11:30, he was up every half hour until 1:00, when Jason brought him to our bed (which never each his own, but I don't sleep well with a toddler squirming beside me.  I love him more than anyone, but we all sleep better when he sleeps in his room.).  This was a mistake.  He then thought it was playtime (and by then was feeling great).  He kept jumping on the bed, saying, "I want Dino Dan!  I want Gabba."  This went on until 2 a.m., when I informed him, calmly and rationally, that we do not watch tv at 2 a.m., and unless he laid down and went to sleep, I was taking him back up to his room.  The jumping continued, so up he went, and he slept peacefully until I had to wake him to go to the babysitter's (which is later than he ever sleeps).  I am now thinking that when he woke up the first time, he was legitimately scared, but once someone kept coming up, he decided he'd keep on, seeing as how he slept perfectly when I took him back upstairs.  Little stinker.  :)

- Connor has been asking for "Daddy" much more lately.  He has been, since he was old enough to voice a preference, a definite "Mommy's boy," always preferring snuggling with me to playing with Jason.  But now he has started wanting to play cars with Daddy instead of me and watch football and jump up and down in front of the tv.  When did I lose my little partner?  :(  While I love that Connor wants Jason (and it does give me a few minutes to fold laundry or take a shower), I miss hearing "I want Momma."

- I felt extreme guilt at leaving Connor for the two days Jason and I were gone.  I think that guilt is just an automatic feeling once you become a mother.  I feel guilty for just about everything...and with being a working mom there is already a load of guilt about how much I leave him during the week, so to choose to go somewhere without him felt wrong.  Jason and I desperately needed a little break and some time together (with both of our schedules it seems we rarely get to have down time together) to relax, and Connor had a blast with both sets of grandparents (and Ninny -- Aunt Linds), but there is always that nagging feeling that a "good mom" wouldn't leave him.  A "good mom" would be with him every second.  At the same time, there is another part of me that knows that a happy family includes a happy marriage, and that the lure of two days where I can sleep in, read as much I want, take a nap in the middle of the afternoon (what?!), and spend some quality time with Jason is quite hard to resist.  So, what's a mom to do?  If I didn't go, I would have felt guilty and still tired and stressed, and by going, I still managed to feel guilty and wonder what Connor was doing, what he was learning, etc... without me.  Any advice for assuaging this "mom guilt"?

- I found, via Pinterest, an easy recipe for candy corn bark, which I thought would make a perfect treat for our small group on Sunday night (along with Oreo truffles).  The recipe is ridiculously simple, fast, and it is quite yummy.

Candy Corn Pretzel Bark
-24 oz. white chocolate bark
-2 cups thin pretzel sticks, broken
-2 cups candy corn

Melt the white chocolate.  Stir in pretzel pieces and candy corn.  Pour into a parchment paper lined baking tray, spread thinly, and let cool.

- Connor has started saying, "Oh, no" or "Uh-oh" when tv show/movie credits start rolling.  Once we realized how sad he was to see his favorite shows end, we have tried to cut back even more on his tv viewing.

Random photos for the week:

with his buddy, Jared


giving love
playing with his favorite car

exploring the implements in his new doctor kit

smiley boy


CN said...

- So THAT'S what the 1 million minus 1 t-short was in the clothes you loaned me! That's awesome! I'm going to talk to Bo about ordering one.

- Your truffles looked better than mine! What did you do differently?

- Sorry, friend, but Mommy Guilt is just par of being a mommy, I firmly believe. I'm a stay-at-home mom and never go anywhere and I still have the guilt (as we've discussed)! :P I know that's not very encouraging. Just try to remember that God called you to teach AND be a mom, and you're doing BOTH beautifully and with a heart full of love.

Anonymous said...

Re: mommy guilt! I am getting ready to read a book I'm really excited about. It's called "Motherhood: The Guilt That Keeps On Giving" by Julie Ann Barnhill. I heard Julie speak at a mommy conference I just went to, and she's SO AMAZING. I will let you know how the book is, but it looks really short and easy to read (which is good for me, since I really don't enjoy "parenting" books all that's just me. I'd rather read a novel). You might wanna check it out on amazon or something and see if you can find it super cheap. Or I can mail you my copy when I'm done!!! I'll let you know if I think it's worth passing on. :-)

CN said...

And I see now that I'm having major typing/spelling issues tonight! :)