Thursday, October 26, 2006

on my mind

my husband and i have gradually stopped turning on the TV so much lately and started setting aside “reading time” every night after the little girl goes to bed. this has definitely helped with my stress level although it is still really hard to get used to accomplishing things in little chunks of time instead of in one big chunk. anyway, at least i do feel like i am getting some things done, but it is frustrating to not have that time to myself to do whatever i want. still i’ll take the less-stress path any day. life changes so much when you have a baby and i guess i am still getting used to it.

this weekend is going to be a crazy one. we have a parent conference day all day tomorrow and i am dropping my car off to get brakes worked on before work. we have to go to a surprise birthday party for my uncle on Saturday night. Saturday morning some co-workers and i are taking some time out at Dream Dinners and Sunday my family is going on their first 5th Sunday Hike after church. i also have to fix brunch for the Sunday School class (don’t have a clue what i’m doing there and i haven’t had a chance to go to the store but i’ll figure it out sometime). hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

month seven

Dear Julianna,

You are already seven months old! You are changing daily so it seems like time is going by so fast. You have three more new teeth now (all on top) and you are making progress with your walking. You are also finally showing a few signs of interest in crawling although last month we would have sworn that you would never want to crawl. We thought you would go straight to walking since you beg to be UP so much. You consistently reach for our hands and lift your arms in the air as if you are begging to be picked up or “walked.” You tug on our sleeves when you are sitting next to us until we hold your hands for you to pull up. You have amused us on the rocking horses this month and you’re all over the house in your walker. You amaze me in how much stronger you get every day. You are learning to communicate more and more and you are making it easier for us to give you what you want. Wow! Time goes by so fast!

You are still sleeping great – almost 11 hours at night and 3 hours during the day. You have cut back to only two naps a day now which makes things a little more difficult for your mommy but it’s OK because I get to see you more and we can go out for longer periods of time now. No more dashes to the grocery store in the blink of an eye. Now we can take a little more time and you have especially learned to love riding in the front of the cart and watching everything that goes on. You lean your head waaayyy back to see everyone that goes by. Just like your mama, you love to watch people.

We actually took you to the fair this month which was pretty uneventful, but a first for you. You got to take in all the sights and smells; mostly you just watched everyone.

You say, “bbbbaaaaaa, baaaaa, baaaa” all the time and “mmmmmmm, mmmmmmm, maaaaa, maaa, maaaaa” too. You *almost* know who mama is (and dada too), but kitty is one word you know for sure! You love to pet Simon and try to eat his feet sometimes. You smile every time you see him.

You also still have quite a bit of fun in the bath each night. You’re learning to drink the water and roll and laugh and play.

You are still gaining weight too! You’re almost up to 22 pounds now and you’re wearing 12+ month clothes now. You still look a lot like your daddy, but I think you have a lot of my personality (both good and bad). There’s no question that you are ours.

You’ll have to get a flu shot soon, but of course I know you’ll take it like a champ. You always do. You only whimper a tiny bit and then are easily distracted.

We did have a few firsts this month. One morning I walked in the kitchen to get a washcloth to wipe your mouth and I left you on the couch. I learned a hard lesson when I heard a thump from the other room and then I heard you crying. I was crying long after your tears were gone, but you were OK – just scared. I felt such an enormous amount of guilt after that, but I know it won’t be the first time either.

We also saw the first signs of “stranger anxiety” in you when you cried at other people holding you recently. Selfishly, it makes me feel so warm and well… loved, but it also makes me wish that you wouldn’t hurt other people’s feeling either. It makes me so sad sometimes when I think about how independent you’ve become and how you don’t want to just sit (how boring!) in my lap anymore. I know it won’t be long before you don’t want much to do with me at all and you’ll be all over the place so I am cherishing this time with you. Julianna, I love you. Love, Mama

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

what a difference a day makes

a is for beautiful

someone asked me yesterday how i got the name for my blog. i knew i would be asked this at some point and i contemplated whether or not i would share the story. really my mom or my dad could tell the story better. it’s a simple story about my grandmother – my mom’s mom and a sweet woman who suffered from the debilitating disease Michael J. Fox also has (Parkinson’s Disease).

anyway, basically she was reading an alphabet book to my cousin (the first grandchild on that side of the family) where it listed one word on each page for every letter of the alphabet. well, when she was reading she somehow read, “A is for beautiful” instead of what the first page actually said and everyone had a good laugh.

since i wasn’t there at the time i obviously don’t remember this happening, but i have heard the story told many times over by my mom and dad as well as by my aunt and uncle. my grandmother died many years ago, but when i started my official blog (the first blog was published on my own no-longer active site it was the most natural name i could think of. i knew that i would be writing mostly about my adventures in parenthood and it seemed a worthy name and a good tribute to my grandma. so that’s my story and i’m sticking to it. what phrases make you think of one of your relatives?

Friday, October 20, 2006

today in numbers

bottles washed: 14
loads of laundry folded: 3
diapers changed: 2
amount of time until my parent conference: 2 hours 10 minutes
pieces of Halloween candy that i've eaten today (it's 9:52 am people!): 8
hours until my weekend begins: 5

this week in pictures

"Where did Nanna go?"

"Hey Nanna! Did you know that this chair rocks?!"

"My teeth hurt! Why are you making me smile at that dumb camera?!"

"Papaw bought me a new toy!"

Someone got a new car.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

to have and to hold from that day forward

we don’t usually give gifts for our anniversary or for birthdays really. we typically just buy what we want whenever we want it. we are lucky.

it takes a lot of pressure off of us for special occasions and then we usually just get to spend time with each other (which to me is the best gift anyway). today is our four year anniversary. last night we got to spend special time together to celebrate the last four blissful years of marriage. it was a nice quiet evening with just the two of us.

anyway, i feel like i’ve learned a lot over the last few years. i’ve obviously learned that marriage isn’t easy and that it takes a lot of work. you need more than just love for each other. when we don’t work really hard at our marriage things can get rough, but we are both committed to it so we always go back to working hard at it and then it is good.

over the last four years i’ve also learned that marriage can be just as rewarding as i always thought it would be. you have someone to go through life with. someone to share the happiness and the sorrow. someone to help carry your burdens and who loves you even when they don't have to.

so Booger, thank you for the last four years. thank you for working with me to make our marriage work. thank you for being my CTO, my best friend, my partner in crime, and my sounding board. thanks for laughing at my stupid jokes and listening endlessly to my stories and complaints. thank you for my little girl, for helping me create a perfect family, for making me happy, and for your committment. i’ll love you always, CCC

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

the end of the grading period

so so frustrated. i got a call from our principal this morning. she had received a call from a parent wanting to have a conference with me, the principal, and another parent ASAP. this makes me SO stressed. i hate conferences with parents [what teacher doesn’t?] and because i teach at a private school requests for conferences seem to pop up a lot – certainly around report card time.

sometimes i think of how easy it would be to just give the students the grades they want (and the grades their parents want them to get) to avoid the hassle of having to meet with them later. i know some teachers who do this. but i've noticed that i especially want to just give “easy A” grades now that i have a baby and have different priorities in life and many more uses for my time. i really don’t want to be meeting with parents arguing over dumb project grades. i want to be home playing peek-a-boo and yes, even chaging smelly diapers.

but the teacher in me – the one who wants to do what is right for the students and the one who wants to actually TEACH – says that i have to give the grade that was earned and not take the easy way out just to avoid a conference.

but UGH! does anyone want to go argue my case for me? the conference is Friday at noon.

Monday, October 16, 2006

three things

i learned (relearned) three important things this weekend.

this weekend i relearned that you can get an awful lot done when you try. i had to make up for the last two weeks of getting virtually nothing done or i was going to go crazy and poke my own eyes out or something. so i worked a lot (especially on Saturday). i watched zero TV and exercised not at all. i ate a lot, spent time with my husband a lot, and got my haircut. mostly, i just tried to get un-stressed and accomplish a lot of school stuff. with my husband’s help i think i was mostly successful. although i am not completely caught up with my work stuff, it sure feels good to be close.

we kept the three year olds in Sunday School yesterday. there i learned that my daughter will one day be three and therefore she will one day be sticky, icky, ooey, gooey gross. she will have play dough squished permanently underneath her fingernails. she will have snot running down her face. she will learn to pull up her dress and show her fanny to the world. she will love to sit in my lap and not sit in my lap, immediately squirming her way down again. she will love attention more than she does now. she will be able to vanish in the blink of an eye. she will want one! of everything i touch. she will make “pace ships” and she will sing while she pees even if she has to make up the words. she will love, love, love to play in the water while she “washes” her hands. she will be a three year old who makes me want to wash my hands all the time and will not be afraid to tell me when she’s “already had snack!” but she will also need my attention and love.

however, she will be potty trained.

this weekend i also learned that my sister can’t live with us forever. i know it is kinda weird to some people that she lives with us, but i am glad and it works for all of us so i don’t care. (and why should it matter anyway when we have the extra space and she needs a place to live?)

it makes me sad that she is looking for houses. she is so helpful when she is there. she helps bathe the little girl and cook dinners and grocery shop. occasionally she mows the grass and helps me clean. lots of times she watches fun TV and goofs off making cards with me, but mostly she is just there for us. she is going to baby-sit for us Wednesday night so that we can go out for our anniversary. YAY!

she listens to me gripe about J. she makes me laugh with her crazy antics and morning hairstyles. she encourages me to be healthy and counsels me about whatever junk is going on. she even keeps me up-to-date on the latest gossip.

yesterday, she came in after going to an open house and she was all excited about it. it made me realize that she probably will be moving out soon and while i am happy for her getting what she wants and needs i am also heartbroken that my little sis is leaving me. WAH!

i am glad that she is looking for houses somewhat close to home because i’m thinking about moving in with her. at least during Kaizen week.

three relatively ordinary things, but three important-to-me things nonetheless.

Friday, October 13, 2006

she's going to be a talker

she wouldn't shut up long enough for me to take a picture of her with her mouth closed! (thanks Karen/Connie for the cute outfit!)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

hooray for the nap fairy!

praise God and all of the angels! just when i was weary beyond weary. just when i was on the verge of tears AGAIN. just when i was beginning to need it the most, little J slept a full hour and a half for her morning nap today so i have been working my fanny off. although i haven’t made a dent in The List, i have gotten a lot done and i feel a ton of relief. maybe i won’t feel like crying when i get home this evening. now back to work.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

tears and such

there’s not a day that goes by where the girl doesn’t amaze me. yesterday i was so overwhelmed with stuff to do that i sat down and had a little cry. i realized (when the little girl started staring at me with a very quizzical look on her face) that she has never seen me cry. she’s never seen anyone cry for that matter (not that there haven’t been tears since she was born - certainlt not that - it's just that none were in front of her).

anyway, i couldn’t help but stop crying and smile at her when she was looking at me. somehow she always makes me happy. so i had to hug her and tell her that everything was OK. i really wasn’t able to get much done yesterday at all. it’s like the sun magically comes up and sets before i even know it. it's harder now to get stuff done than when little J was a baby. i think that's just because my list is longer now than it was when all ihad to do was stay home and take care of her.

well, at least the 7th graders are gone to the zoo today which *might* actually mean that i may get one extra thing done that’s on my list, but it’s still highly unlikely the way things are going. and Monday is a teacher work day but heaven forbid i should count on having any time then to actually do work. on a workday. oh my! we don't do that.

i’m just so tired of people manipulating my time. one of the things on my list of 100 things to do before i die is to learn to say no to people respectfully. i just don’t know that i’ll ever get there. BIG sigh.

I’m sorry I don’t have any energy to put up new pictures today. You’ll just have to wait until this weekend. For now, here’s a message brought to you by jules:

“baaaa, baaa, baaaaaaa!”

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


the little girl cut her third tooth this morning. this one's on the top. she seems to be OK and not really effected by it. so far.

on a whim last night we decided to move the Tues./Thurs. morning exercising to evenings because the husband has to get up at least an hour earlier this week and because it's darker outside in the mornings now. and since the little girl goes to bath/bed at 7:45 and our treadmill is right next to her bedroom we know that we have to do it before that. i actually already ran this morning. yay me!

also, the dumb local cbs people decided to change the time of one of my favorite shows without telling me about it. (i'm sure they advertised it, but i didn't see it so that doesn't count.) anyway, i'm ticked 'cause i missed How I Met Your Mother last night.

i'm stressed. and i'm no fun to be around lately and i certainly have nothing worthwhile to write or even the energy to put anything into this blog right now, so until later....

Monday, October 9, 2006

i've been tagged

PCOS baby tagged me and since I didn't post earlier today I decided to do this really quickly tonight.

System – This makes me immediately think of some of my kids who try to buck the system. They are constantly being mischievous and sneaky. When I walked in to work today I heard about an incident that happened in my classroom earlier this morning. The newspaper class was using the computer lab while it was available and while the teacher walked out of the room to use the bathroom for 2 or 3 minutes one of the kids changed all of the Internet Explorer icons to say F--- YOU. I teach at a Christian school mind you. Anyway, the teacher saw it of course, and the child faces expulsion (because this incident was of course, added to a long list of his other discipline infractions).

Coffee – Hmmmmm. Easy one. I’m on a diet in case you didn’t already know. Well, last night we didn’t have anything for dinner and didn’t feel like going anywhere either. I haven’t been to the grocery store in at least two weeks. We had some leftover breadsticks from Olive Garden and so for dinner I had breadsticks and light coffee ice cream. Mmmmmm so good and SO not on my diet. And I conveniently forgot to photograph them.

Cloud – Cloud makes me think of the online computer class that I am taking. It is a beginning graphics design course on Photoshop 7 and we are currently learning about all of the different brushes. One of the brushes we used in the last lesson I did was perfect for drawing clouds. Which is all I knew to do with it.

Harmony – For reasons that I would really not like to go into, harmony reminds me of a person that I’m not really fond of. (You can use your imaginations, but you still probably wouldn’t guess the person.) This person never goes away and can be really annoying. Sometimes I wonder how he/she got to where he/she is now, but I do feel like sometimes there’s more there that I don’t know all about so I’m not going to judge *too* harshly. I just occasionally wish the he/she were not always just there.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

is it Monday yet?

i’m all alone. :) the husband went to the beach with some friends, the sister went to sunny Miami for the weekend for a bachlorette party. it’s just me and the little girl. i have a list of things to do a mile long but i know that without anyone to help with little J it’s going to be hard to get any of it done. oh well.

i’m taking an online computer class that i signed up for just for kicks. well, as it turns out it’s kicking my tail. i can’t keep up and the material is harder than i originally thought. i mean, a beginning computer class for a computer teacher, easy right?! nah. it’s not that it’s hard, it’s just a lot to do every week. so I am spending my Saturday sitting here working on school work (and using this blog entry to procrastinate a tad). not to mention the pile of school work i have for the job that actually pays me...

it’s one of the first weekends in a long time where i’m sorta kinda actually looking forward to Monday.

Friday, October 6, 2006

baby babble

jules has been expanding her "vocabulary" lately. here is a video of some of her babble. of course, i'm partial, but it's soooo cute.

punkin' patch

My creation
Originally uploaded by c525600.
yesterday morning we took little J to the pumpkin patch at Nanna and Papaw’s church. as might be expected, she was much more interested in the cars going by and the other kids outside than she was in the pumpkins, but we did get some adorable pictures nevertheless. so oooohhh and aaaahhhh at my cute baby…

Thursday, October 5, 2006

the cat entertains

manipulates us with her pitiful crying antics

on my mind

in recent years my immediate family has exchanged extravagant gifts for Christmas, drawn names and given just one gift, played “Dirty Santa”, and just not given gifts, etc, etc. this year we are talking about not giving gifts, but adopting a needy family instead. i know that we will probably also do this in our churches and other organizations as well, but my family just simply does not need any more STUFF. we give and get plenty with the other families we’re a part of and sometimes it seems kind of ridiculous to spend so much money on unnecessary STUFF that we sometimes don’t even care for.

so who to “adopt”? my sister is an elementary school counselor and she has access to plenty of children who would not only love some extra Christmas presents but probably won’t get many. my parents also volunteer at Open Arms Community Center and know several kids who will get little and they could use some extra love.

plus that takes a wee bit of pressure off the shopping requirements because it’s easy to buy for someone who will appreciate anything they get.

by the way…

i am totally participating in this.

maybe it will hold me a little more accountable. i know it’s going to be hard to do and i’m going to whine and stress out that i forgot to take a picture of something before i ate it, but i’m going to try hard not to cheat. that should at least make me think about what i'm eating.

so far this morning i have captured my bowl of Cheerios on camera. i know it’s only 10 am, but i also wanted to snack already (how sad) and all i had to do was think about getting out the camera again to decide i didn’t need anything else. plus how embarrassing would it be to show the world that i ate Baked Lays before noon? thank you, Zoot for the good idea.

also, the little girl has learned to fake cry. it is so hilarious. her verbal/language development has skyrocketed in the last couple of weeks so she's making all kinds of new (and funny) sounds. when she's sitting somewhere and we're not paying attention to her and she wants to get up and "walk" she starts this fake cry sound. it's not her usual fuss. it's more like real cry sounds, but you can look at her and tell that she's putting on. she's learning to manipulate us. my little girl is growing up!

what is the funniest is when we can get her to half smile in the middle of it. i'll try to get a video to post.

and finally, as i mentioned before, my ten year high school reunion is next weekend. they emailed out this picture last night with a message encouraging everyone to buy tickets. too funny! the picture is a little small, but can you find me?

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

major mommy guilt

i just can’t get it together lately. i mean, how do you forget to feed your baby?! if that’s not a sign of my pending dementia then i don’t know what is. (story to come, but first i must complain a little.)

i’m just so tired and i’m behind in everything. i can’t get up on time. i get home in the evenings and time goes by before i even know it and i haven’t gotten anything done. i didn’t even go exercise this morning because i couldn’t get up. i don’t know what the deal is but i seem to be in a funk. i think a lot of it has to do with the daylight times changing SO FAST and the weather getting cooler. i hate winter. WAH. wah. WAH.

so now you wanna know how i forgot to feed my child. well then. i’ll tell you.

on Monday’s the husband goes to play basketball with some guys from work. yesterday in particular was a crazy day for me with so much going on because i didn’t get anything done from the weekend. it was a Monday where i seemed to forget everything. the little girl is transitioning from three naps a day to two so instead of us getting home and me putting her down for nap # 3 like usual yesterday i brought her in and we played for a while. i was checking my email and doing some other stuff with her next to me on the couch and the sister and i randomly decided to go up to the elementary school where big J was playing ball. we loaded the little girl into the stroller and walked around for a while. J had a lot of fun looking at the playground, cheerleaders, and little league players and she wasn’t fussing at all. we later came home to make dinner and that was when i realized that i had forgotten to give little J her bottle nearly two hours earlier when she would normally wake up.

i knew that i couldn’t just give her the bottle then because she would get her last bottle of the day right before bed which was in an hour. i also knew that i couldn’t give her a portion of a bottle because she would have nothing of that and i sure didn’t want to hear an hour’s worth of screaming. so since she seemed to be OK i gave her a half a jar of sweet potatoes and she was fine. she took her bath, bottle and went to sleep an hour later as usual. thank God for easy babies.

lately she’s been adding more and more solid food so she will drop a bottle in a couple of months but according to the doctor she’s still supposed to be getting all five for now. she did fine after that last night so she must be getting enough to eat, but talk about guilt! man, i was so hard on myself! I. Cannot. Believe. I. Forgot. To. Feed. The. Baby.

(also, let me just say that this would NOT have happened five months ago so i must be calming down with my obsessiveness type A just a wee little bit, right?)

OK let the jokes begin.

quite the green thumb

my husband's african violet

Monday, October 2, 2006

recent developments

how oh how are you supposed to lose weight when Cold Stone offers free ice cream for Make a Wish Foundation, Maggie Moo’s starts selling ice cream cupcakes (seriously. have you ever heard of an ice cream cupcake?), work provides Panera breakfast leftovers from the Grandparent’s Day celebration, you donate blood and they give you free Dunkin’ Donuts (disappointing that they weren’t KKs), the girl’s soccer team sells cakes at a bake sell, and the evening school function (that is required of all staff) gives free Chick-fil-a and cake walks, and last but not least the fair is in town?

i had gotten down to within seven pounds of my pre-preg weight and then i fell off the wagon AGAIN. at least i have still been exercising, but i avoided the scale this morning.

and in other random news, apparently we are an “enriched environment” family because Friday when i was in the teacher work room making copies a teacher before me had left one of their study guides, obviously for an anatomy test or something like that, on the copy machine. anyway, at the top it said, “Most infants develop motor abilities in the same order and at approximately the same age. In this sense, most agree that these abilities are genetically programmed within all infants. The environment does play a role in the development, with an enriched environment often reducing the learning time and an impoverished one doing the opposite.” and then it listed a bunch of developmental milestones by month. well, little J has so far met all of the milestones way early except for the rolling one. she is 6 months and can pretty much do all the way up to the 10 months milestones. we are blessed to be able to give her an “enriched environment” for learning and developing!

2 months - able to lift head up on his own
3 months - can roll over
4 months - can sit propped up without falling over
6 months - is able to sit up without support
7 months - begins to stand while holding on to things for support
9 months - can begin to walk, still using support
10 months - is able to momentarily stand on her own without support
11 months - can stand alone with more confidence
12 months - begin walking alone without support
14 months - can walk backward without support
17 months - can walk up steps with little or no support
18 months - able to manipulate objects with feet wile walking, such as kicking a ball
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