Thursday, January 28, 2010

While the cat's away...

...the mice will play, but they won't sleep very well. Jeff headed to San Antonio yesterday for a continuing education course, and he won't be home until late Saturday afternoon. If all goes as planned, he will pass his test on Saturday and add a few more initials to the end of his name. You can just call him "Jeff Peel, CIC, CISR, CRM." Or just "Jeff." Take your pick.

He hasn't been out of town for an extended period of town in several months. He took a few courses in the first half of 2009, but this fifth and final course wasn't offered in Texas until now. So, basically, he hasn't been away from home for very long since Harper really started to care about "momma" and "dada." She actually realizes he is gone this time, and she doesn't much care for it. She talked about her daddy ALL DAY yesterday. His name was the first word out of her mouth this morning. She didn't want to sleep last night, and while I can't be sure of the reason, I'll attribute it to Jeff's absence to make him feel good about it. I have my fingers crossed that we'll sleep well tonight.

So, study up, Dad, and hurry home! Harper misses you, as well as her Uncle K-K who is on a quick trip of his own. Apparently, Mom is dirt this week!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Move over, Gatorade.

There is a new thirst-quencher in town. It's called Chuy's salsa, and Harper is here to drink it all up.

Step 1: Drink salsa.

Step 2: Cry uncontrollably because you caught a little twist of heat on your tongue.

Step 3: Tame the heat with a quick swipe of the lollipop.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 as many times as you can possibly handle.

Sweet ol' Piper takes the safer route and drinks melted ice cream instead. Smart kid!

(s)He moves in mysterious ways...

We went to church yesterday, and I can't explain what came over me as we walked into the worship service. Lemme tell ya, the folks at Highland Baptist like to sing their little hearts out. We quickly sat down and started to join in on the current song. Or rather, I tried to join in on the song. I opened my mouth, and suddenly, a wave of emotion rolled over me. I squeezed half of a note out before my lips started quivering. I couldn't sing. I wanted to cry. I stood through the entire praise portion fighting back tears in an attempt to regain my composure.

It was the weirdest thing. I was so happy to be there, but I couldn't stop thinking of all the people - friends, family and complete strangers - that are leaning on the Lord right now (and always, for that matter). Think of all the prayers that go up to Him on a daily basis for His strength and guidance. It was an overwhelming reminder that He moves in such mysterious ways.

Think of Haiti. Think of the destruction, the devastation, the deaths and the unimaginable needs of the survivors to make it through the day, much less what they need to rebuild their lives. Then think of the young man rescued after spending eleven days in the rubble of a hotel grocery store who survived by eating cookies and drinking soda and beer. Amazing.

I was also thinking of a little girl born at a mere 25 gestational weeks. Her mother is a fellow provisional member of the Junior League of Waco. Baby Maya was born incredibly early, but she has forged ahead with unbelievable might over the past four weeks. I could not even fathom a guess as to how many people are praying for Maya and her family. The daily updates via Facebook are so encouraging, so uplifting. Each day that Maya lives has been a miracle. Hers has been a heart-wrenching yet amazing journey. She is living proof that God is good.

God is so good. My family has so many things for which to be grateful: we are all healthy, we have a home, Jeff has a good job, we can pay our bills, we have strong minds and are able-bodied, we are really, really ridiculously good-looking, and we have the best English Bulldog in all of the land. (Ok, so maybe I exaggerated with those last two...) But you catch my drift, right? There may come a time when we really need your prayers, but for now I am more than happy to give you mine.

Forever and ever, Amen.

A little Randy Travis and U2 to start your morning... ;) You can thank me later.

Monday, January 18, 2010

An interruption of your regularly scheduled programming

Extra, extra, read all about it! (Pitcher can't pitch, and there's no doubt about it!) Ahem. Excuse my cheerleader flashback...wait, I was never a cheerleader! So....what I was sayin' was...

Get ready for another Mini Peel! Yes, this is the official confirmation of the rumors you've heard or the pictures you've seen on Facebook of Harper wearing her "big sister" shirt. Please don't take it personally if you found out through Facebook or through another friend, and not from us directly. The news started seeping out of tiny holes in the proverbial dam, and before I knew it, it was out. Moving on!

I'll be 12 weeks along tomorrow. Mini Peel is due on August 6, 2010. I'm feeling a boy vibe this time around, but we'll have another two months or so before we find out the gender. What do you think? Will Harper have a little brother or a little seester?

The pregnancy definitely feels differently. Well, in a sense. Physically, it is the same as the first pregnancy. I haven't been sick, just a little tired here and there. I haven't gained any weight yet either. I don't know how to say this without sounding insensitive or cold, but the difference with this pregnancy is in my head. Brace yourself: it just doesn't seem as earth-shattering or life-changing as it did when I found out I was pregnant with Harper. Sounds terrible, doesn't it? I can't possibly tell you how excited we are or how much we are looking forward to this baby. It's unfathomable. But at the same time, it doesn't seem like it is as big of a deal once you've already had one kid.

The thought of that really bothered me for awhile, but then it occurred to me why it seems that way. It's because I have a kid! It's because I have a crazy, hilarious, couch-climbing, windowsill-perching, dancing queen of a little kid! I don't have the TIME to sit around and think about how wonderful it is to be pregnant. Our family is BUSY being a family. The fairy tale portion of a pregnancy is not present this time around. And you know what, I'm not sad about that. Instead, now I know how flippin' cool it is to be a parent to an awesome little kid (even on the bad days) with such a unique personality -- I am much more grounded in the reality of it all. We're going to have another neat little kid with his or her own personality that will contribute to and round out our family. How nifty is that?!

So there you have it - by the end of the summer, four will be the official count at the FalconPeel household. You read it here first, folks! (Or you already knew, and you can just pretend!)

Calling to share her big news!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Warm up

No, this post is not dedicated to the weather. I only wish it were warming up outside -- 20 degrees is too cold for this born-again Texan! Speaking of Texas....

Check out the chair Uncle Kevin got Harper for Jeff's birthday. (Did you follow that?)

All set for the National Championship on Thursday! Just keeping the seat warm for now with a little DJ Lance and the Yo Gabba Gabba gang. By the way, I don't really know what to think of that show, but Harper loves to dance along with it and it buys me twenty minutes of freedom per day. I think I'm sold!

When she isn't allowed to watch an extra episode of YGG, Harper can often be found reading her YGG book or lugging all five of her YGG stuffed toys around the house. Can we say "obsessed?" Jeff hates DJ Lance, and his is ready for Harper to move past this obsession. We'll just have to see how long it lasts!

On a side note, we took back the den and breakfast nook from Harper. No more kiddie land in our living room! Our breakfast table can finally return to it's proper spot. Life can go on... Harper still has a few things tucked away in the space, but now the room finally looks like adults live here, too. Proper staging can't hurt when potential home buyers come a-knockin' either! Oh, and she was not crying in this photo because I tore down her play-prison. She was mad about something else at the time, but she did throw her hands to her face with a look of shock when she first saw the pile of plastic!

And in closing, a random moment between Harper and myself. Neither of us are known to snuggle, but we sat that way for a good 15 minutes yesterday morning. She needed to be held, and who am I to not oblige her? This doesn't occur often, but I've learned to stop myself and enjoy the moment. They seem to be going by all too fast these days...

Back to business

The holiday indulgences are over, the decorations are resigned to spending the next eleven months in the garage, and five-day work weeks are again considered the norm. What else does the new year mean for the Peel family, you ask? Well, for starters, school is back in full swing for me (though to be honest, there was never any hint of a break between fall and spring), and Harper is back at Mother's Day Out! Hallelujah!

I knew the five hours every Tuesday and Thursday were valuable to me and important to Harper's socialization and development. However, the true extent of how much we both needed that time apart did not become evident until last week. Harper and I were both at our wits' end. Luckily, Grammy scooped up Harper on NYE and granted us a 48 hour reprieve. I should have used that time to complete my prospectus, but instead I indulged in some much needed relaxation with friends. (Shout out to Alyssa and Spencer - GREAT to see y'all!)

Yesterday, we all got back to business. Jeff was eager to get back to work and get in gear this year. Right, babe? :) (Here's to hoping he writes and renews LOTS of insurance in 2010!) Today was Harper's first day back at MDO. I was afraid that should be clingy and uncooperative when I dropped her off. In fact, that couldn't have been farther from the truth. She had a rocky start at home this morning, but she couldn't have been happier when we walked into her classroom at the church. We are truly blessed to have found such a wonderful place for her!

I was slightly saddened by the fact that Harper's favorite teacher, Miss Cassie, did not return this "semester." She had an opportunity to teach three-year-olds in an Montessori class at another church. Tears nearly spilled down my cheeks when she told me the news on the last day of MDO before Christmas break. The second teacher in Harper's class had been a floater the entire fall, so the kids really came to count on Cassie as their consistent and trusted leader. She was so good with all of the kids, and I always took notice of how much she worked with Harper on her words, manners, etc. It was nice to know HP was spending time with an adult that took time to teach her and not simply "watch" her. We'll miss Cassie, and we'll pray that another wonderful teacher will land in that class. It is also possible that her class may be combined with the two-year-olds. That could get interesting!

So, MDO is back on, and life is back to "normal." (Whatever that means!) My Tuesdays and Thursdays shall once again be filled with school work, Junior League meetings and the occasional lunch date! Oh, and playgroup is back in session tomorrow, too! We have sure missed those kids (and moms)! OK, now back to that prospectus....