Sunday, May 25, 2008

twenty six months

Dear Julianna,

As usual, the last month has gone by in a whirl. You’re twenty six months old today and you’re very much a two year old. Your vocabulary = amazing; your behavior = not so much. Sometimes you are an angel. Just this afternoon I told Daddy that the best part of TWO by far has been the hugs. You give them willingly and frequently WHEN YOU WANT TO. Sometimes you are just a typical stubborn, pain-in-the-butt two year old.
Jules riding the Ferris wheel with Daddy

We’ve done a lot this month. We had a birthday party for your OLD father. You got to ride a Ferris wheel for the first time. We took another sick trip to the doctor (but I’m not complaining as long as we can make it another three or four months without going back). We spent countless hours outside enjoying the pretty weather and May flowers.

stop to smell the roses
We spent this afternoon at Pilot Mountain hiking and wandering the trails. It was so much fun to experience that with you. It was a beautiful day and you rode so easily in the backpack until you decided you were ready to get down. You asked and when we answered “no” you kept devising new plans to see if we’d let you get down. You told us you wanted to climb on “wots of wocks,” you told us you wanted raisins, and when we heard a cow moo in a far off pasture you told us you wanted the cow to “come over here.” When we did let you walk on a flatter part of the trail you simply amazed us. You probably walked for 30 or 45 minutes without whining or complaining and you only stopped to pick up a half dozen rocks instead of every rock on the mountain as I’d anticipated. You called it “our mountain” several times and I silently vowed to take you back soon.

We’ve been asking you if you want a baby brother or a baby sister and you consistently reply “no.” Until one morning as I was putting away clothes you pushed your baby doll stroller into the bedroom and declared the doll your “new baby sister.” Ten minutes later you were telling me to kiss it, that it was your baby brother. You just might be mulling over that one for a while.

It’s so weird to look at you and think of how small you once were. I can hardly remember it, but at the same time I’ll never forget it. I looked at your long legs hanging out of the backpack today and I marveled yet again at how tall you are. When I slept in your room a couple of nights when you were sick this month, you just about kicked me out of the bed, literally. But then the next night or the next few naps times you’d sweetly say, “Mommy, sleep right here” and pat your pillow.

Maybe if I’d kept sleeping with you, you wouldn’t have started taking all your clothes off at naptime. Hmmmm.

You finish up your last day of preschool this week. Your teacher sent home a small photo album with pictures of you throughout the school year and I looked at it at a stoplight in the car on the way home on Thursday and immediately got tears in my eyes. Not only are you scarfing down food in almost every single picture (that’s my girl) but you just look so happy. There’s one picture of you sitting there are the snack table. Your plate’s empty and every other plate on the table is full of crackers and you’re bear-hugging the little girl sitting next to you with the most adorable smile on your face like GIVE ME YOUR CRACKERS OR YOU WON’T GET HURT.

I will treasure this photo album forever because it shows how quickly you grow up and change just in one little school year. The first picture is from the first week of school where you carried Elmo to and from school with you every day. The one at the end of you obviously saying “cheese” while spinning on the sit-and-spin is by far my favorite though.
Simon loving on Jules

Julianna, I adore you. I don’t think I could ever love a little girl more. I’m so glad to have you in my life. And I’m so glad you take out the recycling for me. :) Thanks, Kiddo. I know. I know. You're not a kiddo. You're Julianna Tucker V. Thanks for the reminder.

I love you.


up for another game?

Remember this game? Where you tried to translate Toddlerese?

Well, try this one.

Three clips. Easy peasy. Go!

Untitled from c525600 on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

she’ll really KILL me for this when she’s 15

Julianna has found her private parts. So far she just calls the whole general area her "bottom" and we don't feel like she's been doing/saying anything that's not normal for her age, but she has been exploring quite a bit lately. She's recently started taking her clothes off each morning on her own while I'm showering or getting dressed. This morning as I stepped out of the shower I noticed her spread eagle on our bed playing with herself and watching TV. She was completely relaxed and did her usual questioning when she saw that I noticed her.

"This is? Mama, this is?"

"That's your bottom, Jules."

"I have a belly button on my bottom, Mama?"

"No, sweetie your belly button's on your belly."

"I have two belly buttons, Mama. One on my belly and one on my bottom!"

Uh. Yeah. Something like that, Jules.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

please let this be a sign

My boobs hurt.

I'm having strong random cravings for guacamole.

Either I'm pregnant or I walked a 5k today and sadly worked up an appetite and sore boobs.

Dear God, please let it be the first.

how does your garden grow?

planting with Daddy

sharing seeds with Jules

I'm planting tomatoes!

Turn on the water, please!

the garden

looking at my tomato plants

Do you see me looking at my tomato plant?

plant markers - okra, onion, tomato, peppers, squash, and pumpkin

Friday, May 16, 2008

the day the $h!t balloon hit the fan

It has been the week from hell.

On Mother’s Day Julianna woke up with a fever of 101. We had to skip church anyway because I was cooking for a bunch of family and hadn’t been able to prepare enough the day before. I got up early and went to the grocery store and immediately came home and started cooking while Jonathan took care of Jules. After an exhausting morning of cooking, we finally (better late than never) sat down to eat lunch and Meltdown The First began. After no one could convince Julianna to sit down to lunch, she finally requested to go to bed (it was already an hour past her naptime and she was still running a fever). As the family began eating, I put her down for a nap. She slept and we ate. Then shortly after all the cleaning up and coupon clipping we had to journey over to my sister’s house. She was kind enough to cook for my mom, her MIL, and me for Mother’s Day. I know all the work that went into that dinner and I truly appreciated it. Since Julianna was still running a fever and was being pretty whiney AND she had skipped lunch and not eaten until 4pm when she woke up from her nap, she did NOT want to eat dinner. So we dealt with an uncooperative toddler during that meal (FUN!) and were late getting her home for bed.

That night her fever got worse (102/103ish) and she starting gagging on each dose of Tylenol/Motrin. After changing her vomit-covered outfit multiple times throughout the night with each dose of medicine, we finally got a few measly hours of sleep.

Monday brought a higher fever and more whining. We mostly just stayed around home trying to rest. I had to be somewhere Monday night but when I got home and saw her shivering uncontrollably with fever after her bath I almost cried. Unfortunately, because she was refusing to take the medicines (or couldn’t keep them down) Monday night and early Tuesday morning her fever spiked at 104.4 and I was up with her pretty much all night. She begged me to sleep with her and so I tried. More puking, more changing, followed by a decision to go to the doctor first thing in the morning.

The doctor said the strep test was negative, the urine test was negative for a UTI, must be viral. Bring her back on Thursday if she still has a fever over 100. I decided I’d had enough of dealing with the gagging and the refusal to drink the medicine and Meltdown The NINETITH so I went to buy chewables and suppositories (wheee!). We went to my parents’ house after that where Julianna took two naps (and fortunately I did too!).

[I realize that I’m interrupting myself here, but did you know that acetaminophen suppositories are over $1.30 each?! What a rip-off! Isn’t it bad enough that I have to stick my finger in one of my daughter’s body cavities, the one that poop comes out of, but then the stupid drug companies have to rob me silly at the same time? What’s that all about?]

Sorry. Back to the story of my week.

Tuesday saw another night of high fever and no sleep, but luckily no gagging or puking because of the new meds. Wednesday things began to look up although we were both beyond sleep-deprived. We napped at my parents house again (it’s amazing how much a little bit of sleep can change everything). Wednesday night Julianna was still running a low fever (around 100) so Jonathan stayed home from Bible Study to care for her and I went without them. It was so nice to get out even if only for two little hours.

Although she still had a fever on Thursday morning of 100.4 we didn’t go back to the doctor mainly because I felt that she was getting better. She’d rested better the previous night and I just knew it couldn’t last much longer. We weren’t planning on doing anything on Thursday or Friday, but as luck would have it, a newborn baby was thrown into the extended family mix and the need for me to watch Julianna’s cousin for a few hours arose Thursday afternoon. Then because of some miscommunication I had to drive an extra 30 minutes to pick up Jonathan at lunch and Jules was late for her nap again and it was painfully evident that she was overtired. We journeyed to the hospital to visit last night and then came home and crashed again.

Today, Julianna has only had a 99.7 (at the most) degree temperature. She CLEARLY still does not feel well at all. She has not stopped whining since first thing this morning. She still has a bad cough, runny nose, and is gnawing on her index finger constantly. After lunch I just couldn’t take it anymore and had to give her some Tylenol since she was just painfully obviously not feeling well. That has made her do better, but I swear every single time she even slightly bumps into something she breaks out crying to beat the band. She whines and cries each time I tell her no and she has deliberately disobeyed me more today than she has the entire month combined. I know she just feels miserable, but I don’t know what else I can do to help her.

I cannot emphasize enough just how exhausting this week has been. When we went to the grocery store this morning she cried pretty much the entire time. I tried bribing her with bubbles, with a free balloon, with the promise of a cookie when we got home. Nothing made her happy. She ate no breakfast; she ate no lunch; she only took a one hour and fifteen minute nap. She let go of her balloon in the den and it immediately floated up and got tangled in the ceiling fan and Meltdown The OneZillionFiveHundredTrillionith ensued. I cried along with her. We have a full weekend ahead of us and I don’t see a good way out of any of it. I just know that something’s got to go, but I don’t know what.

I am about to pull my hair out.


TGIF, right?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

happy mother’s day!

I thought this was such a good ideas so I stole this from my friend Merritt.

Here's 30 reasons why my mom is great, one for each year she's been a mother.

1. She's creative.
2. She's loving.
3. She's fun!
4. She cares for other people.
5. She studies scripture and serves at church.
6. She's not afraid to learn new things.
7. She's not afraid to say how she really feels or what she really thinks.
8. She's brave.
9. She loves plants and gardening and is very knowledgable on the subjects.
10. She can cook, sew, and clean.
11. She's pretty artistic.
12. She adores her grandaughter.
13. She's giving.
14. She likes to play.
15. She's optimistic about most things.
16. She's got a good memory.
17. She's honest.
18. She's sentimental.
19. She speaks proper English and knows how to spell really well.
20. She's a hard worker.
21. She loves to laugh and be silly after an exhausting day shopping.
22. She's a wonderful teacher.
23. She has beautiful handwriting.
24. She puts up with more than she should ever have to.
25. She's more spontaneous than I am.
26. She likes action movies, horror movies, and chick flicks all the same.
27. She loves to bake.
28. She's never gotten a speeding ticket or had a cavity.
29. She's not afraid to scream, cry, or ask for help.
30. She loves me unconditionally.

I love you, Mom!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

look what i saw at the bank

I was at the bank a few days ago getting some money out of the ATM when I turned around and saw this:

geese and their babies

I grabbed the camera and snapped away although those suckers can walk pretty fast! I was suprised at how fast they managed to get all the way across the bank parking lot with all those little babies.

If only Julianna would walk that fast when we're out running errands.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Chapter 1: Cat Got Her Nose

A couple of weekends ago, Julianna spent the night at Mamaw's house while we went to a wedding. Sometime durng the night she fell out of bed, suffered a minor injury on her nose and went right back to sleep after being consoled pretty easily. It really wasn't a big deal, but she did have a nasty scab on her top lip and a bloody nose for about a week afterwards. Of course it healed with time.

And of course, right about then she decides to start screwing with the cat. I left her sitting in the floor coloring while I stepped into the kitchen for a minute. I heard crying. I came running. She was wailing! I mean really wailing. When I heard her I knew that it was Simon that has caused the injury but that didn't prepare me for seeing blood on her face.

When I saw her she literally had blood dripping all down her face. Some was falling off her nose and some was dripping from her chin. Even more blood was pooling at the corner of her mouth and I couldn't imagine what all had happened to her. Upon first glance it looked awful. She was pretty hard to console, but we eventually got it all cleaned up and she's been fine.

She's been a little timid around the cat for a few days, but that' nothing compared to what the people at her preschool probably think we do to her here at home.

cat scratch on her nose

cat scratch on the rest of her face


Chapter 2: This Man's Pants, Mama?

We've been trying to take regular trips to the library to check out new children's books. It a great way to get out of the house and do something fun without spending money, obviously. Anyway, we got this one book about a week ago and it goes through the letters of the alphabet and has multiple words and illustrations on that page that start with that particular letter of the alphabet.

The "R" page has a picture of a fercious lion on it and he appars to have bitten the clothes off of a man running in front of him. At the top of the page are the words, "ROAR" and "RUN!" Julianna is obsessed with not only this book, but specifically this page.

When my mom was reading it to her the other day she wouldnt let her turn the page. She just kept asking over and over again about the man and the lion and the man's clothes and his bottom. Mom would try to turn the page and continue reading and Julianna would just turn it right back to the lion. One time she finally did let her finish the book, but the second she read the last word Jules insisted on going back to look at the lion page.

I've been forced to read this book many, many times over the last few days and each time we get to the lion page she says, "This man's pants, Mama?" She refuses to go any further until we talk about the man and the lion ad nauseum.

I guess she's just not used to seeing male butt cheeks running around. Either that or she's got a weird obsession with lions.

Here she is studying the picture with Nanna.
reading with Nanna

Here's another one of her looking at the same page a little while later.
reading the book again later with Nanna

Finally, below is a third picture of her with the same book on the same page on a different day. I'm telling you. This child really likes this picture.
reading the same book a different day


Chapter 3: Asleep on the Hay

Somehow we got the grocery cart back out again recently and Julianna has been so into pretend play lately that she practically "shops" all day. She'll push the cart to the door and announce, "Bye! I'm going shopping!" She also has started carrying Lucy around the house with her everywhere again.

Yesterday she put Lucy in the shopping cart and squatted down gently beside her and said, "Lucy, sleep in the manger."

Lucy in the toy shopping cart


*I don't have pictures for these next two, but they are so cute they need to be documented anyway.

Chapter 4: My Phone

Julianna's been all about pretending lately. She says, "I'm going to work" and "I talkin' on the phone" at least once a day. The other day in the car she told me, "My phone's ringing, Mama"

"Well, answer it!" I replied.

She simply said, "I can't. It's at home."


Chapter 5: Youngin'

Nanna was walking to Jules the other day trying to get her to put her shoes on or something like that. She said playfully, "Come over here Youngin'!"

Julianna replied, "I not a onion, Nanna! I a Julianna!"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

fun finds from Friday

On Friday we went to the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market. They were having a craft fair along with the usual fresh produce and we got some awesome stuff.

We bought strawberries, canteloupe green pepper plants, green beans, tomatoes, squash, and limes.
farmer's market purchases - strawberries, canteloupe, green pepper plants, green beans, tomato, squash, and limes

We also got two amazingly adorable baby gifts from my friend Kelly's booth at the craft fair. We got three bibs, some hair bows, and some baby legs.

Yet another reason to love Spring!

around my yard

It ws so pretty outside yesterday so I went outside and took some pictures around the house while the little girl ran around. I thought they turned out pretty well. Look and see.

the house and a red/orange rose

These are the roses that I planted last year. I have a terribly black thumb. I've not really paid the roses any attention since I planted them and I was surprised to see that they are doing relatively well for being so deprived. They look so much better than I expected considering I've never really been able to grow anything. The fact that they even have one bloom on them thrills me to pieces.

another rose bush

All my life summer has been my favorite season because I love the warmth and the association of summer and vacation and being out of school and beng carefree. I still enjoy summer, but with flowers like these popping up everywhere Spring is quickly becoming the favorite season now.

Jonathan's favorite rhodedendron in the front yard

Here's one of Julianna as she took off running and quickly perched herself atop a tree stump. Don't mind the weeds all around her. I mean really! I only have time for so many things.

[hanging head in shame]

Jules sitting on a tree stump

Next we have pictures of the back yard. This one is a shot of the lovely bird house that Julianna admired for months and months at Nanna's house until one day she finally gave in and sent it home with her. No birds have taken up residence in it yet although we do have a sweet little family of bluebirds living in one of our cypress trees out back. I don't know if it's my fault or the cats that they prefer the tree to the birdhouse, but maybe some cute little birdies will move in soon.

birdhouse hanging in the tree

Finally, here are some pictures I promised a long time ago. This is what our deck looks like with the furniture back on it. It has been sooooo nice to have that new sitting area the past few weeks as the weather has warmed up.

side view of the finished-for-now deck

Look at those gorgeous flowers!

back view of the finished-for-now deck

And here are a couple before pictures just so you can tell how impressive this really is.

Old deck BEFORE

old deck BEFORE

New deck BEFORE

new deck BEFORE

New deck AFTER

back view of the finished-for-now deck

Thanks for visiting my yard! Come back to see us!
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