Saturday, January 26, 2008


I've been helping my mom clean out and pack up her house as their move is approaching and quite often I've had Julianna with me. This poses a variety of, um, challenges. One of the things we were packing early this week was some of the Christmas decorations and Nanna gave Jules part of a small Avon nativity set that she had found. As these things go, she of course couldn't immediately find the whole set, but Julianna entertained herself with the three wise men for quite a while. On the way back to my parents house yesterday morning Julianna politely inguired, "Nanny find Jesus?" and then demanded, "Nanny find Jesus!"


During another cleaning episode, Julianna was found rummaging through a bag of bathroom toiletries and such that we have put in the "toss" pile. When I asked her what she was doing, she came straight across to the room I was in and when I looked up I saw that she had her hands in her pockets and two Q-tips hanging out of her ears.


One day recently I was sitting on the couch working on the computer and I heard the door open to the garage. I thought someone had come in so I called out, "Hello?"

No answer.

Then I heard the pitter patter of Julianna's feet and she came running up to me and said, "Jules let Simon out."

She's been able to open doors for a little while now, but it's getting very fluid now to where the sound of it could be anyone opening and closing the door. I just can't believe she knew to open the door for the cat.

Friday, January 25, 2008

22 months

Dear Julianna,

Hey Doodlebug!

I’ve so enjoyed all the hugs and pats on the back you’ve given me this month! You’ll come up close to me and press your check up against mine and say, “Hey!” I’ll stop and hug you tight and say, “I love you” and you’ll pat my arm and say, “I wuv you, Mama. Jules’ Mama.” You used to only sign it, but now you’ve found the (adorable) words.

And Oh My Goodness have you found the words! Since I last wrote a letter to you you’ve learned not just nouns, but you’ve learned verbs and pronouns. You’re speaking regularly in four, five, and six word sentences! You say, “Sess gave it to me,” and “Jules help Mommy,” and “Get a cookie a-Nanna’s house.” It’s amazing how much you actually sound like an adult now and not a toddler anymore. I’m so impressed still with how quickly you learn.

getting ready to play in the snow
You have been learning names this month. You can say your name and I believe it is perhaps the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard. You sing, “Jesus Loves Me” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” all the way through with no help from anyone. You say the whole alphabet (with the exception of J and N) and my personal favorite letters are Q and W, pronounced “ko” and “double.”

A few of us have asked you about your birthday and you tell us that you’ll be two and that you want a “monkey cake.” I can’t wait to party with you!

We’ve battled quite a bit of sickness over the past few months, but this last one was the worst. Because you had a 105 degree temperature and were a pitiful acting little girl, we took you to the doctor for a lengthy round of tests followed by a shot of strong antibiotics and another office visit the next day to check lab results as well as your progress. You got a second shot of antibiotics and since your body was responding well to that we went home happy and able to sleep for the first night in a while. I can’t explain how sick with worry it made me to see you so ill. I told the doctor that I didn’t care how many tests she had to do to get you well, I was just tired of bringing a sick baby to their office every two weeks (you see, we’d just been there the day before Christmas Eve as well). Anyway, through all of her testing she determined you didn’t have the flu, didn’t have a UTI, didn’t have RSV, bronchitis, pneumonia, or a number of other things. When I got strep throat two days later and the first round of antibiotics didn’t clear it up, we were pretty sure that’s what had made you so sick. I had to go back and get a shot too. Hopefully the sickness will stay away from us for a while now. It’s awful having a sick Doodlebug.

We’ve been working so hard on your potty training lately. You’ve been happily wearing your “monkey panties” and “hoppy toads” each day and will go several days (even a week) at a time without getting a drop of pee where it shouldn’t be. But then for one or two days in a row you’ll have an accident or two or three. It’s ok though. I really feel like you’re almost fully there and because a lot of times you’ll start in your underwear but then wait for the main event to happen on the potty, I know you’re trying hard. I’m super proud of you.

You haven’t been sleeping as great lately as you always have. Your daddy gets up with you usually once a night and just tucks you back into your big girl bed and you go right back to sleep, but it baffles us what causes this because you’ve never been this way. It’s been taking you quite a bit longer to fall asleep for naptime and I know it’s because you just want to stay awake and play, but still, it’s different and we’re all having to adjust to you growing up.

running free at the beach
You’ve begged and begged to go swimming this month. We finally got in the car one weekend recently and took you to the beach although we had to explain how you wouldn’t be able to swim because of the cold. We promise to take you back when it gets warm, Jules. And we know it’ll be lots of fun.

Because while sometimes I long for time without you, Doodle, everything I do with you is cherished.


sitting with Mama

Thursday, January 24, 2008

notes from Jules

Dear Seth,
Thank you very much for the Mickey Mouse toy you brought me from your travels. I tell my Mama every morning that Sess gave it to me and she reminds me how nice you are. I love you and I can't wait to come to your house and see your motorcycle again!


Dear Uncle Trasis,
Can I help you work on the deck again soon? Even though I never would talk to you much I still miss you now that you're done.


Dear Baby Addison,
Thanks for coming to play with me the other day! I had fun reading books with you and I hope you come back again soon and I promise I'll share my toys and we can play in my room!

Monday, January 21, 2008

i’ve been tagged

Here are the rules for this meme:
List seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself. Tag seven people to do the same. Do not tag the person who tagged you or say that you tag “whoever wants to do it.”

  1. I'm right handed, but I have a hard time driving with my right hand. I can do it, but it just seems more natural to drive with my left hand only.

  2. I check my email as soon as I wake up in the morning. I know. This is a bad habit to have and I try not to be too obsessive over it, but I just like to do that first thing.

  3. I would rather sleep on no pillow at all than sleep on a too-fluffed pillow. Yick.

  4. It is really hard for me to not read a magazine or newspaper from top to bottom, front to back. I may skip some things, but I always read in order. If I don't, I feel like I should start reading the whole thing over again.

  5. If I don't shower in the mornings I feel hot all day. Although I can't always, it's much nicer when I get a chance to shower in the morning instead of at night.

  6. I adjust the radio volume constantly while I'm driving. It bugs me to no end when I'm riding with someone who doesn't turn the radio down slightly when they get off the highway.

  7. I can live with snakes and spiders, but don't show me a cricket or other hoppy things. Those things can get on you in a split second and they're hard to catch and kill quickly.

I probably can't think of seven people to tag, but I'll do my best. Some of the people I'm tagging will be a long shot at participation. Nevertheless, I tag Amy, Emily, Corinne, Sarahsouth, Whitney, Jonathan, and Ashley.

oh the joy of watching a toddler dance

We've basically been in a constant state of sickness here in my house since about October. You think I'm kidding but I'm not. We decided at the last minute to pick up and go to the beach for the weekend to try to get out of the house without really getting out and about. We didn't do much at all, but that was nice.

Julianna watched about 15 minutes of "Happy Feet" while we were there and my sister (who had nothing better to do for once so she decided to come with us) encouraged her to dance with the penguins.

And dance she did.

Lucky for you we were able to capture it on video. Here's Jules as she dances, drums, and generally just breaks it down with the penguins.

Untitled from c525600 on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

to my sister

I've eaten all but the almond one. Come and get it.

my new fun space

My Dad had a nice pool table that he gave to us when we moved into our house. Over Christmas we passed it on to my sister's house and created a craft room out of the now available space. Some people would say my husband is nuts for letting me get rid of a game room to make a crafty space, but I... well...*swoon*

New Craft Room

The hubs ordered some cabinets and a countertop from work to create this work area.
cabinets and countertop workspace

We've had the curtains for a while, but finally got them hung. My MIL gave me these work tables for Christmas.
lightweight work tables

I got these shelves on sale on Black Friday.
wall shelves

I decided to put Julianna's little desk in there so she could do her own "crafts" while I played.
small sitting area and Julianna's desk

Here's one more view of the new room.
Craft Room

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

learn to share

The other night when Jonathan was giving Jules a bath he started the routine hair-washing and dumped a cup of water on her head. She's never really minded this too much because she loves to play with the cup afterwards, but as she wants more and more control she is beginning to dislike that part of her bath. She's also quite clever. She grabbed the cup out of his hands and demanded, "Share, Daddy!"

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

we ran out of money, but we did it

This is my brother-in-law, husband, and father at their finest.

A few months ago we decided we really didn’t like our deck. It was small and badly in need of repair. The stupid bumblebees had bored hole after hole in the railing, there were nails sticking up everywhere that my husband had to keep knocking back down, and the wood was in such poor condition that we were afraid to let Jules run around out there barefooted. Also, there was only one small set of steps to the sidewalk on the far end of the deck and it made it a big pain in the rear to run after Julianna when she was headed for trouble.

So my brother-in-law (who’s working on his contractor’s license) offered to help us with a new one. Jonathan produced a preliminary design and they worked through a few ideas on paper. We saved up what money we could and decided on Trex instead of regular lumber. On November 4th Jonathan started taking down the old deck. The plan was to work a little each weekend or whenever there was spare time and see what could get done before next summer.

On Sunday, Jonathan swept off the last few scraps and particles of sawdust. We’re super-pleased with the result thus far although the proposed L-shaped bench, the stair lighting, and extra step to the ground on the far end will have to wait because we’re out of money for now.

If you take a look at the picture below you can see how much we need to pressure-wash the house now. The line you see shows how much lower the new deck is than the old one. The lower height is super-nice because you can step off at least the front half of the deck at any edge and be right on the ground. If Julianna were to fall off, I wouldn't be too worried about her getting really hurt. Also the height means, no hand rail which means greater visibility from all around.

If we do put the bench seats in (eventually), they’ll probably be just under the small window and down the far side of deck where it’s higher off the ground (the back left corner). We’ll probably add another step at the front, left angled edge and then lights all around the sides and steps.

They also extended it out from the house about four feet so it is considerably larger. When we put the cheap-o patio table and chairs back on it the other day it was obviously roomier.

Although at first I wasn’t sure about the color choices, I really like how the dark edge design turned out. I also love the angled corners (even though and especially because I wouldn’t have thought of it myself).

We’re probably going to have to fill in with some dirt on the lower side to make it a little more level in the yard around it, but I'd say it's not bad work indeed, especially for free-labor. One thing’s for sure, Julianna will miss frequently seeing her family members working outside the kitchen window, but she will definitely enjoy the fruits of their labor in a few months when the sun finds it's way back to NC.

Finished product.  For now.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

i’ve been meaning to update you on this for a long time now

My dry erase board To Do List is working out pretty well. In case you were wondering.

I've made a few modifications.

There are only two columns now for things to do. A PRIORITY column and a SOMETIME column.

Right now those look like this:

PRIORITY: finish sewing crayon pouch, make fabric swatch ring, send Claire K birthday card, vacuum all floors, wrap K’s present, order shower cake, Craigslist postings, order frozen meal for J, call Vonage

SOMETIME: paint J's new room, take A's stuff back to her, clean out closet, sort through magazines, etc

It really helps me see that if one particular item from the PRIORITY column is still left to do at the end of the week then it probably wasn’t in the right list to begin with. I try to move that item over to the next column. It also helps me add things to one central list as I think of them (even craft projects, etc that aren’t high priority).

The system isn’t perfect, but I think it’s helped me get a little better organized and less stressed out over my five on-going lists.


Another thing I added to the board was a list of weekly household cleaning chores. It looks like this:

general pick up

clean out/wipe down fridge

plan meals


mop kitchen

change beds

What I've been trying to do with this list is complete the chore every day. It's hard getting going the first week, but once you've completed a week, the next is a lot easier. I try to do it early in the day, but I tell myself that if I don't complete the chore then I can't have an evening snack until it's done. That usually works.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

this may be a little weird

But is it crazy that I want desparately to go to this?

If I wasn't throwing a baby shower and my daughter wasn't sick I would totally be there.
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