Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

We are home, and it’s good to be here.

This Thanksgiving did not go according to plan, but in the end, it was nice.  It was good.  And I still kind of liked it.

We left here Thursday morning to go to Andy’s parents’ house.  We had lunch (much later than pregnant girl would have liked :)) and it was so yummy.  Andy’s parents don’t like turkey, so they always make a chicken.  To be honest, I didn’t eat any meat this year.  I just did sides.  It was all that really sounded good.  I think I ate a quarter of the broccoli cheese casserole myself.  It’s my favorite thing Andy’s mom makes.

We spent Thursday afternoon just hanging out and talking and watching the dogs chase each other (okay, really, watching Oliver bully Keegan).  We went to visit Andy’s grandpa at the nursing home, and Andy teased him with his horrible baby name choices.

On Friday, Andy woke up pretty sick.  He started coughing in the middle of the night, and even the Mucinex and Advil I got him at 3 am weren’t helping too much.  I was up pretty much from 3 on because I couldn’t get back to sleep (I think I may have dozed a bit).  I got up at 5 and took Andy’s parents’ dog to the bathroom and fed him (he was scratching our bedroom door to see Oliver).  I do think I slept for about 45 minutes then as one of the dogs snuggled with me. 

That day, despite being sick, Andy helped his dad prepare for fireplace installation.  His parents built a new room on their house that was finished two Christmases ago, and the plan has always been to finish that room with a fireplace.  It has now been ordered and should be delivered in two weeks.  Andy and his dad cut out the brick and built the box for the fireplace to sit in the garage.  They worked on that basically all day.

While they did that, Andy’s mom and I did some shopping.  We went to Macys and a Target and were fairly unimpressed with both.  Then later in the day, I realized (after talking to my sister who was carrying on quite a conversation about underwear with me on her cell phone in a completely different Target in a completely different city) that I really wanted to get something at Target.  So we went to other Target.  Because there are two within five minutes of my in-laws house.  Color me green with envy.  We had much better luck at the second Target.  I found the thing I was looking for, medication for sick husband, Tums for my heartburn, and I discovered that Target now carries Mrs. Meyers cleaning products, which totally made me jump up and down for joy right in the middle of the aisle.  Seriously.

Friday night Andy’s sickness really kicked in.  His temperature was 101.7 and he could not warm.  He lay on the sofa and just shook with cold no matter how many layers we got on him.    He went to bed, I slept on the sofa.

When we got up the next morning (after a night of having various dogs jump on me at various times) Andy’s fever was still high.  It was then that we decided that we couldn’t go on up to my mom and dad’s house.  Broke my heart.  I miss my mommy and daddy.  The only thing that made it so I could handle it was knowing that we had just been there two weeks ago, and I’ll be back in a few weeks.

Andy went to the urgent care place and got a prescription.  He basically slept all day.  Like really.  I can’t really remember anything about yesterday.  I think it involved lots of watching the dogs and television.  I know we went to Jimmy Johns while his parents went to see CATS at Butler.  That’s about it.

After sleeping on the sofa again, and being attacked by dogs again, we got to today.  Andy started to almost rejoin the land of the living.  He helped his dad finish up in the garage.  I helped his mom do her Christmas shopping online.  Oliver started to act like a butthead.  He growled at me today for the first time ever in his life.  I think he was stressed out and ready to get home.  He didn’t sleep well or get too many naps this weekend, and I’m pretty sure his fun meter was pegged.  We headed for home this afternoon, and made two stops.  One for sushi (I only eat the cooked rolls, it’s totally fine) and once at Starbucks for the best peppermint mocha I’ve had in years.  Also, do you know that Starbucks offers a pup cup?  It’s a sample sized cup with whipped cream.  I have never seen Ollie dogs so excited in his life.  He licked every bit of whipped cream out of that thing and then proceeded to lick anything else in sight.  He was thrilled.

Now we’re home, doing laundry, getting unpacked, and relaxing.  I think I’ll start getting our Christmas decorations out this week, but not tonight.  Tonight, I just want to enjoy being at home.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful List

Today, I am thankful for so many reasons….

….for a God who never fails.  Who stops my brain from spiraling into crazy on a normal morning drive with the blessing of a beautiful sunrise, a pink sky,  and a reminder on the radio that “Your Grace is Enough”

…for a husband who loves me and wants to serve me in whatever way he can

…for a house that keeps us safe and warm…a house that I might even be starting to love after three long years

…for parents who blessed me with an incredible childhood

…for a husband who is learning more about my childhood than ever before, and says, “The more I hear about the kind of dad your dad was, the more I think I want to be that kind of dad to our baby.”  It makes me cry a little because I think everyone should have a dad like my dad

…for a puppy who makes blanket folding an Olympic sport and has mastered the art of the perfect snuggle

…for incredible friends from every stage of life….friends who will stay friends for all my life

…for friends who love us, who want to share life with us, and who will be there for us through anything

…for a sister who is the other half of my brain

…for the world’s most kind, generous, and wonderful in-laws.  I truly married into an incredible family.

…for an extended family that I not only know, but that who were truly a part of my life growing up….I didn’t realize how rare that was

…for a job where my principal exhorts our students to show character before a big rivalry game

…for students who desperately want to know everything about the baby, how I’m feeling, and want to help name the baby (that part is more funny)

---for simple pleasures like peppermint tea, chicken pot pie, chocolate, a good book, a long nap, and so many more

…for the baby growing inside, currently making me look like I am in serious need of some Lipozene (I think that’s the belly fat commercial furnwe used to laugh over in college)

…more seriously, for the baby.  The little child who will rock our worlds and change everything.  Oh the excitement!

…and  on the frivolous side, for IKEA and the Swedish home  furniture I will get to see and purchase next weekend.  I can’t wait!

…and our kitchen, which will nearly be complete soon (I can’t wait to post the after pictures)

…and the living room, too….as soon as I hang wall art and grab a short bookshelf (possible reasons I’m starting to love our house :))



Sunday, November 21, 2010


I love having lunch with friends.  Especially on Sundays.  It’s kind of my favorite thing in the whole world.  Or mostly in the whole world.

Today was no exception—we had the very best time at lunch with friends (and it made me super excited to go with these particular friends to IKEA in two weekends).

But this isn’t about lunch.  This is  about me, being a mess.

When I finished ordering,  my lunch, I quickly began micromanaging Andy’s order (I really wanted his cole slaw.  I don’t even like cole slaw.  But I wanted it today).

M jokingly told the waitress to go ahead and add a side of pickles to my order.

To which I replied, “I already ate two jars this week.  By myself.”

I think I am having a love affair with salt.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My first big baby purchase!

I am beyond excited.  I just made my very first baby purchase!  Technically, I was there when Andy bought a Batman onesie last week (don’t ask), but that was DEFINITELY NOT my purchase.

I bought 24 cloth diapers.

Since long before we found out we were pregnant, I have been researching cloth diapers.  I have a lot of reasons.  The biggest, though, and probably easiest to guess, is that I am cheap.  Like cheap.  It pains me to spend lots of money cheap.  But the more I looked, the more I liked.  First, cloth diapers are not like they used to be.  Not even at all.  My mom used the old prefolds with safety pins and cover.  She won’t even recognize these puppies.  I ordered two different types of All-in-One diaper, where the whole diaper is built similarly to a disposable, goes on with hooks, and can be tossed into the laundry with little effort on my part.

Another reason I like the idea of cloth is that disposable kind of creep me out.  I had a student give a speech about disposable diapers last year, and when she cut it open and showed the gel inside, the whole thing kind of bothered me.  It seemed really chemically and unnatural, and I don’t know how I feel about that coming into direct contact with the little butterbean’s skin for 2+ years.  And, did you know that it takes 500 years for one disposable diaper to decompose in a landfill? 

Of course, that alone wouldn’t do it for me.  Really, the cost is the big issue.  Most estimates say that parents spend upwards of 1500 to 2000 dollars on disposable diapers in one child’s lifetime.  I just spent 346 dollars, and I could very well have enough diapers to get me through ALL of our children’s lifetimes.  Heck, even if I find I need more and order a few, I will still come in at a HUGE cost savings.  And, parents who cloth diaper repeatedly report significantly fewer cases of diaper rash and diaper blowouts.  All of this makes the extra laundry and spraying a dirty diaper in the toilet seem worth it to me.

On to what I bought.

I ended up buying 12 BumGenius 4.0s from (they are on sale WHICH NEVER HAPPENS).  We got the yellow, blue, and green so they will be gender neutral.  These are a  one-size diaper.  They say that they fit babies from 7 lbs. until they don’t need diapers anymore.  Most of the reviews, however, say that they are not the best for newborns as they don’t snap tight enough.

So for the newborn days, I bought 12 Fuzzibunz diapers which are sized for babies 0-8 months.  I got whatever gender neutral colors they had—two blues, orange, yellow, and green.  We may find that we need more than 12 newborn, and that’s totally fine—I can always order a few more :)

I can’t find a good picture that I can download—but you can see everything at

I am seriously excited about these arriving.  Now to figure out the rest of the stuff :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baby Chronicles Chapter 4: Oh mercy the emotions…

I feel like I’m living Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold.”

“You’re hot then you’re cold”—why yes, yes I am.

“You’re yes then you’re no”—yup, that’s about right.

“You’re in and you’re out”—only on days that end with y

“You’re up and you’re down”—that’s twelve seconds.  What about the rest of the day?

“You’re wrong when you’re right'”—that’s probably pretty accurate too.

You get the picture.  I am ALL over the place.  It’s been bad for weeks, but I feel like this week is out of control.  Partly, because this week has been hard.

You see, since we found out that the little lime baby was inside of me, Andy and I have been making a concerted effort to keep our schedule relaxed.  It was pretty awesome, and mostly necessary.  The intense nausea and vomiting that set in every day as soon as the final bell rang after school for six weeks really limited our options.  So I spent most of my nights dozing on the sofa, taking it easy or visiting the porcelain throne.    

But this week.

I started to feel better.  And I overdid.  Some of it was my fault.  A lot of it was just life.

Monday, we went to Clarksville to run errands, and we took B, Andy’s former little brother in the BBBS program (he turned 18, so he’s not a little anymore, but he’s still a part of our little family).  It turns out, our boy had only been able to go to Clarksville like 3 times in his life.  People.  We go there like once a month.  It’s my sanity place (because I can go to Tarjay).  We went to dinner, and he had never eaten somewhere with a cloth napkin.  He thought it was a placemat, and put his salad on top of it.  I showed him how to put it on his lap, and he told us that this was nicest restaurant he had ever been too.  It’s a decently nice place (our normal sushi restaurant), but it’s nothing spectacular.  I could have put my head down on the table and cried.  Then we took him to Target to pick out gifts for our Operation Christmas Child boxes, and he was through the moon.  It was truly something else to watch this 18 year old tough guy who constantly gets into verbal wars with other people and always wants to fight, stand there is his chain and umbrella-y pants and get over the moon excited about picking out Christmas  gifts for little kids in third  world countries.

People.  That night was a blessing to me.  But it wreaked its emotional havoc.  I have never realized just how much I take for granted.  It tore me up.  The things that have been normal for my entire life, are so not normal for so many people.  It just worked me over. 

Monday had already knocked me down when Tuesday and Wednesday came.  I had meetings both days that really upset me.  I felt like there were some not right things happening at both, and I was really disappointed and upset at the behavior of several people who I would have expected better from.  To be honest, Tuesday night I came home in tears I was so frustrated.  Wednesday was almost as bad.  Both experiences left me drained, and frankly, not pleasant to be around.  Last night Andy mentioned that I was out-of-control irritable and I was being really unfair to him.

And I was.

But in that moment, the hormones made me want to throw something at him.

I didn’t.  And we talked it through without any sort of physical violence.

But I’m totally hot and cold, yes and no, in and out, up and down.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Baby Chronicles, Chapter 3: The Part where we find out

The plan all along was to see if I started today and if I didn’t, to get a test at Target this weekend.  Heck, there was even a 5 dollar off coupon for an EPT test in the paper last weekend.  You better believe I clipped that puppy.

See, I wanted to wait.  There was no way in heck I was purchasing one of those things anywhere in this county.  The hills have eyes, and mouths, and word would have been back at school before the stick turned blue.

Andy, however, does not have those qualms.  And when I got home from the dentist tonight, he shoved the Walgreens bag in my hand and told me to go pee.

Because we’re classy like that.

As we headed back the bathroom, he was praying.  And I was shouting, “Are you seriously going to make me find out if I’m carrying my first child with a numb face from getting two cavities filled?  Really.”

Because I’m classy like that.

So I took the test with my husband sitting on the side of the shower.  We have no boundaries, apparently.  I made a mess and peed all over myself.  There is no dignity in those things.

The stick turned blue.  Like immediately.  I pulled it out and looked right at it and said, “I think it says I’m pregnant.”

We laughed, we kissed, we told Oliver and just acted like general fools.

Then later, Andy shouted into the kitchen, “My parts work!  And so do yours!”

Because he’s classy like that.

We came up with an elaborate scheme to tell our parents.  I don’t think mine figured it out.  Andy’s mom knew before he said five words.  She’s been sworn to secrecy.

I called my sister.  Because someone had to know.  And I wanted Lauren to be the first.

We went for a long walk tonight, our little family of three, and thought to the future.  The part where next fall when we do this, we’ll have a sweet little stroller and Ollie will have a baby brother or sister.  And it was weird.  Weird, good.  But weird.  There is a baby the size of a poppy seed inside of me.  Blows my stinking mind.

I’m having a baby.  Andy Cook and I are going to be parents.

September 14, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baby Chronicles Chapter 2

You probably guessed the theme of yesterday’s post.  Yup.  We’re having a baby.  Next May.  We are 12 weeks in, and everything looks great.  I had my first appointment last Monday, and she said the little lime-baby looked perfect.  I thought this week I might go back and give you a look at the things that have been going on over the last twelve weeks.  You know, indulge my need to talk about this life that’s growing inside of me and making it increasingly difficult to find pants to wear :)  So here’s the first.   A post I typed out the night before we found out we were having a baby.


After Theodore was born, my opinion on childbearing started to drastically change.  Then as Mandy got closer to her due date, I realized that I really wanted to have kids, and that as long as we were here, I wanted my kids to be able to play with hers.  And this summer, the baby bug really hit.  It’s been a full on disease.  Andy’s had it forever, but it took me awhile to get here.

I’m supposed to start my period tomorrow.  I haven’t had any spotting and last week didn’t feel like PMS.  At first, my boobs were just aching seriously (sorry dad).  Oliver kept jumping up on the sofa with me, and it seemed like every time he would hit my chest.  And I would yelp and yell at him because it hurt.  Then I started wearing out.  Like mentally, emotionally, and physically.  I felt like everything was overwhelming at school and like it was out of my control.  Then this weekend my lower back started aching to a level it has never hurt before.  Any time I’ve had to bend over, it has nearly brought me to tears. 

Andy has been asking me like 35 times a day if I think I’m pregnant. 

Oliver just jumped on me again.  On my chest again.  Seriously.  Ouch. 

I think I might be.

I hope I am.

I guess you’ll know if this ever sees the light of day.

September 13, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Guess the theme!

In class this week, we have really been focusing on our literary terms, and figuring out how different authors use different techniques.  So in this post, I want you to guess the theme. 

Before we begin, a definition, in case you forget: A central idea or statement that unifies or controls an entire work.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Giving up on things

I recently discovered something that has been ridiculously liberating to me.  I can give up on things.

Not important things, clearly, like relationships, work, laundry, and the like.

But dumb, trivial things.

I can give up dumb things.

If I start to read a book and I think it starts out stupidly, I don’t have to read it.  I can read three pages and stop and take it back to the library.

If I’m watching a show and I don’t find it as interesting as I once thought, or I just don’t like it, perhaps because my tastes have changed or because it has changed, I can not watch.

Since we don’t have television, it’s easier for me to only watch the things I really want to watch.  I watch what I want on Hulu and Netflix, and that’s all.  I just cleared out my Hulu subscriptions.  I cancelled subscriptions to at least six different shows that just aren’t doing it for me anymore.  It was freeing.  There is only one show sitting in my Hulu queue right now.  That is awesome.  (I do have two shows to watch on the CBS website—but they are two long-standing favorites). 

Not wasting my time on things that I am only marginally interested in has opened up a whole new world.  I have more time for my husband, more time for sleep, more time to spend reading things that are really important.

It’s wonderful.  I’m a big fan.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A difference between Andy and Ashley

So….I have a mildly funny story to share.  At least, I think it’s funny.

I am the family grocery shopper.  I have my routines, and I do my thing.  Usually I try to plot out a few meals and get the ingredients for those, and stock up on our normal staples.   The staples I generally write out in the order they are in the store, simply because that’s how they work in my mind.  The recipes, though, I just scribble willy-nilly the ingredients I need and scan my list when I get to every aisle to see what I need to grab before I get through.

Last weekend, Andy went with me.  It’s rare that it happens because he’s a notorious junk food grabber (3 boxes of macaroni and cheese this time…not bad at all) and it makes me nuts to spend too much money there.  This time I knew I was spending a small fortune, so it wasn’t a big deal.  I hadn’t been to the store in three weeks, and no, we really can’t go that long.  We got to know the people in the Wendy’s drive thru pretty well last week.  So I knew I needed strong man arms to wheel the cart around.

When we got to the store, Andy pulled out my list, and he was appalled.  He couldn’t understand why I didn’t split everything up into its appropriate aisle so we could get through the store “more efficiently.”  Every aisle he would make some comment about it…especially when I forgot the rice AND the Romano cheese and had to go back for them.

On the way home, he told me he was thinking about writing a program for me to use that would auto put my grocery list in the correct order.  So all I would have to do is type in the ingredients I need, and it would sort it for me.  I would LOVE it if he did make me the program….I just thought it was a very Andy idea of working out the grocery store :)