Sunday, April 30, 2006

Controlled Chaos

Life Group on Sunday nights . . . never a dull moment. We all get together at 5 or 6 each Sunday evening for a meal, good conversation, prayer, and explosive laughter at our insanely chaotic lives. Our life group is growing exponentially, but it's because of all the children—and the Laytons weren't even there tonight.

But between the spitting up, crying, and diaper changing, we actually get real with each other. We talk about real heart issues. We always joke around about "edifying and uplifting," but that group of friends is my lifeline. I don't know what I would do without my girlfriends. I was feeling a bit disconnected before Avery came along and I was still in the office every day. All the other girls got to spend time together each day while I plugged away in the office. Don't get me wrong; I love my job. But while I've been on maternity leave, I've had the chance to actually get close to my friends—share in the frustrations and joys of motherhood, blow a ridiculously large amount of money on tiny little clothes for Avery, and squeeze in a daily workout.

And next week I start back to work. It scares me out of my mind. I LOVE my job. I think I'm pretty good at my job. But I'm going to be attempting to go back to my former life while adding the responsibility of rearing a child at the same time. The biggest difference is that I'll be taking my friends with me. Of course, they won't be making the commute with me, but they'll be my support network, helping me to be a better mom every day. Thanks girls. I love you all!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Lazy Saturday

We slept in this morning. Avery somehow made her way into our bed at about 6 and fell back asleep with us until 10. Wow! We wasted the morning. After a big pancake breakfast, we piddled around the house and yard. It probably would have been a great day to mow the grass since it's supposed to rain for the next several days, but our neighbors on either side haven't mowed their grass at all yet this year, so we're looking pretty good.

Avery has been quite the grouch lately. I think part of it is another growth spurt (as if she could get any bigger.) She can do a complete 180 with her mood, going from absolutely elated to entirely falling apart. Regardless, she can melt my heart with the tiniest crooked grin. I'll leave you with some of the latest shots that will melt your heart, too. Enjoy!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Daddy's home!

Chad is finally home from West Virginia! Hooray! Avery seemed excited to see him. She's been talking (babbling) up a storm. Since he's been away from her for a few days, he says that she seems so much bigger and older. At this stage in her life, it seems like she's doing something new and different every day. I don't want to miss anything.

The mommy club went to Chili's today after the walk in the park. It's almost embarrassing to ask for a table for such a large crowd. "Five adults and six children, please. I'm so sorry." We always have to apologize beforehand. We get lots of stares. At least we're brave enough to venture out now and then. Pretty soon we're only going to be able to frequent places like McDonald's. Heaven forbid.

I've been painting the bathroom while Chad has been out of town. It wasn't bad before. Just not my taste. It was standard issue white, but the previous owners added a wallpaper fence border around the chairrail height and birdhouse wallpaper around the top with stamped ivy around the door and window. Overkill. So I dragged out the can of paint we had intended to use in our study. We were going for Alabama Crimson. (I think the actual color name is Drumbeat Red.) We just got too busy to paint. One can definitely wouldn't have covered the entire study. It has barely covered the tiny little bathroom. It took about 7 coats. What was I thinking? At least I like the color. I need to hand the blinds back up so we can actually use the bathroom.

When I hinted to Chad that I had a surprise for him upon his return, he was afraid that either I was pregnant or I had called the Empire Today carpet people and had new flooring installed. Now which of those do you think would be the lesser of two evils? Yikes! Needless to say, he was relieved to know I had only painted a 4 x 6 room.

International Furniture Market is this week in High Point. It's my dad's big show for the new lines for the coming season. There are two big ones each year plus a pre-market for each one. He's also got a couple of smaller similar events that he preps for, but "Market" is definitely the best. Many of the residents of High Point, NC, move out of their homes during Market and rent them to furniture manufacturers for the week so all the reps can stay together somewhere more comfortable than a Motel 6. Anyway, the showroom is incredible. Dad's company, Fairfield Chair, has a showroom in the old historic post office. It is divided up so they can put their new designs on exhibit and let retailers come in and place orders for their store showrooms. Everything from the upholstery to the accessories to the paint on the walls is carefully chosen so the buyers can see how incredible all the furniture looks. I'm pretty proud of my dad. He works so hard and is so talented.

Mom is in High Point for the weekend to see Daddy and the new lines. And when the showrooms close each day, everyone ends up eating some great food and enjoying the market season nightlife. I think she enjoys catching up with all the reps' wives that she hasn't seen since the previous market, too! It's a mini-vacation for her.

No new pictures today. I'll download them all tomorrow now that we have the computer back. It's nice to be back!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Easy like Sunday morning

Is it really Sunday? Yesterday felt like Sunday all day long, so it made the weekend seem nice and long. We ended up getting plenty done—Chad mowed the yard between rain showers; We witnessed Jennifer Ezell and Chris Wilbeck’s wedding; We grocery shopped—the usual.

Avery is using her hands and feet so much now. She kicks her legs all the time, making her floor toys so much more fun now. She’s grabbing with her hands, too. She loves pulling my hair and pulling her dress up over her head. Exhibitionist.

We had our life group over to the house tonight. It’s a zoo, but we love spending time together. We had two new couples tonight, too. Both pregnant, of course. We wouldn’t have it any other way! Pretty soon, we’ll be able to have our own baseball team.

Chad hits the road for West Virginia tomorrow morning (very early.) His laptop is my window to the outside world when he gets home from work every evening, so I don’t know what I’ll do with myself while he’s gone. I may have to raid the Miller household and hijack their computer. Till then . . .

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Early start

We got off to an early start this morning. Out the door at 7 a.m. Chad was going to the men's breakfast at church (who can pass up anything prepared by Galen Foster?), so Avery and I teamed up with Sallie and Eli to hit yard sales.

Now when you decide to go to yard sales, you have to be in the right frame of mind. You must expect most of what you see to be pure junk that someone would just throw away if it doesn't sell. You've struck gold if you find a piece of furniture or a pair of stilettos. Sallie found a pair of end tables. I managed to score a dog house. Now Roxy and Major have a duplex!

Our Saturdays are usually dedicated to housework, yardwork and sports. I can't think of any games on television today, so it looks like we'll be working. Before Avery arrived, I thought I'd have plenty of time for cleaning. Boy was I crazy! Naptime, nursing, diaper changing, crying, and all the other baby-raising things disrupt and good housekeeping intentions. So we make Saturday the day to get everything done so we can pass Avery back and forth and help each other cross things off our lists.

Avery's schedule is getting a little more manageable. She's napping at about the same times each day and she isn't demanding to be fed as often. Despite the reduced frequency in feedings, she's growing like a weed! The child is over 12 lbs already. She is becoming a little lady, too. Her face is so animated and she's strong enough to hold her head up really well. She pays attention to our faces when we talk to her and she reacts to our voices and gestures with cooing and babble. However, she tends to coo and babble at the television, too. When we're watching sports, news, or sitcoms, she gets drawn in. We catch her stretching and craning her neck to get where she can see the TV set. This could be trouble!

The little munchkin is down for her nap, so I'd better take advantage of having two free hands. I leave you with a few pictures of her.

Fun time in the floor!
Avery is cooing at "Mom" Troup, Chad's grandmother.
Little Bit is napping in her swing.
Avery doesn't seem very happy with her Easter basket.

Hanging out with our buddy Brax Belville at church on Easter Sunday.
Isn't she a doll?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Just Getting Started

Well, I feel pretty behind. All my mommy friends have blogs, so I figured I should start one up, too. Without family in town, this seems to be the best way to keep everyone up to speed on Avery and what she does and looks like.

She's 12 weeks old now. Shocking. It's incredible how quickly time flies. I'm approaching the end of my maternity leave. It's somewhat bittersweet. I'm loving every minute of getting to know this precious little angel, but I'm eager to get back in the corporate world and make sure I still know how to use my brain. It seems almost as mushy as my midsection some days.

Prior commitments and bad weather have kept us out of the park this week. We've been trying to go every day to walk with the girlfriends and their babies. Last week, there were 6 mommies and 9 babies. We just have to laugh. It's such a blessing, though, that we all get to go through this together. Some days I couldn't do it without them.

So, I guess that's a good start to my first blog entry. I'll leave you with a picture of Avery and one of her boyfriends, Eli James Miller, at about 3 weeks old. More to come later . . .