Friday, November 27, 2009

Toys, Toys, Toys

With all the talk to about shopping and "Black Friday" sales it puts me in the mood to talk about toys from my childhood. This year I didn't do any early morning (or late night Thursday) shopping. I'm amazed at the stamina some people have to put themselves through the torture of the late hours and long lines just to score a deal on a big ticket item. However, I know I'll be eating those words in the years to come. Right now Ruth Ann really doesn't care what she gets and there's not really any one thing that I feel like she has to have...however, I've been very close to purchasing this item for her several times in the last few weeks...

Before you say anything, I'm fully aware that Ruth Ann is years away from playing with Barbie dolls...but I can't wait. I think Mattel marketing is 100% effective when it comes to influencing my toy purchases for my child. Who wouldn't want to buy for their daughter what you always dreamed of having when you where a kid. I never had the Barbie Dream House...I had a Strawberry Shortcake mansion...but my best friend Mona Mixon had the Barbie Dream House complete with working elevator. Mona was my bff when we still lived in Sumter...we moved to Lexington when I was in the 1st I have very few memories of our time playing together. I also remember Mona's family having an enormous cage of hamsters in their not everything was great about her house. But the dream house was fantastic! All those childhood dreams came rushing back when I spotted this newest version of Barbie's humble abode at Target and I'm telling you it took all the will power I posses to not snatch it up and put it in my cart. Oh, but one day it will be all set up on Christmas morning for Ruth Ann to run into the living room and find waiting for her...along with My Little Pony, Care Bear and Strawberry Shortcake...all the other toys from childhood that I can't wait for her to enjoy as much as I did in my childhood...see I'm a marketing departments dream come true!

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Ruth Ann's first birthday presents...

Last week at my bi-monthly sewing class my very good friend Jeannie brought Ruth Ann her first birthday presents. Unfortunately she and her girls can't make it to the party next weekend. I thought I would wait and let her open her gifts at the party...but I couldn't wait. I thought she needed to get a little practice in before the big day...


Can't you see the excitement all over her face!


She loved her book...That's Not My Kitty. We love books and we love anything with a kitty cat so this book was a big hit!


This is the neatest's a bowl that makes a variety of noises when you dip the spoon into bowl. We haven't put food in it yet...Ruth Ann is happy to walk around with the spoon in hand and playing with the bowl. Whatever keeps her happy!

Thanks Ms. Jeannie, Ava & Jenna! We'll miss you girlies next week!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Christmas Wish...

I'm dreaming of a white day after Thanksgiving...

Auburn vs. Alabama (2005) 024

Auburn vs. Alabama (2005) 027

I'll be wearing my orange and blue tomorrow and holding out hope that Auburn will upset Alabama at Jordan-Hare!


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Fair warning...

If you live in the greater Columbia area consider this fair warning...


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Turkey or Sides??

The Thanksgiving debate...are you for Turkey or Sides?? I'd have to say I'm for the sides...although our turkey was delicious this year!



Here was my room left to spare!


And here is Ruth Ann's...she tried a little bit of everything, but she may be a turkey fan since that was mostly what she ate this year!


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Ada is 2!!


As much as I can't believe Ruth Ann will be one next week, I can't believe Ada is 2! It feels like yesterday that we were at the beach with Toni & Adam when we found out this baby would be a girl and Toni spent the entire week with morning (& afternoon & evening) sickness.

Last weekend Spencer, Ruth Ann and I drove to Walhalla to celebrate Ada's 2nd birthday. It was a "Bug" theme and all the decorations were super cute!




Ada got a kitchen for her birthday from her momma, so I bought some accessories for the kitchen...and I gave her the birthday outfit she's wearing if you haven't already figured that out!


Ruth Ann & I have been to several toddler birthday's this year and what I've learned has changed my belief of a well wrapped gift. I've said before that I would one day like to own a children's clothing store. One thing I would like for my store to excel in is gift wrap. I'm very particular about my gift wrap & would NEVER give a gift in a bag with tissue paper. I want crisp corners and beautiful bows. At Christmas time I'm known to have all my gifts match under the tree and I love a bow fit for Southern Living! However, after watching toddler's struggle to open well wrapped gifts while tearing into bags with tissue paper...I've changed my belief system for children's presents...use a bag, they love throwing the paper...these pictures are all the evidence you need...





Then it was time for cupcakes...all I can say about Ada and her technique for eating her cupcake is that she is a child after my own heart. I remember tearing the bottom off of cupcakes to only eat the icing...her method is very similar!


And then the party was over and Ada wanted to head to the playground. I think this picture clearly says "Peace out, thanks for coming to my party, I gotta go now, Love Ada!"


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Breakfast in bed

I wish I could remember how carefree life was at this age. My mom thinks our brains are designed to forget these years because life is NEVER this carefree again!


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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Here's how Webster's Dictionary defines the work "thankful":

thank-ful: (adjective) 1. conscious of benefit received 2. expressive of thanks 3. well pleased.

If you've known me for very long you know that I like to live my life by a plan. Once in college I went to spring break at Fort Walton Beach, Fl with two very good friends (Mel C. & my roommate Candi) and another girl which I'll leave nameless. My plan for time spent at the beach has always been and will always be to have myself on the beach, sun screen applied and in the sun by 10am...everyone knows that's when the best time to tan begins...duh! This "other girl" had other plans and wanted to spend our time at the beach in the exact opposite way...out late at night and up way too late in the day. Needless to say, we had it out that week because she objected to my plan and the "other girl" went home early and the rest of us stayed to enjoy our time in the sun! My point, I need a plan to follow, but if there's any one thing I can say that I've learned this year is that as much as I would like to, I'm not making the plans. I'm living by the plan God has already set for me...whether I like it or not.

Who thought parenthood would be! I'll be the first to say that I have passed judgement on parents I've seen who can't control their kids. And even though I have a very good child by other's standards, guess what...I still can't control her! When she gets defiant at her very young age it makes my blood boil! But I'm so thankful that after a year of trying to have a baby that I've been blessed enough to be Ruth Ann McCarty's mother. During the months & months of struggling to conceive my friend Amanda Newman told me that I needed to stop praying for a baby and pray for the right baby. Basic biology tells me that had I conceived any other month then I would not have gotten to be Ruth Ann's mother. Would I have noticed a difference...maybe not, but I can't imagine my life with any other baby and I'm thankful that God's plan was for me to wait on this baby girl...she was worth every failed pregnancy test! Even if her defiant attitude makes me want to pull my hair out...I love this little girl more than I could have ever imagined and am grateful & thankful for every minute I get to spend with her. Am I conscious of benefits received this year...yes I am!


One thing I felt very soon after Ruth Ann was born was not only how much I loved her, but also how much I am loved by my parents. Growing up I always felt loved by my parents, but once I felt the love a parent has a for their child first hand I suddenly became very aware of how much I am loved and how undeserving I am of this love. During Ruth Ann's first week of life she had done nothing to deserve my love for her and yet I would lay my life down for her...if I feel this way as a parent, I can't even begin to imagine how much our Heavenly Father loves us. We are sinful, rotten creatures and God had a plan to send his Son to die for us so that we could everlasting life...what did we do to deserve this...absolutely nothing! Do I think you need to be a parent to understand this...absolutely not...I think it was the hormones post delivery that made me break down in tears every time I thought about how much my parent's love me...but I'm very thankful for this precious realization because I'm grateful (and thankful) to have parents and a Heavenly Father who love me unconditionally!


I also want to express my thanks to my in-laws for loving my baby girl so very much. I'm very thankful for their willingness to keep Ruth Ann on the days that I am a working mother. Without their help I know going back to work would have been 100% harder for me. I can't tell you how easy it is to pass her off into their arms every morning knowing that they will be loving her all day long. She is making memories with them that will stay with her for the rest of her life and they will be memories she will surely treasure. Will I be as thankful when she would rather be in her Grand-daddy's arms than mine...maybe not, but I'll try to remember to look back at this post and be thankful for the love she has for her grandparents!


Am I "well pleased" by the way 2009 as turned out...honestly, I would have to say yes and no. Yes, I'm pleased to have a healthy baby girl, Arch and I are employed and don't appear to be in jeopardy of losing our jobs, Spencer is healthy and doing well in school, but my family is not ending 2009 the same way we started year. The death of a family member is never easy...young or old. When a grandparent passes away the sadness and loss you feel is no different than when you loss a family member at a young age. I think the difference comes in the shock you feel and the sudden end of plans you had made to spend with that young person. I say this because I could have never planned for my bothers passing in March. We had made plans to spend family vacations and holidays together and he was suppose to be there to help me when our parents turn old & crazy. Even though I know that no one has the promise of other day here on Earth, it's still continues to be the hardest lesson I've learned in my life to see my brother gone at such a young age and to know God had this planned for our lives. Do I understand this plan...not at all, but it's not for me to understand on this side of Heaven. However, over and over I see ways that God was preparing our family for His plan and I continue to be "well pleased" with the love and support I have received from my friends and family this year. Never before have I felt the power of prayer and seen what a difference it makes in someone life when they are at their lowest point. I can't thank everyone enough for all their prayers and kind words during the last 9 months. My family has felt and appreciated every prayer and we are forever thankful.

I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving and that you spent few minutes thinking about what they are thankful for this year.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009



Lately my sweet little girl has developed quite the attitude. She has become what I can only describe as "defiant" (openly & boldly resistant). I'm curious where she developed this behavior at such a young age. I've discussed this with other friends who are also mothers and they immediately get a look on their faces that clearly says "Been there, done that!". Then I discussed this attitude problem with my mom and I'm reminded of years of stories my aunt use to share about me. She claims my mom use to drag me into stores kicking and screaming...all the while my mom never batted an eye. My mom doesn't remember any of these moments, which gives me hope that I too will forget how rotten my child is these days. She continues to be as cute as ever, however, this awful behavior is quickly helping me discover how to arrive at my wits end...and we're almost there!


As we rapidly approach Ruth Ann's 1st birthday I've been asked several times if Ruth Ann is close to answer, NOPE. She is a very efficient crawler and she doesn't seem ready to trade crawling on all fours for walking on her own two feet!


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Monday, November 16, 2009

The end of a chapter

About a month ago we said goodbye to what had become a staple in our pantry...


I know you're technically suppose to wait until one year, but her iron has always been fine & I'm making sure to keep feeding her oatmeal fortified with iron. She had also begun a pretty serious formula strike, but gulps down 8oz of whole milk in no time...can't say that I blame her, formula looked and smelled awful!

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sweet Anna Rose


This past weekend the McCarty family made the trip down to Alabama to celebrate a very special day for a very special girl. Anna Rose's 3rd Birthday!

On past trips Ruth Ann has been an angel...mostly because she slept for 80% of the drive and when you're traveling for 5 hours this is priceless. This time I would say Ruth Ann was AWAKE 80% of the time. You may be wondering how Ruth Ann spent her awake time in the car...


She read a few books and...


Drank a little juice.

We finally reached our destination and once Anna got home from school I let her open our gifts to her. I realize it was still almost 24 hours before her birthday party, but I knew she would have a ton of gifts at her party and I wanted ours to be a little special. If we had waited until her party, then our gifts would have blended in with the others.




Ruth Ann watched...I hope she was taking notes on proper gift opening techniques for her birthday in a few weeks!


And then she played a little with some of Anna's goodies...


I got Anna a cute little tea set that I have given as a gift to our friend Betsy Brown. It has been a big hit at the Brown's & I always loved my tea set, so I thought it would be perfect for Anna.


After she opened it we had an impromptu tea party...


A little later while Andrea and I were with Ruth Ann in the living room, Anna brought Ruth Ann a full pot of water...want to guess where she got the water??? I'll give you a hint, there are only a few place in the house that a 3 foot tall child would have easy access to...yep, it was from the potty!

Later that night we watched a little TV and Scott kept the girlies contained...


And they enjoyed a little night time drink...


Then it was Saturday...the day of the party! Here are the girls all dressed up and ready to party!




The party was FANTASTIC!!






And why might you ask is this cup blocking the picture...because it's not blocking the view, it's exactly what I was looking to photograph. The Barbecue House is one of my favorite eating establishments in Auburn. Their chipped pork bbq is my fave, Andrea prefers the chicken bbq. Either way, it's delicious and if you're ever in Auburn you should stop by...the sweet tea is great and make sure you get the potato salad...yummy!

Ruth Ann also made some new friends...


This is Andrea's Aunt Terri. She looks just like Andrea because she and all of Andrea's aunts and mom are beautiful blonds and all look very similar!

Then Ruth Ann did a little bouncing in the moon walk...


Someone else joined her in the moon walk...



Not the most lady like position, but still a cute picture of daughter & daddy!

We were lucky enough to have some other friends come and join in the fun at the party...




It's our friend Kate! Her mom & my good friend, Erin, came up to Auburn for the party. In just 4 short weeks Kate is going to be a big sister. The next time we see this sweet girl we'll also get to see her sweet baby sister, Evan...I can hardly wait!


The first thing I think when I see this picture is "WOW, look at the bows on those girls!". I think Erin and I are raising these girls right! Kate is so addicted to a bow that she wants to sleep in hers. I must learn Erin's secret to getting your daughter to fulling accept a bow...Ruth Ann is still yanking hers from her head in defiance!

Then it was time for cake and ice cream...


We didn't let Ruth Ann have any cake, but we can't deny her ice's her favorite!



Then it was present time...see why I wanted Anna to open her gifts from us the night before...




Here's my favorite's from some of Andrea's friends at work...



And here's the Webster family in the moon walk...



All this fun wore out my baby girl...


Later that night we took a golf cart ride around the golf course in Andrea's neighborhood.


It was the first time Ruth Ann got to wear her winter jacket...she looked so cute in it!


Sweet Anna Rose, we had so much fun this weekend celebrating your 3rd birthday. I can't believe you're already 3 years old. It feels like I just got to meet you, then I blinked and you're a big girl! I love your sweet smile, your sassy personality and how kind you are to Ruth Ann. You'll always be very special to Aunt Tara and I look forward to spending many more birthdays with you!


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