Monday, October 24, 2011

We are not dead, just in Florida ... and other places

Hi friends and strangers who stalk this unimportant blog.

I apologize for being so "quiet" the last month or so.  Many, many things going on here.  Mostly good, some even great!

1.  I can't hold it in any longer (literally and figuratively) - we are pregnant!  Having another baby, due near the end of April!    I am showing already and now in week 14, so I feel human again.   That first trimester was kicking my butt in terms of energy. I had no idea that you could be abducted by aliens and then be returned to Earth so seamlessly.  Seriously.   Someone took over my body and I could barely find the energy to take care of Mattie, nevertheless myself and this blog.  I am feeling completely normal and great now... great energy, no sickness again with this pregnancy, no real symptoms or cravings, just a thick waste and strong fingernails!

So, as you can expect, we are very excited and ready to welcome another beautiful, healthy baby into the world.   Mattie is excited and seems to be very connected to the idea of a "baby in the belly."  She tells everyone she has one in her belly and she is even protective of it and will scream and yell, "don't touch my baby!!!!" if you touch her belly or if she gets hurt and it is in her belly region.  Pretty funny.   She went to the first Dr. appt with me and told the entire waiting room that we were there to see the Baby Doctor and the Doctor was going to make sure our babies were healthy.    She tells me that she will help feed, play, and take care of the baby .... we will see!
I know you will all be asking, so NO, we are NOT going to find out the sex.  We are really hoping for a fun surprise on or around April 22nd.

2.  Ok, after that... well, it's been a typical fall.  Pete is hunting and horseshoeing so we have seen him for a couple of days each month (you think I am kidding but I am not).  So, it's been BUSY and a bit exhausting.  Our house is a mess, the dogs are in desperate need of more walks, and Mattie has spent lots of time with Nona and Jimpa while I try to work as much as I can and keep my head above water.   Luckily we have them here and some great friends to help out and laugh/scream with when I feel like I am going to walk off of a cliff!

3.  We have been TRAVELING!  This is the really fun stuff.  In early October my cousin Lacey married a wonderful, wonderful man named Alan in Ft Walton Beach Florida!  I was so excited to celebrate their sweet love and of course get some much needed Cottongim Family Crazy Fun ... My dad was extremely sweet and flew all three of us down there so we could join in the excitement.  We spent 3 ish days in Ft Walton with Lacey and Crew, dad, uncle Mike, his son Sam, Clark and Sammi, aunt Susie and Uncle Doug.   We all packed into a beachfront condo and Mattie got her first real taste of BEACH, sand and perfectly clear water!  It was great!  I LOVE that area and hope to go back again soon.

4.  Since we were clear across the country and didn't know when we'd be back, we extended the trip and then drove to Jacksonville to see the Orums (Pete's BF). We stayed with Matt, Amy and their three beautiful girls Katie, Zoe and Anna for 4 days.  We hit the Jacksonville Zoo, the beach, and just imbedded ourselves in their everyday lives and enjoyed seeing a family of 5 in action.   Mattie was immediately adopted as a surrogate little sister for a few days and learned all the tricks of the trade.  She awoke excitedly every morning to "get ready for school, " walk them to the school bus,"  and do "homework" each night.  It was super fun and SO nice to get away from anything that resembles our lives and have a change of pace.   Pete caught up on some sleep, I got a tan, and like a I mentioned, Mattie tried to grow up and be a big kid for the week.

5.  We are now in holiday planning season - 4 Halloween parties this weekend, pumpkin patches, costume making, fall projects, and another wedding in Colorado.  I will do these as separate posts.  Until then, here are some fun FLorida pics to tide you over.

6.  Mattie is amazing these days.  Completely two and completely hilarious.  She is as sweet and kind as ever, but boy does this kid know how to use her vocabulary.  I love how verbal she is but I must admit, somedays I need to her to be silent for an entire 5 minutes and that is hard to come by.   I will try to be better about doing the little posts and little funny stories from here on out... I promise I will do my best!

Ciao and thanks for hanging in there....

 Mattie LOVED the airport / travel / plane portion of our trip as much as anything at the beach.  She quickly mastered the TSA / Airport security portion like a pro, made friends with nearly every stranger she could, and was quite a good little airplane passenger.

My favorite story was when she made friends with some grandparent type couple behind us on one of our legs.  She immediately asked them their names, told them her name was "Matine" and "I'm two."  They talked all about their grandkids, asked her about the beach, and showed her some pictures of their kids.   She bent down, grabbed a printed Kleenex that had cartoon characters of babies on it and held it out for them, declaring "these are my boys."   I thought the entire plane was about to die of laughter.  This was after they listened to her carry on a perfectly clear and succinct conversation with these people about beaches, whales, kids, names, and ages.  It was hilarious.  Might have been the highlight of my trip and we hadn't even landed.  I love that kid.

It was GREAT to hang with the family.  There is nothing like a group of Cottongims together... Nothing.  Those that actually survive the experience can attest.

So, one of my favorite parts of the trip (well, besides uninterrupted family time with my favorite guy and gal?)... clothing optional, no layering, and very few clothes.  Coming from a place where jackets, backpacks, socks and shoes are needed nearly every month of the year... Bathing suits and nudey babies was great!  Our nearly nudist baby agreed.

Sand castles was by far the highlight for Matine and the other larger kids of the trip.   Peter got REALLY into the building, as did grandpa Scott and Sam... Like I said, the other kids.

Clark, Sammi, Peter, Matine and I went paddle boarding.  WAY fun!  We took turns "paddling" standing up and sitting down.  Super great way to see the water and spend an hour or so.  We went further out around the pier where they were fishing for sharks and big fish.  We saw a shark while balanced delicately on our feeble board ... As my 2 year old is just chilling and enjoying the views I realized how awful this COULD turn out, but alas, we told her there was a shark in the water and she got excited and wanted to see it.  She stayed still and just soaked up all of it the entire hour we were out on the ocean.  What a fun kid.

My beauty.  I just stared at her the entire trip.

We LOVE Uncle Clark and Sammi.  They are fantastic.  They stayed 2 extra days in Destin and celebrated Sammi's birthday.

he is putty in her hands ...

Mattie was cousin Sam's shadow (just like when he was in Montana earlier in the summer).  She called him "My Sam" and made sure he was accounted for at all times.  She also charmed Uncle Clark into holding his fancy camera and tried mimicking the wedding photographers.  I think she has a career in film ahead of her.

The ACUFF's.  It was a lovely ceremony and great weekend.  Meaningful, simple and filled with love... AND, they happily announced that THEY are expecting in MAY!  Yay for more cousins!  We love you guys and were so happy to celebrate with you.

My gal.  Morning walks on the beach and watching dolphins swimming in the Ocean... I will never forget those moments with my family.

Daddy's gal! 

We left Sammi and Clark in Destin after we made sure they had suitable transportation for the remainder of the trip.   Clark really knows how to wow a gal with a Scooter filled Birthday weekend!  Wahoo!

Part Two of our Florida Vacation and time with the Orums coming soon!


A Growing Family said...

Congrats on another precious baby!!!!

taylor said...

yay, you are back to blogging :)
congrats on the little nugget to be!!
loved the pictures and i see you are coming to my state i call home now since january...Colorado!
these stories and pictures are such great memories for little matine to look back on.

lauren and brad said...

your followers are very grateful! :) thanks for all the pics and updates! they are great!!!!


Meg Taylor said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! you look so amazing!!! you are due so soon!!! I am soooo happy for you and your entire family!!!! yay yay yay!!! yay!!!!!!!!!!!! fun catching up on your blog

Jo said...

so funny because when you weren't blogging for so longi thought "either she's been eaten by a bear...or she's preggers" so glad you weren't eaten by a bear! congrats! mattie will be a fantastic big sister/mommy :)

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