Wednesday, September 30, 2009

back to bennett

So we went and visited Bennett Place. We've visited the historic Civil War Trail site before, so this wasn't exactly anything new (except this time I didn't feel like vomiting and the Belle was riding on the outside instead of in). Mostly, we just like it there, the sense of history, the feeling that something important happened there. Plus, we have this new little girl in our lives that has only a few hobbies: eating, sleeping, sucking on her hands and/or blankets, pooping, and looking at trees. She loves that baby backpack, and she loves being outside.

And as it is par for the course in our world, the camera accompanied us as well. Jess tried out his super wide angle lens, and got some pretty fun shots. (Yes, I'm really that long and skinny.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

hanging at hanging rock

So we made a trip out to Hanging Rock State Park to see if we could find ourselves some waterfalls. It's about two hours from Durham (what isn't?) and has several little hikes, perfect for our new little hiker. Because her legs are only good at kicking really hard, we let her ride.

And while I admit I was nervous about taking her, I think if you were to ask, she'd tell you it was pretty much the best day of her life (so far). She kept those big blue/brown eyes (pretty sure they're never going to choose a color) wide open for several hours. She only took a little power nap, and she would barely pause to eat. It was like she couldn't bare to close her eyes.

And who can blame her. Check it out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

our little princess

So what you don't know about this photo is that she's actually watching, scratch that, adoring Pocahontas. As in the Disney classic. I put it in for myself, to be perfectly honest. (Don't forget that I covet Pocahontas' hair, not to mention her tan.) And next thing we know she's glued. I mean beyond distraction. (And we tried.) When Pocahontas started singing, so did Annabelle. Seriously.

Part of me is like, "Crap, we have a Disney junky."

And then another part of me is like, "Yes! We have a Disney junky!"

After all, it's no coincidence that she shares names with my favorite Disney princess...

Thursday, September 24, 2009


So just to set the record straight, I once proclaimed my love slash obsession with Glee, Fox's newest comedrama. The pilot episode aired during the American Idol days, and I was totally enthused. (To be fair, I was also pregnant and easily entertained. If it involved sitting on the couch and not hauling my belly around, I was down.) The comedic timing was ridiculously on point, the characters over the top with high school stereotypical behavior, and throwing in music just made my heart smile. I've watched two of the following three episodes, and I just wanted to say that I'm not so much a fan anymore. The laughs - of which there are plenty - are just overshadowed by over the top sexual innuendos. It makes me dread sending my children to high school. I want to pretend that they won't have to deal with those things, that the high school they'll attend will just be full of happy, singing students.

So I had hoped that Glee would keep up the laughs, the happy, singing students dealing with typical teenage angst. But quite frankly, I wouldn't want Annabelle watching it, so to be fair, I won't be watching it anymore.

I will, however, be downloading the songs. Love their remakes. Only my sisters will understand how much I love the singing and dancing. ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

things are looking up

Yes, things are looking up. It's raining outside as we speak, and as I've said before, my favorite season is anything but summer. (Although when I was pregnant, I had an obsession with sunshine. Weird.) Fall is one of my most favorite times of year, and this beautiful place we'll call home for a few more semesters has some of the most spectacular season changes ever, especially from summer to fall. The leaves are almost magic, and I'm constantly scanning the treetops for signs of the switch.

The change in the weather also means more walks outside (thus combatting Annabelle's feigned "starvation" and inducing naps)...

...and visits to the places we've suddenly realized we're going to miss when we leave. We made a visit to Eno State Park, complete with a picnic lunch: take out goodness from Cook Out. I took my baby...

...and Jess took his. ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

she's the inspiration

She talks to me now. It mostly sounds like "Ooooohowwwwwww," mixed with some squeals, but I still talk back. I feel like it would be rude not to.

She's finally growing hair on her head - they're tiny tufts, but they're there. And it looks like they're curling.

She likes to snuggle into my shoulder and wraps her little arms around me, sometimes grabbing my shirt or my hair to make sure I don't get away.

Sometimes she sucks on my shoulder. I don't mind. I don't imagine it tastes very good, but I don't mind.

She giggled for the first time out of happiness a few days ago (as opposed to her sleepy giggles, which she's been doing since she was just weeks old) - daddy came home from a long day at school, and she was so excited to see him, she giggled with joy. I giggled too, and while I was a little jealous she doesn't laugh like that for me, save for a few little chuckles here and there, I was thrilled to hear her happiness, to know that the little soul we've been given charge of already knows joy.

She sleeps through the night for the most part, but even when she doesn't, even when she keeps me awake for hours with her gassy belly and its accompanying sounds, I still wake up so excited to see her morning smiles, to bathe her and watch as she splashes and grins as though Disneyland were right in that bath tub.

She is my most favorite job, the best work I've ever had. Nothing compares to watching her discover the world around her, when for the first time she notices the trees above her, her neck stretching to take it all in, eyes wide with wonder.

And sometimes I try to think of things to write about, what is getting to me, how I'm currently being inspired, because that's what usually spurs me to write.

But mostly it's just her. My world has become pink things and lots of loads of laundry, timely feedings and endless snuggles, toothless smiles and giddy squeals.

So for today, and for always, she is what inspires me. I love this little person more than I ever imagined possible.

*I've created a blog called The Daily Annabelle for our families. I post a picture every day so they can see her grow, and it's keeping a handy chronological record for me of her first year of growth. It's a private blog, but if any of you would like to see it, just email me at I'm happy to share her, just as long as I know who I'm sharing her with. :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

baby fat

So once I ran a marathon. When I stood up out of bed the morning after, I literally fell back into my bed as a shock of pain from my tippy toes to my ears made its way through me, and I realized that yes, indeed, my body was torn to shreds. And while the pain isn't that bad, I have to say I'm pretty sure I ran a marathon today. It may have only been forty-five minutes, but I just remembered how running really does use every muscle of your body. I haven't run this much since last summer (pregnancy caused me to switch to the elliptical, a good workout, but not the same), so my body is like, "Excuse me? Remember how much I like to sit around and eat cupcakes?"

My toes hurt.

Isn't it ironic that the Little Miss can eat all day long, gain weight at an unreasonable rate, be in possession of two chins, and still be UNBELIEVABLY ADORABLE???

Monday, September 7, 2009

can i keep you?

So I used to love the movie Casper. Loved it. Watched it a hundred billion times. And I was definitely in my teens (I obviously didn't have much of a social life, much less a life). I've since watched it again (maybe a few times), and while I still love the instrumental soundtrack, I'm not quite sure why I loved this movie so much. Awful acting, ridiculous CGI, silly plotline. However, there is a moment in the movie, a particular line, that I still love.

While the main character falls asleep, Casper the ghost, who has a secret crush on her, floats above watching out for her. And just before she drops off into dreamland, Casper whispers, "Can I keep you?"

And while the context is different, it's the line that always resonates in my mind when I look at my sweet thing. I still get caught up in staring at her, and it's this little face that continually has me whispering, "Can I keep you?"

Saturday, September 5, 2009

love squared

So I’ve mentioned that my mom regularly crochets. Blankets, booties, bibs, sweaters, dresses, you name it. And you may have noticed that most of Annabelle’s pictures have one of said blankets in them (she has four – two pink, one white, one purple). She came home in the white one, and from day one she started burying her face in it. When she gained even minor control of her hands, she started tugging her blankets over her face, threading her tiny fingers through the holes. I am forever pulling blankets off her head. This yarn is just otherworldly soft, and she can’t get enough.

Problem is, she also regularly overheats. Especially in this humid heat. Some people think that babies don’t sweat – she does. When you take her out of her car seat, her few strands of hair are dripping, forming baby curls on the back of her head. So cuddling with her blanket when we’re out and about just makes matters worse.

Good news. Grandma sent us a box of “yi yi squares.” (We call blankets yi yi’s in my family.) And she seriously loves them. Once, I left her in her bed while I grabbed her pajamas, and in the twenty seconds I was gone, she had managed to locate the stack and pull them all over her. She was smiling like she’d just won a million bucks, drowning in those blanket squares.

So, if any of you have children like mine who love to cuddle but hate to sweat, this is a pretty good fix, not to mention adorable. And I have a really good in with the lady who made ‘em, so let me know if you’d like to place an order. :)

(Mom, do you love that I’m your personal PR agent?)

Friday, September 4, 2009

give said the little (muddy) stream

So on this week's episode of The Colony, while one gal works on restoring a record player for a little entertainment in their world that is rapidly making them a little nutso, another group of the lab rats are out gathering water out of the "river" (L.A.'s sewage, I'm pretty sure), which they will truck back to their compound and "purify" using their homemade purifier methods, including a machine that filters it through OZONE. I'm serious.

So anyway, they're in the river collecting muddy water, when a band of wandering doomsdayers approach. They're dressed in tattered, filthy layers, their faces and fingers dirty with grime that Discovery has artfully applied. The Colony members are all wary. They're scared of strangers. Recently, one of their members was "removed" from the experiment - he "disappeared," and most of them believe he was abducted. They don't have much to share in the first place, and they don't want to share. Except John C., the member of the colony who has been dubbed "the faithful" survivor. As the others turn away, John C. breaks from the group and gives them his personal water supply as well as a tool he's created. In his commentary, he talks about how he realizes his mission, his duty, that he knows what God would want him to do. As the group of wanderers leaves, one woman turns around and gratefully places a small can of food, vienna sausages, in his dirty, worn hands.

It was an unexpectedly tender moment. In a TOTALLY FAKE AND MADE UP WORLD. Nevertheless, John C.'s mentality is that others in the world are in need, just like he is in need. Now, perhaps his fellow colonizers are going, "Dude, I'm not giving up my food to a bunch of actors," but in any case, John C.'s actions made me think.

Would I do the same? I watched this on Tuesday, yet I can't stop thinking about it. Would I do the same? In an experimental or a real world? What would I do?

Later, a couple wanderers stop by their compound, begging for water. They refuse to share, speaking to them through a second story window as they don't want to reveal what supplies they have inside. But as most members of the group refuse to help - they make the point that if they give now, they'll just have to keep giving - John C. lowered out the window again, his water, and his can of vienna sausages.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


She's in the NINETY FOURTH PERCENTILE for her weight.

And she's like, "So you're telling me six babies weigh more than me? Hand me a bottle."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

in the dark

So the Little Miss is pretty good about going to bed, even when she’s not quite asleep. She’ll keep looking at the world through small slits as she grunts herself to sleep. Last night, as we turned off all the lights, it struck me: she isn’t scared of the dark.

Most of us are somewhat afraid of the dark. You might not be frightened to turn off the lights, but things are always more scary at night, when you can’t see what lurks around the corner. When something creaks or crinkles somewhere in the house, your eyelids fly open, listening for another sound to either define the danger or dispel the fear. But to Annabelle, there isn’t anything to be scared of. She just keeps grunting away, likely staring into the pitch black of night, unaware that she has reason to question the space around her.

This morning we made our two month visit to the pediatrician. The sweet nurse with a gentle voice quickly poked my baby in each leg to administer her first round of immunizations. And as little Belle clung to my face and screamed at the top of her lungs, I realized that this is how we become scared of the dark.

The same thing that teaches us about the good in the world – experience – teaches us about the dark. And while this is no fun, in my mind I’m like, oh just wait until high school sweetie.

At least this time around I can hold her while she cries.


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