Sunday, November 30, 2008

O Christmas Tree!!

**Warning - this post has several pictures and there are more to come in another post!! They're not exactly in order either, but it's ok! I'll just start off by saying that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year. I must also say that my house looks so beautiful! I'm so proud of it, and it's so much more Christmasy than last year.

Last Christmas was the first one we spent in our new house, and the only decorations I put up were an old hand-me-down tree that Steph and I had used in our apartment. So, I started telling Gene last year that I wanted to get a new one for this year. He and I were in Lowe's last Friday and I fell in love! I found a 9 ft tree that was not pre-lit, and it was exactly what I was looking for!! I really didn't want one that was pre-lit, and this one was just perfect. I kept talking about it and talking about it. Well, last week I ran to Wal-Mart on my lunch break to get some scrapbooking stuff and sashayed (sp?) through the Christmas decorations and found a 7.5 ft tree that was only $78 so I called Gene and told him about it. He just kept telling me I didn't want a 7.5 ft one. Finally after making me ask over and over why, he told me I could go get the 9 ft one from Lowe's!!!! I was soooooo excited! So....on Friday Mom, Corey, Grace, and I went shopping and I got some new pretties to put out, and then we ventured to Lowe's! We had made room in Mom's car to haul the tree so I went up to pay for it. There was a sign up that said Christmas decorations were 25% off, but the employee I spoke to said he didn't think the trees were. Well....they were!!! So, I saved about 40$!! I was so pumped!

Grace stayed the night with Mom and Dad Friday night so the boys and I could get all the decorations up. Gene was gone to the deer woods, so we had everyone out of the way. It took us about 4 hours to get everything out. Gene also bought me new lighted garland to put on the mantle and I bought new stockings last year after Christmas so the fireplace is completely different from last year. I also had new stuff to put on the piano.

We slept in Saturday morning till about 11, then I got up and Corey and I went grocery shopping. I picked up some bows to add to the garland and tree and fake snow to put on the piano, and completed the deco when we got home! After we finished that and ate lunch we had to get around and get ready for the Christmas parade in Springdale. The Christmas committee had a float in it advertising the playhouse. Grace was going to be dressed up as a baby doll and Corey was our head elf on Santa's Workshop! We went to Mom and Dad's to get Grace dressed and ready then headed in to the rodeo grounds to meet up with everyone.
I took this picture of Grace and Corey at Mom and Dad's right before we left. Grace had on a little Christmas dress with tights and long pants on underneath and two long sleeve shirts. I also put her hair in pigtails and put some blush on her cheeks. She looked so cute!

After we got to the rodeo grounds and got out of the car, we realized just how bitterly cold it was going to be. Gene met us up there to get the camera from us, and decided it was way too cold for Grace to ride on the float. I forgot her gloves and with her pigtails her hood wouldn't stay on to keep her ears covered. So, he took her and they went and parked to watch the parade. After waiting for about 30 minutes, we finally started moving. We had other kids on the float and Teresa and I walked along side passing out candy. It was cold, but it went really well and we had a lot of fun. I was upset that it was so cold thought because I knew Grace would have loved to sit up there waving at everyone! Oh well, maybe next year!

This is a picture of the piano. It didn't really turn out that good, but you get the gist of what it looks like in the dark with the lights on!

Here's our mantle!! I'm so proud of it and the way it turned out! The boys and I had quite a time figuring out how to get the garland up there but we finally got it! The red and gold bows are the ones I bought yesterday and added to it. The stocking holders spell out Santa but it's kind of hard to see in the picture. They were actually Mom's, but she bought new ones and gave them to me since I needed five! I just love our stockings too, but I wish there was enough room on them to monogram our names on them. We'll have to take the middle ones down when we burn a fire, but that's no big deal.
Grace's eyes got super wide when we got home last night and she saw all the new decorations! She kept going over and rubbing her butt on the tree! I have no idea why...she's kinda crazy!!
And here's the whole tree!!! It looks like it's leaning a little but it doesn't really look like that standing looking at it, so I don't know! This picture doesn't do it justice either, but I'm very very proud of it!

Here's Grace doing the butt thing again! She's done pretty good with not touching it. She's been in trouble a few times, but hasn't messed with it since!
Ok, that's all I've got for now, but I do have some other pictures of Grace's newly renovated room!! I'll post more on that later!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Team Edward!

Ok, I don't know if any of you have read any books from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, but if you haven't then you need to! They are so good and so addictive! I've read all 4 of them, and now waiting on the 5th one to come out.

Colt is on the last book right now and has read all of them, and Corey hasn't read any of them but he went and saw the movie Friday night! He said it was really good, but obviously doesn't have anything to compare it to since he hasn't read the books. The people I've talked to who have read the books and seen the movie say it's not as good as the book, but I'm still anxious to see it!

If you have read it then you are familiar with the fact that Edward wrote Bella a lullaby on the piano. Colt found the piano sheet music to it, and is learning we speak! It is sooo pretty, and I told him he needs to hurry up and learn it so I can hear it all! Ha! I guess I could sit down and learn it too!

Anways, just had to post about that. If you haven't read them then do!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Catching Up

It's been a while since I've posted, and to be honest I just haven't felt like it. I've been busy and stressed, and my thoughts weren't exactly flowing in a manner that would make it easy to write! I'll just make a list of a few things going on. It may turn out longer than I really planned, and if it does I'm sorry!

1) Grace still isn't sleeping well. I don't think there was a day last week that I was in bed before 2 am. She would either be too wound up when I got home from work to go to sleep at a reasonable hour, or she just wouldn't let me lay her down. I've been very worn out, not only from not sleeping but also because I've completely stressed myself out over the whole situation. I ended up in tears pretty much every night because I was so frustrated with her and with myself. It's not been good. Yesterday Grace and I were out at Mom and Dad's house and they sent a twin mattress home with us for her room. We have a twin bed in her room with a box springs, but we didn't have a mattress. Now we do, and as soon as I get paid again and can go get some bedding for it we're going to start working with her on going to bed on her own. I think it will be better, because she won't feel trapped in her crib and if she does wake up in the middle of the night I'm not going to get her. I know she'll eventually crawl back up in bed and go back to sleep. We went through this a few months ago, before she learned how to crawl out of her bed! She would wake up in the middle of the night and the first couple of times I went and got her, but then she figured me out. From then on I just let her cry and she put herself back to sleep. She only did that about 3 times after that! I just hope it works out, because I'm tired of not sleeping.

2) I'm so ready to put my Christmas stuff up! I'm holding out until next weekend though because Gene is going to the hunting cabin with some friends so he'll be gone all day and out of the way so the boys and I can get it all put up! Mom has already told me I have to be at her house Friday to help put her stuff up since things will be in different places this year with her re-decorating! I imagine the boys and I will start on ours Friday night, and if not then for sure Saturday! I have some new lighted garland to put on my firelace mantle and new stockings that I bought last year! I've also got some new little things to put out. I'm hoping to go get a new tree I found at Lowe's and fell in love with!! We'll see about that though.

3) I'm working on Thanksgiving. Not necessarily one of the perks of working in law enforcement. Unfortunately crime never takes a holiday! Actually, I've been at the pd almost 4 years, and this is the first Thanksgiving I've had to work. I've always had Thursdays off until just a few months ago when I switched to Fri/Sat. So, I have to work it this year. Before my days off switched I was going to have all the big holidays off, but it's ok, I'll have them all off next year! I do only have to work 2-6, instead of 2-10 though. My supervisor is letting the people who normally have lunch with their family come in late at 6 and the people who normally do dinner get to leave at 6 since we have enought people to work it out like that. Gene, the kids, and I are going to Gene's parents house for lunch then I'm going in to work. We didn't really do Thanksgiving with them last year, so this year we will and then I'll get off early on my Friday! Early start to the weekend. Teresa (my supervisor) is also leaving at 6 and we're going to see Australia together! I'm really excited about it!

4) I've got some of my Christmas shopping done! I'm actually making a lot of my gifts, and it's been a lot of fun! I still haven't figured out what I'm going to get Gene or my brother, or for the boys but I'll figure something out!

5) There are a lot of things coming up. Thursday morning I have to be at Arvest Stadium and 6:30 am to help with the Turkey Trot (a 5k run we've set up as a fundraiser for the benevolent fund and shop with a cop. Then of course Thanksgiving. The Christmas committee at work that I'm on is putting a float in the Springdale Christmas parade Saturday night. We are selling chances to win a big playhouse! It is so adorable, and it's huge! It's more the size of a little shed, but looks like a house. Some of the guys at the pd made it, and it's one of our fundraisers. I'll have to post a picture of it on here, and if you want to purchase tickets to win it let me know. They're $1 a piece or $5 for 6 (I think!). Anyways, we're putting it on a float and making it Santa's workshop to advertise it and sell tickets! I know for sure that Grace, Corey, and I will be on it and I'm not sure yet about Colt. If you don't have plans you should definitely come check it out! Then the next weekend Teresa is having a surprise birthday party for her friend Peaches in Eureka Springs and I think I may try to go over there for that. Then the next weekend is the pd Christmas party that I have to work at and of course attend with my family. Then my wedding anniversary is Dec. 14th and Corey's birthday is the 15th! Then after that is Christmas. It's just going way to fast! It'll be 2009 before I know it, then Grace will be 2 shortly after that! Ahhhh! Really?! Can someone please figure out how to slow time down?!?!

6) Even with the stress and frustration of my toddler not sleeping, I've had baby fever. BAD! When Gene and I got together and knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, we talked about having a couple of kids. Obviously, he already had 2 boys, but he was wanting more. I, of course, wanted 2 kids of my own! That has always been my dream...2 kids! Well, right after I had Grace and realized how incredibly painful and hard child birth is I decided I didn't want to have any more! I started taking birth control as soon as I could and took it for 2 months before it gave me a blood clot in my leg. Not good. I had to stop taking it immediately and will never be able to take regular birth control again because of the risk. So, Gene and I talked about an IUD. Dr. Cole (my gyno) recommended Mirena, and we had decided yes. Our insurance was going to cover 90 percent of it, but we had to pay for it up front. $635. Yikes! So, we never followed through with that. Plus, you can leave it in for up to 5 years unless you decide you want another one and they can take it out. But, I was afraid we would pay all that money and then 2-3 years down the road decide we wanted another one and that money was not worth spending. Well, the past 4 months or so, I have really been wanting another one. In actuality, I really don't want another one until Grace is at least sleeping again in a big bed, and really until she's potty trained, but all these women I know are pregnant and having babies and I miss it soooo much. The 9 months I was pregnant was one of my happiest times. Pregnancy is such an amazing thing, and next time will be even better because I won't have to deal with the stress of building a new house and living in a little bitty trailer. So, I'm wanting another baby. We'll see!!

Ok, there's what's happening and I'll post pictures after we get our Christmas stuff up!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Come on Weekend!

Thank the Lord it's my Friday. After being on vacation last Sunday then being out sick Wednesday and Thursday I only had a 2 day work week last week. This week not so much! It's seemed pretty long because I've had to work everyday. Ha! It is finally the end though. Only 8 more hours and then I'm off for a couple of days. I've got a semi busy weekend though. Tomorrow Mom is off work because she has a dr's appointment so Grace and I are going to meet up with her afterward and do some shopping! Yay! Maybe I can knock out some Christmas gifts. On Saturday I have to work part of the Truckload Meat Sale the Christmas committee is having. If you need some meat, then come see us at Price Cutter in Springdale! Tyson's is dropping off a semi FULL of different kinds of chicken and hopefully some hams. It's all in bulk, so you get 20 lbs of meat! The prices range anywhere from I think $20-$30. It's a really good deal, and all the money goes to support the Springdale Police Dept Benevolent Fund!! We're doing it from 8-5, and I'll be there from 12:30-5.

So, I'm sitting here exhausted right now. I'm admitting that last night my child was a source of frustration and tears for me. When I got home from work she was asleep in her daddy's lap. He was also asleep. I went to the bedroom and changed clothes and washed my face to get ready for bed. I took Nemo up to Grace's room and put him in her crib, then came back downstairs to lay her down. Yea, or not. She woke up before I even got upstairs. I brought her right back down and gave her a bath. Gene usually doesn't give her one on Wednesdays when it's just the 2 of them. However, she always sleeps better after she's had one. Or so I thought. She did fine through her bath and we got her pj's put on her then booted Gene out of the recliner. He went on to bed because he had to be up early this morning to go to work. Grace and I rocked. I tried a 2nd time to lay her down. Didn't work. This time I stayed upstairs with her and tried over and over and over and over to get her to lay down and go to sleep. She kept screaming. I was getting nowhere but frustrated. I picked her up and took her back downstairs. We rocked. I tried a 3rd time to lay her down. It was a repeat of time 2. By this time when we got back downstairs I was also crying. I was so incredibly frustrated because there was NOTHING I could do but 1) continue rocking and hope the next time she stays asleep or 2) take her to bed with me. I was trying to avoid the latter at all cost. We broke that habit a couple of weeks ago and I really didn't want to revert back to it.

We rocked. Again. Let me remind you that I don't get off work until 10 pm, and don't make it home from work till around 10:25. So, by this time (#4) it's 2:40 IN THE MORNING. I'm coming close to delirious. I know, you're probably thinking "quit doing it to yourself and just go to sleep." It's not in my blood. I can't stand anything being out of routine like that. I knew I wouldn't sleep at all. Which is why I was going to try just one more time to lay her down. I did doze a little bit this time, but took her back up and laid her down at 3:35. She stayed. Hallelujah!! I think by that time she had cried enough and worn herself completely down. She also had NOT had a nap all day yesterday.

I was finally able to lay down. I had a problem. By that time I was soooo tired I had become delirious and couldn't go right to sleep. It was 4 when I finally slipped under. I never heard Gene's alarm clock go off or him getting out of bed to get ready for work. I also never heard the boys getting ready for school. I did, however, hear when Grace woke up at 7:54. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!" That is what started flashing through my mind! I had not even been asleep for 4 hours yet. Luckily, she went right back to sleep. Whew. She woke back up just before 10. I was still tired. Wait, I AM still tired.

I will survive! I just hope tonight goes better than last night. I'm sure you're probably wondering why Gene doesn't ever put her to bed. Well, that's another kicker. I'm the only one that is able to lay her down. It hasn't always been like that. Used to, Gene or the boys would always have her in bed by the time I got home from work. I'm not sure what happened to that. It's a vicious cycle, and at this point there's nothing I can do about it because we don't have a twin mattress yet to put on the bed we have in her room. She crawls out of her crib, so we can't just leave her in there by herself to cry herself to sleep because she climbs out and then has nowhere to sleep but the floor. I'm not quite that mean! I get aggravated with myself because we didn't instill better night time habits in her when she was little. I can assure you that if we have another one, that baby will put him/herself to sleep very early on. I can't do this again. My child is almost 2 and still has to be rocked to sleep. My fault I know!

Anyways, I have to go change a dirty diaper on my almost 2 year old. Yes, the joys of motherhood!!

Have a good rest of the week and a good weekend!!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sleepy Head

I have been sooooo sleepy today! I came back to work yesterday after being off work for 4 days sick and then with my weekend. I was so not ready to either. Last night wasn't bad though in the city of Springdale. Either that, or it went un-reported! We didn't have many calls at all. I usually prefer to be busy, but since it was my Monday and I hadn't worked in a few days my brain was not exactly functioning properly!!

Gene had to work yesterday, but was off at 3 and headed over to Steve and Jennie's to work on his motorcycle. He bought some new handlebars and couldn't wait to get them put on so he worked on it all day Saturday and then yesterday from about 4:30 or so till 11:45 last night. Grace stayed home with the boys, and she was still awake when I got home from work. I gave her a quick bath and some cough medicine and put her to bed around 11:25. I crawled into bed shortly thereafter because I had to be up at 6:30 this morning. Yikes! I am NOT a morning person (as I've mentioned in previous posts), and was not thrilled when I heard the alarm clock going off. Dispatchers and some officers are ACIC (Arkansas Crime Information Center) certified and every two years we have to re-certify. Today was the day! Talk about BORING! I had to be at Roger's Police Department at 9 am, and luckily the class only lasted 45 minutes.

I had to get up so early though to get myself ready and then take Grace and drop her off with my mom. Mom had originally had a dr's appt. scheduled today but had to re-schedule when I told her I had that class and needed her to watch Grace. I took a shower and got ready and waited as long as I could to get Grace out of bed! I didn't even change her out of her pj's before leaving! I wrapped her up in her blankey and we were off.

After my class I just drove back to Mom and Dad's because I didn't want to drive all the way back to my house. For those that don't know, I live way down south of Fayetteville and it takes a while to get there! I didn't want to use that extra gas and time to drive back down there and sit and wait for time to come to work. So instead I hung out with Mom, Dad, and Grace. Dad made a yummy lunch and then I curled up on the couch with a blanket. I got REALLY sleepy and fell asleep, but only for about 20 minutes because then I had to come to work. I told Mom I felt like I'd been sedated. By that time it was raining and the temperature had dropped drastically. It was freezing!!!

I've been sleepy all night at work too! I'm so ready to go home and crash. I'm hoping that Grace goes to bed quickly when we get home, so I can! Tomorrow I don't have anything going on until I come to work so I'm excited about that.

I'm off here now to get back to work.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Two Days of Unscheduled Laziness

Well, I've only had a two day work week this week. It wasn't planned..that's for sure. I had taken off last Sunday because Mema was in for just a little bit, and I never get to see her so I took the day off. I worked Monday and Tuesday, but Tuesday I felt bad all day. Corey has been sick since last Thursday with a sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, etc. so I was afraid I was getting it too because my throat hurt all day. I had already scheduled Corey a dr's appt. for yesterday morning, and I woke up in the middle of the night Tuesday night because my throat was hurting so bad. I scrounged (sp?) around in the dark until I found a cough drop. It gave me enough reflief that I was able to go back to sleep. I woke up at 7 o'clock to get ready for Corey's appt. and my throat felt like it was on fire. I couldn't swallow without putting all I had into it to try and keep it from hurting. I called the dr's office and made myself an appt. right after Corey's.

Let me also say that Grace wouldn't lay down Tuesday night until almost 1 am so I didn't get to bed till late and knew I had to be up at 7. I also had to wake Grace up to take her because Gene was working. She didn't like it any more than I did! We headed off to the dr's office. After many, many mishaps after making it to the office (of which I will not go into) we were finally called back. Luckily they just put us in the same room and the dr saw us at the same time. By this time my throat was better but not great. Corey ended up just having a sinus infection. I on the other hand was diagnosed with tonsilitis. Fabulous.

He prescribed us both antibiotics, and then I dropped Corey off at school. Grace and I headed home, but I was contagious so I called my in-laws to see if they could keep Grace so she didn't chance getting it. I dropped her off then came over to the house. I took a shower, put on comfy clothes, and crashed on the couch. I finished the book I was reading, and then fell asleep for a while. It was actually kind of nice to be lazy...and have an excuse for it. Truth be told, I didn't feel absolutely miserable, it was just my throat was tender. I did call in sick to work due to being contagious. I don't think they would like it if I shared with them!

This morning when I woke up my throat hurt again. I had also developed a cough. Yuck. Grace went back over to my in-laws for just a couple of hours, and then they brought her home because my father-in-law had a dr's appt. She and I fell asleep in the recliner for about an hour. I didn't go to work again, because I hadn't been on my antibiotics for 24 hrs yet so I was still contagious. I'm feeling much better now, just a pesky cough still and a little tenderness.

Gene's gone to pick up the boys from the football game and Grace is about to pass out in my lap, so I'm going to go put her to bed.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock the Vote

I forgot to mention in my post earlier that I went and voted this morning!! The last presidential election was my first time to vote, when I was 19 years old. Obviously, now I'm married and I had to go change all of my voter registration information at the county clerk's office a couple of weeks ago.

I must say, I was apprehensive about voting. I knew I would have to go by myself seeing as how Gene works dayshift and doesn't get off work until 3 and I go in at 2. I was nervous because I wasn't sure exactly where the church was that I was supposed to vote at, plus my in-laws keep Grace on Tuesdays so I called them this morning to see if I could take her over a little early so I could go. I was afraid that if I took her with me I would be 1) distracted 2) have to worry about entertaining a toddler for who knows how long while standing in a line and 3) end up having to wait in line for forever and then not have enough time to drop her off without being late to work. All of my worries were put at ease though, because I took her over at 10:30 this morning and got in the shower. After I got out of the shower and walked into my bedroom I saw that my in-laws were leaving to go vote. I finished getting ready and dressed and when I was pulling out of the driveway I called my mother-in-law to see if they had to wait in line, because we vote at the same place. I was so happy to hear that they were able to get in and get out without any problems or any waiting!

I had no problems finding my voting location, and I was also able to get in and get out without any problems or waiting! I felt so relieved and so proud to be an American when I walked out of that building and back to my car. It's empowering to know that I have a say in who leads my country. I know it's a luxury some countries don't have.

Thank you Lord for a great day, and I pray that you watch over our nation in this trying time.

Sweet Girl

When I got to work I checked my e-mail and Michael had sent me the pictures he had taken of Grace in her costume. I, of course, had to post and share them with you!!!
She wouldn't sit still the whole time, and didn't like it when we put her down in front of everyone to take the picture so I was impressed that he was able to get a couple of her! As you can see in the one above Julie was bribing her with the bowl of candy!

So serious! I was so excited when I opened them up and saw how precious she looked! I will definitely be having prints made to go in a frame!
I hope everyone is having a great day/week! I'm headed off to a Christmas Committee meeting now!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

I know it's a couple of days late, but "Happy Halloween!" We had a pretty good one. I must say that I had never been trick or treating before. I know, crazy, but we never did Halloween when I was growing up plus we always lived way out in the country so there was no where to go trick or treating. I honestly don't feel like a missed anything!

Friday morning Grace and I took Layla to Petco to be groomed then we drove up to school to see Mom. We ended up eating lunch with her then we had to get Layla. We brought Layla home then met Gene at Kohl's to look at new pans. No purchase made! Gene then went home and Grace and I headed next door to Target. I LOVE Target, and it's never a good thing when I go in there. I didn't do too bad this time though, I just got a baby gift for my friend Nikki's shower that was yesterday.
Anyways, after Target, we headed home to get dressed! This was my little fairy princess!! Isn't she cute?!?

She never would be still enough for me to get a good full frontal of her in her costume. In this one though you can see her sparkly shoes, and her wand.

We didn't really go many places because she's still not quite old enough to understand the point!We visited my former youth pastor's house because he is doing photography now and they were doing free pictures of trick or treaters! Grace wasn't very cooperative though! Michael and Julie are supposed to be e-mailing them to me and when I get them I'll put them on here! Michael does amazing photos and you can some here.

After that we drove out to Mom and Dad's so they could see her in her costume!

After Mom and Dad's we headed up to the police department to see everyone in dispatch! They, of course, thought she looked adorable! I would have to agree! We were headed to Guido's to see Tanner when we passed the tattoo shop that Steve works at and Jennie and Rhonda were standing outside with Bill and Steve so we stopped by to see them! Grace loves Jennie! After that we drove on down to Guido's to see Tanner and we ate some pizza for dinner. Steph met us down there to see Grace, and Grace was excited to see her Aunt Stephie! After Guido's we went to Angela's house to get some candy. I work with Angela and she just loves to see Grace, and she and her daughter had really decorated the outside of her house in Halloween stuff so I told her we would definitely be by to check it out! It looked great!
After we hit all of our places, we headed home. We ended up dropping Corey off at a friend's house for a scary hay ride, then we came home and Grace got a bath and was down to bed. It was a long day!
I'm wrapping it up for now because Grace is getting sleepy, so I'll post some more about my weekend later!